100-day Challenge

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100 Day Challenge PDF

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January Student Page

LAST CHANCE! – 2018 Piano Explorer Composition Contest

2018 Theme: THE DESERT.

Deadline: March 9, 2018

    There are many different types of deserts around the world. They range from hot and sandy to cold and arctic terrains. There are different creatures and plants that live in these habitats and interesting weather events from flash floods to sand storms. Do some research and use your imagination!

    Be sure to write a few sentences to describe your composition and draw a picture too. Check the rules below carefully. Entries will be divided into two divisions: ages 10 and under and 11 and up. Results will be announced in the May/June issue.

The most important thing is to be creative and follow the contest theme!

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 Do not quote other pieces of music in your compositions.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 the signed statement on the following page 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 9, 2018. 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

Piano Explorer
Composition Contest
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.


Composers of the month

Edvard Grieg


In the Hall of the Mountain King

Piano Concerto in A Minor (played by Arthur Rubinstein)

Evening in the Mountains

Pictures of Country Life

I Love Thee (sung by Elisabeth Schwarzkopf)

The Mountain Thrall

Scandinavian Music


Ievan Polkka, a Finnish folk tune that became popular again in 2006.

Valdres March by Johannes Hanssen. This is a famous Norwegian march.

Pohjola’s Daughter by Sibelius

Luonnotar by Sibelius

Finlandia by Sibelius

Kullervo by Sibelius

Little Suite for Strings by Carl Nielsen

Two Fantasy Pieces for Oboe and Piano by Carl Nielsen

Piano Concerto No. 2 by Wilhelm Stenhammar

Symphony No. 2 by Wilhelm Stenhammar

Scandinavian Folk Music

Folk music on the nyckelharpa – filmed by a lake in Denmark

Danish folk dance

Swedish folk dance

Norwegian folk dancing

The Viola


The Swan (SaintSaëns) on viola

About the viola

Jazz version of My Favorite Things (from The Sound of Music) on viola

Hello (Adele) on cello and viola