BENJAMIN BUERGEL

Oboist

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Benjamin Joseph Buergel, DMA

Biography

Dr. Benjamin Buergel is an award-winning performer, enthusiastic educator, and inquisitive academic. He has played in such venues as Carnegie Hall, Kansas City’s Kauffman Center, and Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis, and he frequently performs recitals of solo and chamber music. As a chamber musician, he has performed an extensive amount for woodwind quintet, oboe and string quintet, and flute and oboe duo with his wife, Chelsea Cowan. He has performed on numerous ensemble recordings, including a winner of a Global Music Award. He currently subs with several orchestras around Michigan and teaches talented middle and high school students.

At the collegiate level, Ben has taught applied oboe, reed-making, and beginning oboe classes. His workshop, Staying out of Reed Slumps, is in growing demand across college campuses. He has lectured on the pedagogical benefits of performing electro-acoustic music and has composed a set of etudes for oboe and live-loops. Other research interests include Schenkerian analysis, quintets for oboe and strings, and the physiology of tone production.

A native of Saint Paul, Minnesota, Ben started studying oboe at the age of 9. He earned his Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music degrees from Michigan State University where he held the prestigious University Enrichment Fellowship. He earned his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Denver. He has attended the Chautauqua and Bay View music festivals. His teachers include Jan Eberle, Lisa Martin, and Laura Nortwen.

Teaching

At the core of Dr. Buergel’s teaching philosophy is independence. Fundamentally, his teaching method is to expand what the student thinks is possible, train them to recreate the successful performance, and package the new concept in a form that can be applied to all other music. This methodical approach applies to everything from phrasing, tone production, reed-making, and ensemble skills, to adjusting and maintaining one’s own instrument. Lessons may cover particular repertoire and etudes, but the goal is not to learn a specific set of pieces. The goal is to help the student build technique, expand musicality, and raise standards so that they may become their own musician and play any desired piece of music to their own highest standard.

Ben teaches all ages and skill levels from 6th grade on up. To inquire about lessons, please use the contact form at the bottom of the page.

November 2002 - Present

Grand Ledge Schools

Oboe instructor, grades 6-12

August 2013 - May 2016

Michigan State University

Teaching Assistant

September 2015 - December 2016

Spartan Youth Wind Symphony

Section and chamber music coach

June - July 2012

Lamont Summer Academy

Counselor, section and chamber music coach

Research

Ben has many varied research interests including chamber music, electro-acoustic music, pedagogy, and music theory. Following is a list of his presented lectures, workshops, and publications.

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