The Clown and the Ballerina

Ben Crosland


Ben Crosland (b.1968)

  1. Born in England. Ben Crosland started playing piano at age 5
  2. 1987 began teaching and now runs his own music school in Worcester

Ben started by writing music for his own piano students and has now written seven volumes of easy to intermediate works for piano, several of which have been used in Trinity College London syllabuses.

Ben is also a sound designer working with various instruments and plays in a Jazz group called the Ben Crosland Quintet. Click on the picture to listen to some of his other work on Soundcloud: 


Ben Crosland is a CONTEMPORARY composer. His aim is to create music which students will find both inspiring and achievable, while still being gently challenging and technically beneficial. Although he writes mostly in jazz and pop styles The Clown and the Ballerina is a gentle dance-like Waltz. But with some unexpected twists!

The inspiration probably comes from the children’s author Hans Christian Anderson who made some beautiful paper cuts including one of The Ballerina and The Clown.


  • There are two characters in this music – the gentle Ballerina music at the beginning and the clumsy music for the Clown. It might help to work out a story to help give more meaning to these two types of music.
  • The Ballerina’s music is gentle and delicate. Ensure that the balance between the hands places more weight on the melody and less on the accompaniment:
  • The bass note can be a little heavier to help sustain it for two bars. A touch of pedal can be used here to help achieve this too:
  • The Clown’s music is makes ‘clumsy, with strong accents’ so it is fine to play this section with a firm mezzo-forte. Make the beat with the chords a little longer so it sound as though the clown is about to topple over!
  • You might like to add little rallentandos to link back to the come prima in bar 17 and at bar 24:
  • There are several places where the tempo can be even more fluid such as with the ascending scale from bar 35 leading to the final rallentando:

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