February Teacher’s Guide
Due to decreased subscriptions this year, we are evaluating the future of Piano Explorer. We plan to continue print magazines through the end of the school year and assess things at that time. As a result, we are taking renewals and new subscriptions only through May/June 2021 at this time. We are offering prorated subscriptions for the number of issues you receive. To order a partial year subscription, please call us at 888-446-6888 or email [email protected]
Due to the global health crisis and so many teachers only teaching remotely, the May/June issue of Piano Explorer was available only as a pdf that you may download from the website. This fall and winter, group subscribers may email [email protected] to request a pdf copy if they are continuing to teach remotely.
To download pdfs of the March, April, May/June, or July/August issues, please go here.
The featured composers/musicians this month are Clara and Robert Schumann. Students will learn about their lives and music. Other features include the pieces that start with a pick-up measure and German music terms. Don’t forget to encourage students to work on their pieces for the 2021 Composition Contest. Details about the contest may be found on the Kids Page.
Interesting Robert Schumann Info:
A Good Father:
Robert and Clara reportedly had a happy marriage, and he especially loved being a father to his 8 children. He wrote music for them and was very involved in their care, unusual for the time.
Robert Schumann’s Year of Song:
In 1840, the year the Robert and Clara were finally able to marry, he was so inspired by his love for her that he wrote about 140 songs called lieder. (His other motivation was to earn more money to support her and he knew that lieder were a popular type of composition that would sell well.) Because he wrote so many songs that year, it became known as his Year of Song or Liederjahr.
Word Search (page 7)
Word Scramble (page 11)
Brahms, Chopin, Joachim, Berlioz, Clara
Quiz (page 15)
1. a 2. c 3. b 4. a 5. a 6. a 7. Italian
Renew or Adjust Subscription Numbers
You can adjust group numbers or renew your subscription at any point during the year. We will prorate your subscription, and you only pay for the issues you receive. See note above for 2021 spring renewal information.
Call 888-446-6888 or email [email protected].
While we are continuing to print the winning compositions from this year’s contest, we would like to remind teachers that we also print non-contest music throughout the year (once we have published all of the winners’ pieces). Students can write music on any topic. We cannot return music, so students should keep a copy. Write the student’s name, age, address, and teacher’s name on the back of the music. All music must be original work. Send pieces to Piano Explorer, Music Corner, 1838 Techny Court, Northbrook, IL 60062.
Annual Composition Contest
The contest is announced each year in the January issue and on the website. The deadline is usually in early March. Note you must subscribe to Piano Explorer to submit a composition.
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.
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/
Many teachers ask what students should do when they are sick or on vacation. We offer the following guidelines:
It is up to the individual teachers to decide what is best for their students. However, the one requirement is that students must do something music related every day – even on vacation. Teachers and students have been very creative about this. Some ideas for vacation practice have included listening to music, bringing their sheet music and studying it each day, researching/reading about composers, reading Piano Explorer, listening to music clips on peforkids.com, writing a composition, or doing a report on a composer, musician or time. Others have found a piano where they are traveling or brought along a keyboard. The goal is for students to do something related to their music study for at least a few minutes each day no matter what so that practicing becomes a regular part of their lives.