How OrganMaster Shoes solved the footwear problem for pedalwork.
OrganMaster Shoes began in 1976 when an organist, Carol Carlson, struggled to find shoes that would work for organ pedaling. She knew that many organists, like herself, were playing in bare feet or slippers. Normal dress shoes did not allow the organist to FEEL what note the foot was touching and were too slippery on the pedals. Many shoes had rubber soles which stick to the pedals. After years of not finding anything that worked, she finally decided to design the perfect organ shoes and sell them herself!
The shoes designed for Toe-Heel Pedal Technique have a non-tapered FULL HEEL providing solid contact with the pedals and which resists slipping into the gaps between pedals. The heel height is 1 ¼ inches high at the back seam to avoid injuring the calf muscle while heeling down. The arch created by the heel also helps avoid unintentionally hitting a third note while toe heeling.
The shoes are very secure on the foot while playing the pedals. The women's shoe has an elasticized strap with a buckle and the men's shoe is a lace-up dress oxford.
However, it is the SUEDE LEATHER SOLES on the bottom of the shoes which make our shoes so special and which OrganMaster Shoes customers rely on to tell what note the foot is touching. The shoes slide over the pedals, but don't slip off because the suede provides just the right amount of slide and grip allowing the organist to FEEL his or her way across the pedal board. The shoes also play silently on the pedals.
OrganMaster Shoes were an immediate hit producing an overwhelming response by organists. In the first year we were open our shoes were being shipped all over the world. Many organ teachers tell us they require their students to wear our shoes as well.
In April of 2006, after 30 years in business, Carol sold the company to her daughter, Brenda, who continues the family business of providing high quality shoes for the organist's special requirements.
Carol Carlson, the organist and business owner, has retired and published a music book of opera for piano students in 2011, Grand Opera for Piano Students. She continues to play her grand piano every day. And, at age 77, she started Troubadour Music which sells ukuleles and the ingenious uke chord changer.