May/June Teacher’s Guide

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.

Click here to print out a certificate for your students who complete the challenge.

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

May/June 2019 Issue

Felix Mendelssohn Students will enjoy listening to the often light-hearted but expressive music. Ask them to describe what the music makes them think about. Can they hear what Mendelssohn was trying to describe?

Works by Mendelssohn to explore:
Songs Without Words for Piano Solo
: including Op. 19, 30, 38, 53, 62, 67, 85, and 102 with six pieces in each set. The most famous ones include Duetto, Volkslied, Spinnerlied, and Frühlingslied (Spring Song)

Variations sérieuses in D minor for Piano, Op. 54

Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64

Rondo capriccioso in E major, Op. 14 for piano

Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel like many of the female composers featured this year was limited in her opportunities to pursue music. On the Kids page is a link that describes how a piece that was mistakenly attributed to her brother was actually one of her works and how a graduate student discovered this.

Composition Contest

Winners are announced in the May/June issue and on the Kid’s page.


Answers to May/June Puzzles

Music Math (page 13):

1. 4 2. 2 3. 6 4. 1 5. 6 6. 1

Quiz (page 15):
1. a 2. d 3. c 4. a 5. b 6. b

Order Early For Fall!

Most Piano Explorer subscriptions expire in July or September. Because teachers may not know their fall student numbers at this time, we encourage you to renew early with your best guess plus a few extras. This way all of your students will receive the September issue on time (and not have to wait for back copies).

Once student numbers are finalized, just let us know.
You will only pay for the final quantity.

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.

Coming in July: Gustav Holst

The 2019-2020 Composer Schedule will be printed in the July/August issue and on the website.

May/June Musical Birthdays:

4 – Bartolommeo Cristofori (1655-1731) Italian harpsichord maker credited with inventing the piano
7 – Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) German composer
7 – Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) Russian composer
17 – Erik Satie (1866-1925) French composer
21 – “Fats” (Thomas) Waller (1904-1943) American jazz pianist and composer
22 – Richard Wagner (1813-1883) German opera composer
23 – Alicia de Larrocha (1923-2009) Spanish pianist
30 – Benny Goodman (1909-1986) American jazz clarinetist

1 – Marvin Hamlisch (1944-2012) American popular composer
2 – Sir Edward Elgar (1857-1934) English composer
5 – Martha Argerich (1941- ) Argentine pianist
8 – Robert Schumann (1810-1856) German composer
11 – Richard Strauss (1864-1949) German composer and conductor
14 – Lang Lang (1982- ) Chinese pianist
15 – Edvard Grieg (1843-1907) Norwegian composer
17 – Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971) Russian-American composer and conductor
18 – Ignaz Pleyel (1757-1831) French piano manufacturer
20 – André Watts (b. 1946) American pianist

Student Compositions

While we are continuing to print the winning compositions from this year’s contest, we would like to remind teachers that we also print non-contest music throughout the year (once we have published all of the winners’ pieces). Students can write music on any topic. We cannot return music, so students should keep a copy. Write the student’s name, age, address, and teacher’s name on the back of the music. All music must be original work. Send pieces to Piano Explorer, Music Corner, 1838 Techny Court, Northbrook, IL 60062.

Annual Composition Contest

The contest theme is announced in the January issue and online in January each year. Note you must subscribe to Piano Explorer to submit a composition.