100-day Challenge

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100 Day Challenge PDF

Students who have completed the 100-day practice chart

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December Student Page

2017 Composition Contest Theme:


The theme for the 2017 Piano Explorer Composition Contest is water. You can write about WATER in any of its many forms. For example, your piece could be about rain, a thunderstorm, a waterfall, an ocean, a stream, a river, a puddle, or even a dripping faucet – and don’t forget frozen water such as snow, ice, glaciers and so forth. Use your imagination and be creative!

Be sure to write a few sentences to describe your composition and include a picture too. Check the rules below carefully. The most important thing is to be creative and follow the contest theme! Even a very simple piece can win with an interesting idea.

Entries will be divided into two divisions: ages 10 and under and 11 and up. Results will be announced in the May/June issue.

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 Do not quote other pieces of music in your compositions.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.
6. Keep a copy for yourself. We cannot return music.
7. All submissions must be postmarked or faxed by the deadline, March 10, 2017. We are not responsible for pieces that are lost or 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.

Deadline: March 10, 2017

Send your compositions to:
Piano Explorer
Composition Contest
1838 Techny Court, Northbrook, IL 60062
Fax: 847-446-6263
Do not send via email.

Composer of the month

Ludwig van Beethoven


Beethoven’s first piece: Variations on a March by Ernst Dressler

Für Elise

Moonlight Sonata

Symphony #5, 1st movement. Listen for the famous rhythm.

Symphony #6, (Pastoral)

Mvt. 1: Awakening of pleasant feelings upon arriving the country-Allegro ma non troppo
Mvt. 2: Scene at the Brook-Andante molto mosso
Mvt. 3: Peasant’s Merrymaking-Allegro
Mvt. 4: The Storm-Allegro
Mvt. 5: Shepherd’s Hymn after the Storm-Allegretto

Minuet in G played on violin

Click here to hear how to pronounce Beethoven’s name.

Beethoven’s Music during his
Early, Middle and Late Periods

Early: Symphony #1, 1st movement

Early: Sonata in C Major op. 2, #3

Middle: Symphony #3, 1st movement

Middle: Sonata in C Minor,  Pathetique op. 13

Late: Symphony #9, mvt 4  Ode to Joy, listen for the famous melody 3 minutes in.

Late: Sonata in E Major,  op. 109