November 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

Many teachers ask what students should do when they are sick or on vacation. We offer the following guidelines:

It is up to the individual teachers to decide what is best for their students. However, the one requirement is that students must do something music related every day – even on vacation. Teachers and students have been very creative about this. Some ideas for vacation practice have included listening to music, bringing their sheet music and studying it each day, researching/reading about composers, reading Piano Explorer, listening to music clips on, writing a composition, or doing a report on a composer, musician or time.  Others have found a piano where they are traveling or brought along a keyboard. The goal is for students to do something related to their music study for at least a few minutes each day no matter what so that practicing becomes a regular part of their lives.

November 2019 Issue

This issue features the life and music of Claude Debussy, pianist Martha Argerich and a fascinating project called 88 Pianists. Through a collaboration of engineers at various UK universities, musicians, school teachers and elementary students, they broke the world record for the number of people playing one piano at the same time. The complete story, including videos of the final performance are available at their website –

This was truly an exciting way to combine STEM studies with music!

More information on Martha Argerich may be found at:

There are also two suggested works for students to listen to and make observations: Rhapsody in Blue to hear different articulations, and Clair de lune which includes questions for students to answer about the music.

Some addition material on Debussy:

Debussy pieces for students
Debussy wrote volumes of piano music, but most of it for advanced pianists. Intermediate students may have fun with pieces from Childrens’ Corner, Two Arabesques, or some of the easier Preludes.

Editions that include those pieces: Debussy Favorite Piano Works (Schirmer), Debussy – An Introduction to His Piano Music (Alfred Masterwork CD Edition) 

Recommended recordings
Debussy: Images, Etudes, Pierre-Laurent Aimard (Teldec)
Debussy: Preludes, Krystian Zimerman (Deutsche Grammophon)
Debussy: Preludes Books 1 and 2, Jean-Yves Thibaudet (Decca)
Debussy: Images, Etudes, Jean-Yves Thibaudet (Decca)

Answers to November Puzzles

Crossword Puzzle (page 10)

Quiz (page 14)
1.a  2. b 3. various answers including unusual scales, water images, large chords, glissandos, American jazz, etc. 4. a 5. If the curved line connects two notes that are the same pitch, it is a tie. If the notes are different, it is a slur. 6. a

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.

Renew For Fall!

You can still adjust group numbers or renew your subscription. We extended July/August expirations by a month to give teachers time to renew, but we need to hear from you to keep your issues coming!

Call 888-446-6888 or email [email protected].

Coming in December: Handel, Elisabetta de Gambarini, Handel’s Messiah, and playing big jumps on the piano.

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.