January 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.


Besides the advanced Sonatas for Piano Beethoven wrote several smaller pieces that early intermediate students can master.  These include Sonatina in G major, Sonatina in F major, Ecossaise in G major, Ecoissase in E flat major, Country Dances, Geran Dances, and Bagatelles, Op. 119.

Have students listen to the music by Beethoven and describe how music from his early, middle and late periods differ. They can also go back and listen to Classical works from the last two months.

Motifs – Ask students to listen for the repeated rhythm in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, first movement. These are probably the most famous 4 notes in all of classical music. During World War II the BBC used it to open broadcasts – because the three short and one long note rhythm matched the Morse code pattern for V (Victory). To learn more about this history go to http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/history/story/2007/02/070122_html_40s.shtml

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 2017 Piano Explorer Composition Contest is announced this month in the magazine and full instructions are also on the January Kids page. The theme is Water and the deadline is March 10, 2017. Send music to Piano Explorer Composition Contest, 1838 Techny Court, Northbrook, IL 60062. Be sure to keep a copy as we cannot return music. Do not email the music please.

Any student who subscribes to the magazine may enter (subscriptions may be through the teacher but the student must receive a copy of the magazine each month – ie if you have three students entering the contest, you must have a subscription for three students.

There are two age divisions and creativity and following the theme are more important than advanced musical knowledge, so encourage even younger or beginning students to try to compose. Good luck to everyone!

Answers to January Puzzles

Quiz (page 15)
1.B 2. D 3. D 4. B 5. A  6. A short idea or theme that is repeated throughout the music. It might be a rhythm or short melody. 7. It includes singers.

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 https://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.