100-day Challenge

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100 Day Challenge PDF

Students who have completed the 100-day practice chart

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January Student Page

2018 Piano Explorer Composition Contest

2018 Theme: THE DESERT.

Deadline: March 9, 2018

    There are many different types of deserts around the world. They range from hot and sandy to cold and arctic terrains. There are different creatures and plants that live in these habitats and interesting weather events from flash floods to sand storms. Do some research and use your imagination!

    Be sure to write a few sentences to describe your composition and draw a picture too. Check the rules below carefully. Entries will be divided into two divisions: ages 10 and under and 11 and up. Results will be announced in the May/June issue.

The most important thing is to be creative and follow the contest theme!

Contest Rules

1. You or your teacher must subscribe to Piano Explorer. (If your teacher subscribes, he or she must have as many subscriptions as students who have entered.) Students must be 18 years or younger.

2. Only solo piano music will be considered for prizes.

3. Write your name, age, address, phone number, and teacher’s name on the back of the music.

4. All compositions must be written by students. Parents and teachers may help write down the notes.

5. Do not quote other pieces of music in your compositions. We cannot print such pieces due to copyright laws. You must also include the signed statement on the following page to participate. (PDF of required statement)

6. Keep a copy for yourself. We cannot return music.

7. All submissions must be postmarked or faxed by the deadline, March 9, 2018. We are not responsible for pieces that are delayed in the mail.

8. Last year’s first-prize winners may not enter this year.

9. Drawings are encouraged, but not required.

10. Fax or mail entries only. Please no emails!

11. Make sure to compose music specifically to the topic. Don’t just add a fitting title to a composition you already have.

12. You must include a description of the piece. This is NOT optional. If you want your piece considered for a prize, you must write a few sentences about how your music represents the topic.

Send your compositions to

Piano Explorer
Composition Contest
1838 Techny Court, Northbrook, IL 60062

Fax: 847-446-6263

Do not send via email.
(If outside the U.S., please check with us about exceptions to this rule – [email protected])

Winning Pieces will be printed in the magazine. Be sure to draw a picture to go with your music.


Composers of the month

Isaac Albeniz, Manuel de Falla,
and Enrique Granados

El Polo  from Suite Iberia by Albeniz

Pianist Alicia De Larrocha playing Triana
from Iberia by Albeniz

Triana from Iberia by Albeniz on guitar

Suite Española by Albéniz

Albeniz “Rumores de la caleta” from Recuerdos de viaje

Goyescas by Granados

Guitarist Stefano Grondona playing Danza Española no. 5 Andaluza by Enrique Granados

Pianist Luis Fernando Pérez playing Danza Española no. 5 Andaluza by Enrique Granados

A piano roll of Granados playing his Valses poéticos

 Alex Alguacil playing Fantasía Bética
by Manuel De Falla

(correction from magazine: there were omitted words on
p. 14 – it should have read, “this composition was written for pianist Arthur Rubinstein.”)

Daniel Barenboim playing Noches en los jardines de Espana by manuel de falla

Itzhak Perlman (violin) and Ken Noda (piano) playing Manuel de Falla’s Danse Espagnole at the White House

More Spanish Music


Concierto de Aranjuez by Joaquin Rodrigo

Fandango Dancing

Flamenco Dancing

Ravel’s famous Bolero

Jota Dancing

Christoph Gluck used a Fandango in
his ballet Don Juan.

10-year-old Sterre van Boxtel sings the aria Habanera from the opera Carmen by Georges Bizet.


More from the Feburary Issue

John Cage’s 4’33” for orchestra with soloist

How piano keys work.