October Teacher’s Guide

Domenico Scarlatti

Ask students to listen for some of the characteristics of Scarlatti’s music in the examples on the Kids page. These might include:

“Almost all of Scarlatti’s sonatas have one movement and are in binary form. They were meant to show off the technical abilities of the performer and include difficult runs, fast arpeggios, hand-crossing, quickly repeated notes, big jumps, and some thirds and sixths. The harmonies are bold and unexpected, with some unusual chord clusters and lots of modulations to surprising keys.”

They can also play the excerpt from “The Cat’s Fugue” on the piano and then listen to the example on the harpsichord to compare the sound of the two instruments.

Recommended recordings of Scarlatti’s music:

Scarlatti: Best Sonatas, Scott Ross, harpsichord (Erato 1991)
Scarlatti: Sonatas, Wanda Landowska, harpsichord (EMI Classics, 2002)
Scarlatti: Sonaten, Ivo Pogorelich, piano (Deutsche Grammophon, 1993)
Horowitz Plays Scarlatti, piano (Sony, 2003)


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 (they might try a ragtime piece – see page 9 of the July issue). 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.

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.

2017-2018 Schedule of Composers

September: Schubert
October: D. Scarlatti
November: Ravel
December: Chopin
January: Prokofiev
February: J.C. Bach
March: Brahms
April: Telemann
May/June: Mendelssohn
July/August: Holst

Other composers and musicians will also be profiled throughout the year.

Answers to October Puzzles

Word Search (page 5):

Piano Trivia (page 14): 52 white, 36 black; hammers

Quiz (page 15): 1. c 2. b 3. Handel and J.S. Bach 4. a 5. c 6. b 7. b
Picture (page 2): Mount Vesuvius

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.

Print out a certificate for your students who complete the challenge.pdf

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 https://pianoexplorer.net/100-day-challenge/

Music Corner: Encourage students to submit music to Music Corner throughout the year. Music must be a student’s own work although you may help them write it down. It can be hand written or done with a music program. Please keep a copy as we cannot return music. Write the student’s name, age, address, and teacher’s name plus any relevant information about the music on the back of the first page.

Send music to Music Corner, Piano Explorer, 1838 Techny Court, Northbrook, Illinois 60062.