We have moved! Please send any submissions to Piano Explorer to our new address:
1838 Techny Court, Northbrook, Illinois 60062. Our email and phone numbers remain the same.

Composition Contest – deadline March 11, 2016

Encourage your students to enter the annual composition contest. The theme this year is bugs. We will have two age divisions so even your youngest students can enter. Please note that we have moved and compositions should be mailed to our new address:

Piano Explorer Composition Contest
1838 Techny Court
Northbrook, IL 60062

Contest Deadline is: March 11, 2016 – we need to have the music by then and are not responsible for pieces that are lost or delayed in the mail.

Please check the complete contest rules in the January issue, p. 11 or here.

Note: Students must subscribe to Piano Explorer to enter the contest. If the subscription is in the teacher’s name, he or she must have as many subscription copies as students who have entered. Students must be 18 years or younger.


Recommended recordings
Icon – Artur Rubinstein – The Chopin Recordings (EMI Classics, 2010)
Rubinstein – The Chopin Collection (RCA, 2007)
Complete Chopin Edition, 17 CDs (Deutsche Grammophon, 2010)
Chopin and Schubert – Krystian Zimerman – DVD (Deutsche Grammophon, 2008)

Pieces for Intermediate students
Chopin wrote several pieces that can be considered easier and would be suitable for intermediate students. Students who have had some experience with Bach’s Two-Part Inventions, Beethoven’s Sonatina in F major or Fur Elise or the more difficult Clementi and Kuhlau sonatinas should be successful learning these easier Chopin pieces. However, teachers should remember that playing the notes correctly is only part of success when it comes to Chopin’s music. Its emotional depth requires sensitive phrasing, tone control, and understanding of rubato, and younger students might have a difficult time executing those nuances. It’s still a great exercise and a wonderful stepping stone in students’ progress.

Some pieces to consider:
Waltz in A minor, Op. posthumous
Polonaise in G minor Op. posthumous
Mazurka in G minor Op. 67, No. 2, posthumous
Mazurka in C major, Op. 67, No. 3, posthumous
Mazurka in A minor, Op. 67, No. 4, posthumous
Mazurka in F major, Op. 68, No 4, posthumous
Waltz in Ab major, Op. 69, No. 1, posthumous
Prelude in E minor, Op. 28, No. 4
Nocturne in c minor, posthumous
Cantabile in Bb major, posthumous

Recommended books
Chopin’s Letters
Chopin in Paris: The Life and Times for the Romantic Composer by Tad Szulc
Chopin: Pianist and Teacher, As Seen by his Pupils by Eigeldinger, Shohet, Osostowicz, and Howat
The Life of Chopin by F. Liszt
Chopin: Prince of the Romantics by Adam Zamoyski

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.

2015-2016 Schedule of Composers

September: Vivaldi
October: Schubert
November: Dvorak
December: Mendelssohn
January: Ravel
February: Chopin
March: Saint-Saens
April: Telemann
May/June: Pachelbel
July/August: Sousa

Answers to February Puzzles

Puzzle (page 9): F and C, L and E, U and L, T and L, E and O. Answer: Flute and Cello

Crossword Puzzle (page 11)

Quiz (page 15)
1. d 2. a 3. b 4. a 5. various answers

100 Day Challenge

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.

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.