December Teacher’s Guide

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.


Clair de Lune is one of Debussy’s most recognized  pieces. It was inspired by a poem by Paul Verlain. The following is a translation of it from One Hundred and One Poems by Paul Verlaine”. (

Your soul is like a landscape fantasy,
Where masks and Bergamasks, in charming wise,
Strum lutes and dance, just a bit sad to be
Hidden beneath their fanciful disguise.

Singing in minor mode of life’s largesse
And all-victorious love, they yet seem quite
Reluctant to believe their happiness,
And their song mingles with the pale moonlight,

The still moonlight, sad and beautiful,
Sets the birds softly dreaming in the trees,
And makes the marbled fountains, gushing, streaming–
Slender jet-fountains—sob their ecstasies.


2016-2017 Schedule of Composers

September: Mozart
October: Mussorgsky
November: Handel
December: Debussy
January: Beethoven
February: Schumanns
March: Clementi
April: Rachmaninoff
May/June: Stravinsky
July/August: Gershwin


The Composition Contest will be announced in January, but we welcome music from students throughout the year – both for this composition idea or anything they want to write. Send music to Music Corner, 1838 Techny Court, Northbrook, IL 60062. Be sure to keep a copy as we cannot return music. Do not email the music please.

Debussy Pieces for Students

Debussy wrote volumes of piano music, but most of it for advanced pianists. Intermediate students may have fun with pieces from Childrens’ Corner, Two Arabesques, or some of the easier Preludes.

Answers to December Puzzles

Beginner’s Corner (page 6)
1. 4, quarter note 2. 1 3. 4. treble, bass 5. 5
6. grand staff 7. 4

Dotted Rhythms (page 7)
6 beats

Composer Match Up (page 13)
George Frideric Handel, Modest Mussorgsky, Clara Schumann, Claude Debussy, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Muzio Clemenit, Sergei Rachmaninoff, George Gershwin

Quiz (page 14)
1. a  2. b  3. c  4. music of other countries, nature, water  5. c  6. b

Word Search (page 13)

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

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.