Category Archives: Burgmuller

Piano Technique: A fire and ice approach to learning pieces at breakspeed tempo

One of my Oberlin Conservatory piano teachers regarded Vladimir Horowitz as a fire and ice player. He referred to the maestro as having the uncanny ability to turn out a hot performance with a cool demeanor. (The physical control, of … Continue reading

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Can we rise above the hammer mechanism of our beloved piano?

I say yes to naysayers on various Internet forums. They would have you believe that playing a series of notes cannot be altered by a physical approach to the keys that includes a supple wrist. Their gospel is, it’s all … Continue reading

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Piano Instruction: Burgmuller, The Storm, “L’Orage” Op. 109 No. 13 (Expect turbulence)

Don’t let this be a one-night stand piece but rather a long-term relationship. I dared to overnight it as prep for a new student who tossed it my way, but upon reflection, I sat down at the piano, and produced … Continue reading

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Sister and brother piano lessons in the Hills

I enjoy my weekly journey to a home way up in the Hills of El Cerrito (neighbor to Berkeley) There, I teach Lucy and Fritz who play a lovely, resonant Baldwin Acrosonic that I advised mom to purchase (over at … Continue reading

Posted in Burgmuller, Burgmuller 25 Progressive Pieces, Burgmuller Inquietude, classissima, classissima.com, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, piano, piano instruction, piano instruction by Skype, piano instructor, piano learning, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano lessons and parental support, piano lessons by Skype, piano lessons in Berkeley California, piano lessons in El Cerrito California, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, word press, word press.com, wordpress, you tube video, yout tube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Artful piano playing: Rising above the notes by “feeling,” singing, and “shaping” phrases

Burmguller’s “Sincerity,” Op. 100 is the perfect vehicle for spinning limpidly beautiful phrases. But how does the pianist go beyond what appears to be strings of 8th notes that can easily sound typed out. To avoid the ponderous, vertical approach … Continue reading

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The Berkeley Rose Garden draped in photos and music

Today was my maiden journey to the paradise of Roses in Berkeley. No words can amply describe the effect such beauty had upon me. (Taking pictures was irresistible) Burgmuller’s “Tender Flower” was the perfect musical framing. P.S. I made a … Continue reading

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Piano Instruction: Don’t always accentuate the downbeat– Burgmuller’s music proves it (Video)

“Inquietude” from Burgmuller’s Op. 100 collection of Twenty-Five Progressive pieces, invites a player to examine harmonic progressions as a clue to phrasing a composition that’s often pounded to death with unnecessary DOWNBEAT accents. Seymour Bernstein, distinguished pianist, teacher and author, … Continue reading

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A Purr-fect sedative for a Cat

“Harmony of the Angels” has a soporific effect on Aiden cat while it provided a relaxing prelude to Rina’s earliest piano lessons. Students, young and old, love its thread of sonorities. Continue reading

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Piano Study: Exploring the full gamut of emotions on the way to mastering a new piece (Videos)

Taking piano lessons should be a deep-level growth experience with a metaphorical tie-in to life. This means that pieces studied and technique applied should be interwoven to realize emotions of sadness, happiness, grieving, elation, disappointment and whatever comes to mind … Continue reading

Posted in Burgmuller, Burgmuller 25 Progressive Pieces, classissima, Do piano lessons have to be fun, Friedrich Burgmuller, pianist, piano, piano instruction, piano lessons, piano teaching, playing piano, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, whole body listening, whole body music listening, William Gillock, word press, word press.com, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube.com, yout tube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

For Intermediate Level students: A joyous way to improve piano technique while savoring the Romantic genre (Videos)

Piano students in the Intermediate range don’t need to plod through method books to grow technique. In addition, they shouldn’t be subjected to arrangements of the masterworks reduced to painful copies of the original. As example, “Fur Elise” often appears … Continue reading

Posted in "Inquietude" by Burgmuller, "Progress" by Burgmuller, "The Clear Stream" by Burgmuller, Burgmuller, classissima, classissima.com, Friedrich Burgmuller, Intermediate level piano repertoire, piano music in the Romantic genre, piano teaching, playing piano, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Uncategorized, word press, word press.com, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube video, you tube.com, yout tube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment