Category Archives: Friedrich 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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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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Phrasing at the piano: Listening to the ends of notes as they flow into others

I’ve chosen Burgmuller’s “Tender Flower” as the springboard to explore attentive listening and its relationship to phrasing. At the outset, the right moment to begin a piece is a challenge. The player has to experience the whole dimension of silence … 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

Burgmuller’s beautiful “Tendre Fleur” flows in and out of flower portraits (VIDEO)

On my walk from the El Cerrito Hills to BART Del Norte I snapped these pictures and interspersed them in my reading. Composed in the Romantic era, “Tender Flower” (English Tr.) is a gorgeous miniature that says so much in … Continue reading

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Piano Instruction: “Ballade” by Burgmuller– phrase contouring and curves of energy (Videos)

Burgmuller’s Ballade from his Opus 100 Progressive Piano Pieces is often coined “spooks” because of its Halloween-like opener. Composed in 3/8 time, it moves along in ONE, though the performer should not over-emphasize the first beat in each measure. The … Continue reading

Posted in Burgmuller, Burgmuller's Op. 100 Twenty-Five Progressive Pieces, Friedrich Burgmuller, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, pianist, piano, piano addict, piano lessons, Piano Street, piano teaching repertoire, Piano World, POWHOW.com, Romantic era piano music, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, teaching piano, word press, wordpress.com, you tube | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment