February Student Page

2019 Composition Contest and Rules

Complete instructions at the bottom of this page.

Deadline is March 8, 2019!


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

View Names

Composer of the month

Amy Beach

1867-1944

Children’s Carnival, Op. 25 – this is a piece with six sections written for younger pianists. Performed by Sahan Arzruni.

Gaelic Symphony, performed by the Ulster Orchestra in Belfast with JoAnn Falletta conducting.

Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, performed by Karen Cao and the Troy High School Symphony Orchestra.

Meadow-Larks, performed by Georgia Mills. Beach was very well known for her songs.

Composer of the month

Johannes Brahms

1833-1897

Wiegenlied (better known as Brahms Lullaby) sung by Elisabeth Schwarzkopf with pianist Gerald Moore.

Symphony #1, performed by Orchestre de Paris.

Piano Sonata No. 3 in F Minor, performed by Evgeny Kissin.

Waltz in A-flat Major, performed by Evgeny Kissin.

Listening Exercise

Brahms Hungarian Dance #5


Hungarian Dance #5 for piano 4-hands, performed by the Passepartout Piano Duo.

Hungarian Dance #5 for violin, performed by Clara-Jumi Kang.

Hungarian Dance #5 for orchestra, performed by the Hungarian Symphony Orchestra Budapest.

Something a little different – an arrangement for marimba! Performed by Michael Lagerfelt

2019 Composition Contest

The 2019 Composition Contest Theme is Pets

Deadline: March 8, 2019

Write a composition about your pet. You could tell a story or describe your pet with music. If you do not have a pet, you could write about a pet you would like to have, a friend’s pet, or just an animal that interests you. Be sure to write a few sentences to describe your composition and draw a picture too. Entries will be put 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

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 a signed statement 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 8, 2019. 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

Composition Contest
Piano Explorer
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.