Number of full or part-time pianist jobs currently advertised in public media near my home: ZERO. Number of full or part-time organist jobs currently advertised in public media near my home: TWO. That’s not a huge number, but it is a 200% increase, and it represents only the advertised jobs. There are almost always jobs available for organists.
2. Jobs – freelance.
Sub for church services, and play for weddings, funerals, and graduation ceremonies. Meet other musicians and broaden your prospects for other organ and piano gigs, and attract piano students. If you can play even a little, you’ll get calls.
3. Johann Sebastian Bach didn’t have a piano.
If you really want to understand contrapuntal keyboard music, try playing it on an organ.
4. You get to be the first to announce the resurrection in Easter Sunday morning prelude– and to shout the last hurrah with the postlude.
5. You get to play WITH YOUR FEET.
6. Organists can claim the earliest notated keyboard literature.
The piano only came about in the early 18th century. But, we have manuscripts of notated keyboard music dating back to the 15th century. Those manuscripts contain pieces likely composed in the 14th century and earlier. More music to play!
7. If you fill in for somebody else at the piano, you’re a replacement. If you can fill in for somebody at the organ, you’re a hero.
8. Is your choir off-key? No problem. Drown ‘em out.
9. Organists claim a history that includes a whole slew of cool things like simulated thunder, silent movies, Captain Nemo, and baseball games.
10. The piano has one keyboard and makes one sound. The organ has two to five keyboards plus another for your feet and can make many different sounds. More options!
Did I mention the jobs?