February Teacher’s Guide


Piano Explorer Student Practicing Survey

We want to hear from your students! They can tell us about how they practice by taking an online survey and share their experiences and advice with other students. We will print responses in an upcoming issue.

Guitar and Piano

    Students have the opportunity to listen to a wide variety of music by Spanish composers (or inspired by Spanish styles) this month. Among the works are two versions of Triana by Albeniz and two of Andaluza from Danza Española by Granados. One is played on guitar and the other on piano. Ask students to listen to the music and identify the similarities and differences in sound, expression, emotion, phrasing, etc. How can pianists learn from or be inspired by guitarists? What sound effects are heard on the guitar that are not possible on the piano?

Composition Contest

Don’t forget to send your students’ masterpieces by the contest deadline of March 9th. Also be sure students follow all contest instructions (found on the kids page) and include the required signed statement. We will not accept entries without it.


You can renew or order Piano Explorer for your students at our online store. Or email us with your order or if we can answer any questions: [email protected]  (Address changes may be sent here as well.) Call 888-446-6888 toll free during business hours. Remember you may adjust your quantity at any time during the year.


2017-2018 Schedule of Composers

September: J.S. Bach
October: Haydn
November: Rossini
December: Tchaikovsky
January: Satie
February: Spanish Composers
March: Grieg
April: Liszt
May/June: Britten
July/August: Copland

The 2018 Piano Explorer Composition Contest theme is announced this month in the magazine and on the Kids page. Please note that all submissions must be sent via mail or fax – no email entries. If you are outside the U.S., please check with us about exceptions to this requirement. [email protected]


Answers to February Puzzles

Spain Music Puzzle (page 13)

Quiz (page 15)
1. castanets, tambourines, guitars 2. d
3. a 4. a 5. b and c 6. c 7. 1700

100 Day Challenge

Encourage your students to try the 100 Day challenge. If they practice every day for 100 days, send their information to us and we will print their names in the magazine. We have heard from many teachers that this has been an exciting incentive for their students. If students are away on vacation or are sick, they must still do something with music each day. The specifics are up to the teacher but some ideas are: listening to music, studying their pieces without a piano, reading Piano Explorer, writing a composition, or researching a composer, piece or musical period.

Print out a certificate for your students who complete the challenge.pdf

The completed practice sheets continue to pour in. If you haven’t tried this with your students, you can still start now. Please email us names of students who complete the challenge to: [email protected]Include the student’s name, age, state, and teacher’s name as well as how many days of practice the student has completed. Please do not mail them in.

As one teacher said, “The 100 days of practicing has inspired my students to more than I thought each was capable!”

We will continue this challenge in the upcoming year, and students may start at any time. Check out the students who have played for 100 days at http://pianoexplorer.net/100-day-challenge/

Music Corner: Encourage students to submit music to Music Corner throughout the year. Music must be a student’s own work although you may help them write it down. It can be hand written or done with a music program. Please keep a copy as we cannot return music. Write the student’s name, age, address, and teacher’s name plus any relevant information about the music on the back of the first page.

Send music to Music Corner, Piano Explorer, 1838 Techny Court, Northbrook, Illinois 60062.