Previous Issue: December Student Page

100-day Challenge

Keep working on your practice charts. You can still do this challenge.
Start at any time! Download this chart or make your own.

100 Day Challenge PDF

Students who have completed the 100-day practice chart

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Composer of the month

Franz Joseph Haydn


Second movement of Haydn’s “Surprise” Symphony No. 94. Listen for the dramatic dynamic change. (Performed by the Little Orchestra of London.)


Fourth movement of Haydn’s “Farewell” Symphony #45. Watch the musicians dramatically leave as their parts end.


Haydn’s String Quartet No. 62 “Emperor,” 2nd mvt. Haydn was nicknamed the “father of the string quartet” because he was key in developing the form. A string quartet normally includes two violins, viola, and cello. (Performed by the Veridis Quartet.)


Haydn’s Piano Sonata No. 33, performed by Sviatoslav Richter.


Esterháza Castle from above.

Haydn’s “Clock” Symphony no. 101, 2nd mvt, performed by the Slovak Sinfonietta.


Haydn’s “Hen” Symphony, No. 83, first movement. Listen for the first violin solo around measure 45. Does it sound like chickens to you?

Haydn’s Piano Sonata No. 59, performed by Alfred Brendel.


2021 Composition Contest


  The theme for the 2021 contest is Life on a Farm. Write a composition that has something to do with life on a farm. It could describe a farm animal or animals, planting, growing, or harvesting, storms, or anything else that inspires you that is related to a farm. Your music could describe a specific event or thing, tell a story, or just create a mood.
  You must write a few sentences to describe your music. Entries will be divided into two divisions: ages 10 and under and 11 and up. Results will be announced in the May/June issue. You must subscribe to Piano Explorer to enter the contest. Check the rules below carefully. Good luck!

Contest Rules

Deadline: March 5, 2021

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 Do not quote other pieces of music in your composition. You must also include the signed statement on p. 8 or download this pdf to participate.

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

7. All submissions must be postmarked or faxed by the deadline, March 5, 2021. 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 title to a composition you already have.

12. You must include a description (at least a few sentences long) that explains how the music represents the contest theme. This is NOT optional.

Send your compositions to:

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

Fax: 847-446-6263

Do not send via email

Be sure to draw a picture to go with your music.