Learning Handels Hallelujah Chorus

Updated: 2 minute read


This blog post pulls together my experiences and progress while playing Handels Messiah. I am not a keyboard or an organ pro, my interpretation may vary from what you know.

Messiah (Handel) is a popular piece used to herald a notable event. I hear it most often during the Christmas period, or at times during Choir performances. I play the organ in my choir, so I knew it was definitely something I must learn sooner or later. My view of Handels Messiah when growing was a very ambugious piece like that meant for the pros. I am not a pro now, but well… I’ll still try my best. Its just less than 5 months before Christmas, lets see if I can learn it before then.

Introduction: m. 1 - m. 21

In as much as I know this piece is what I would love to learn, I am not that pressurized to learn in a haste. I am just taking my time to practice when I can. At times once a week, or twice, or more.
And maximum I’ve practiced a day is an hour, I am also learning the Violin; maintaining balance is good too.

This classical piece I am working with has 94 measures, 5 pages in total. And apparently, it took me two weeks to learn page 1. If one is to do mental maths, we should hope in 10 weeks I should be done, considering my learning curve :)

Page 1 Handel Messiah

My inability to move my fingers fast while reading sheet music is affecting me very much. My sight reading and muscle memory is not worth talking about, but I’m trying. I had issues in measures 5,6,.. and others due to the fast movement of the fingers. So at times, I’m not sure I am exactly getting the complete notes, but I think 91% of what I play is correct

Measure 22

I think measure 22 would occupy an entire div to itself. So far, its the only measure that I spent almost two or more of my learning days. My timing was off, getting the tempo and all kept throwing me off balance. I listened to it being played on and on, but still couldn’t get it. I played only my left hand to the point of memorization, but still I couldn’t merge both together.

Measures 22 to 27 Handel Messiah

Finally, I was able to get it right. My timing is not yet perfect, but with constant practice, I would be able to run through measures 22 - 25 at a go.

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