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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 the same no matter who plays C, D, E, F, G. These concrete thinkers, insist… Continue reading Can we rise above the hammer mechanism of our beloved piano?

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Romantic era piano repertoire: A murmuring stream and the supple wrist (Burgmuller creates beauty from simplicity)

"The Clear Stream" from Friedrich Burgmuller's Twenty-Five Progressive Pieces offers a student an opportunity to create limpidly beautiful phrases from unraveled broken chords spun out in triplets. In order to create the "mormorando" (murmuring effect) in the treble, it's best to first block out the "chord" patterns with a "spongy" wrist in slow motion before… Continue reading Romantic era piano repertoire: A murmuring stream and the supple wrist (Burgmuller creates beauty from simplicity)

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How to practice Burgmuller’s Harmony of the Angels (also known as “Angels’ Voices”)

In the video below, I demonstrated a preliminary blocking chord motion, while shaping the line, and having interactive flowing hands. Knowing the harmonic outline is equally pivotal in the learning process. Understanding how harmonic rhythm/resolutions of chords, for example, affect phrasing helps the student to interpret the music. Un-blocking chords follows with forward rolling wrist… Continue reading How to practice Burgmuller’s Harmony of the Angels (also known as “Angels’ Voices”)