How Tim Effler Found the Organ
September 6, 2016
As we look forward to Tim Effler’s concert this weekend, we became curious about how he chose the organ… Thank you, Tim, for your beautiful music and sharp wit.
Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016
7:00 PM in the Sanctuary
What compelled you to play the organ?
As a teenager I studied piano with a wonderful teacher who also happened to be an organist. One day she took me to her church to see her new pipe organ and I instantly became enamored by all the technical and mechanical aspects of the instrument and the huge variety of sounds that it could make. The piano suddenly became pretty boring by comparison.
Do you play any other instruments?
Other than something with a keyboard, not really. I was a mean trumpet player in junior high and high school, but lost that lip in the blink of an eye! I also took violin lesson for about 6 weeks once. We won’t talk about that.
Weren’t you considering a degree in medicine?
Off and on. I considered pre-med while still in high school with the thought of having music as an avocation. I even revisited the idea briefly just after graduate school, but God had other plans. I consider it a plus that if I make a mistake in my job no one dies.
How, and I do mean how, do you get your feet and your hands to do so many different things at once?
Practice! It works best if you don’t think too hard about it while you’re doing it. It would be kind of like a tightrope walker asking himself how it is that he is balancing on a wire while 30 feet up in the air on the wire.
What would you say to someone who wants to play the organ or is considering a career in music?
I think everyone should have music in their lives in some form or another. If you can somehow participate in actually “making” the music, even better. Playing the organ, as having a career in music, is somewhat of a small niche in the world. (As one of Dana’s uncles famously said when we tried to describe our careers to him, “…well, isn’t that kind of unusual?”) It really comes down to a passion and a call. I really think both are necessary to succeed.