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Real Service That Leads To Success.


There is probably no word in the English language that can bring so much happiness and success in its proper interpretation as the subject of this article. In every sphere and walk of life do we find that the individual who is reaping his joyful and successful harvest is he who has realized that the best seeds to sow are those of service. The minister in his ministering, the physician—especially he whose first thought is not that of financial return—in his care of others are splendid examples of those who have learned how to live in learning how to serve. And to the organist who would succeed is this subject especially important.

Why are there so many young organists that fail to accomplish much good for their profession, that reach the second or third round in the ladder and there stay? What is the difficulty? What can they do to enable them to meet with greater success and to derive more happiness from their vocation?


The chief thing to learn is to serve those with whom you are associated. If it be the minister or church wardens, acquire the art of doing those little things that will lead to their appreciation of you.

Keep your console and organ bench tidy, particularly if they are where they can be seen, and happily in these days most consoles are placed where they can take a real part in the service; see that they are free from a profuse display of organ books and disarranged sheet music.

Learn to be reverent and realize that the example you set your choir in this respect can assume a most important factor in the service.

Learn to play the hymns, the chants and the anthems in a manner that will tend not to display your technical ability, but rather, to make the minister and the congregation realize that you appreciate the devotional as well as the artistic side of interpretation. Nothing so gladdens the heart of the minister as to feel that his organist tries to second with a sermon of song the discourse just delivered.

Do not have constantly in mind how great a salary you are worth; on the contrary, think how you might serve your corporation a little better to warrant the salary you receive.


If it be that you have a choirmaster, give him of your best.

Never be tardy; when he raps for attention, let him find you in your place.

Always have your work prepared.

Do not wait for him to send or give you the hymns and the anthems for the following Sunday; relieve his mind by asking for them, and then get to work and learn them so that when the hour of service arrives you are there ready to give them the best interpretation.

Learn to respect his position and responsibility, and cause the choir to understand that, if it comes to the matter of loyalty, the choirmaster has yours in abundance.


Serve your fellow-organists by seeing their good points and by speaking well of their accomplishments. Silence the tongue regarding matters that do not concern you, and with which, perhaps, you do not agree.

No good is ever accomplished by talking of another’s faults or by gossiping of another’s difficulties; much better is it to set an example yourself of what ought to be.

Lastly, remember that constant attention in just these few ways of serving others will be the surest road to success and happiness for yourself.—Ralph Kinder.

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