Over the past 2 years or so, my wife and I have spent a fair amount of our time working on a project I started many moons ago, but never got around to realising – my YouTube channel “Fraser Gartshore” featuring the world of the organ – from promoting the cause (the world is running out of organists!) to presenting instruments, their quirks and features, and demonstrating that organs aren’t just there to play Bach and Buxtehude – you can even play jazzy music on them!
As I said, this was always one of my dreams. I have always kept a close eye on the organ’s online presence and, in my mind, something was always missing. Organ channels either focussed purely on organ music or they introduced organs to the public in a very dry, academic, dare I say boring way.
As you know by now, I’ve been an organist for most of my life (yes, I do also play piano, and evn a bit of trombone, ukulele, guitar and can bash out a decent swing rhythm on the drums) and I have, over the years, gathered a bit of a reputation for my approach to the instrument. Some see it as the devil’s work, others (including my concert organist friends from around the globe!) see it as an important part of the organ world as a whole.
The first half of 2020 has been a rough ride for freelancers around the world. The international spread of the Corona Virus has locked down the music world for most of us. For three months now, I have not been able to take any choir rehearsals or play any concerts. By the looks of it, most of these events will be postponed until the new year at the earliest and choral work has only just recommenced, albeit under strict hygiene rules.
Income has been reduced to a small fraction of what it was, including anything earned through YouTube advertising – earnings in 2020 have been around 20% of that in 2019! Whilst there is no way I could ever live just from YouTube earnings alone, it was a helpful addition towards monthly outgoings and helped keep our heads above water.
Since early 2019, I have also offered “sponsorship” to our channel work via Patreon, Steady and PayPal, allowing interested viewers to help out financially. Over the last year, I have built up a steady following of loyal supporters who receive regular “thank yous” for their monthly donations.
I recently updated the benefits for Patreon and Steady and YouTube is now offering membership possibilites to the channel.
If you would like to join the select group of channel donors, feel free to have a look at the different “levels” of membership on offer. All three platforms offer the same benefits to cater to audiences around the world. Patreon is the “international” platform, Steady is more for the German market and YouTube memberships are for members who like to keep all their eggs in one “Google” basket!
Benefits of membership include early access to new videos, regular exclusive videos for members only, monthly member-only LiveChat Q&A with me (June’s event will be taking place at the end of the month – there’s still time to join up!), and even monthly online organ/piano/music lessons.
Thank you all for your continued support in keeping out YouTube organ channel alive! We have a lot of exciting things planned for the second half of the year – maybe you can be one of those helping us realise these plans!
Links to membership platforms:
PayPal (for one-time donations): https://www.paypal.me/gartshore