Graceful Ghost

Today….today!  One of my piano students completed and nailed this piece, Graceful Ghost by William Bolcom.  She conquered it!  Playing the piece is like wading through nails, it has that many accidentals. For those of you that don’t play the piano that means lots of sharps and flats and naturals.  Generally speaking, white notes are easier to read (in the music) than black notes.  Look at the video and notice where his fingers are the majority of the time.

My student has worked on this piece for nigh upon a year.  Isn’t it the difficult, seemingly impossible tasks which, when completed, provide the most satisfaction?  Graceful Ghost caused tears some weeks, but great smiles today.  Bravo Shelby!  I’m so proud of you!

I don’t know Richard Dowling, but he plays the piece very well.  I especially like the rubato [the freedom a pianist takes with the tempo for expression]. 

So sit back and enjoy!


6 thoughts on “Graceful Ghost

  1. Your a piano teacher!!  How cool is that?  My daughters are harpists…and one a pianist also.  I bungee cord Beeb to a piano bench for 15 minutes a day and make him practice too….what can I say….he’s a sports boy.  This man has long fingers!

  2. @toomanyhats – Well….I’m a pseudo-piano teacher.  I have four students (all from the same family) whose dad *insisted* that I teach them regardless of my protests that I was not qualified.  I had lessons through ninth grade and one year as an adult.  I love to play the piano and grew up in a musical family.  One of my life dreams is to study with a teacher and rise above “pretty good”.  I struggled (and failed) to get my boys interested in music too.  They don’t play, but they appreciate good music!

  3. Beautiful touch1 I was not familiar with this piece but it is obviously being played extremely well. The clarity is beautiful. I much enjoyed listening to it.On another subject: no. I will post it in my own blog – lol!!! Don’t faint!!

  4. Re your comment on my post: The title of the volume I got with all 5 books under one cover is called The Art of Eating. The pages are yellowed but otherwise it looks as though it had never been read and perhaps has kicked around on dealers’ shelves until it ended up at Thriftbooks.

  5. @mamapiano – I just ordered it used through Amazon…a “like new” copy (it said never been read) for $1.95 + $3.99 shipping.  Five books, 784 pages for six bucks!  Now I’m thanking you!  Weeeeooooooo!  I’m excited!

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