September Teacher’s Guide

With so many teachers only teaching remotely, the spring issues of Piano Explorer were available as pdfs that you can download from this website.

To download pdfs of the March, April, May/June, or July/August issues, please go here.

The fall issues will be mailed as usual to subscribers. Teachers with group subscriptions may request a pdf copy if they are teaching remotely. You must contact us each month to receive an emailed pdf. Please contact us at [email protected].

The September issue features the second place pieces from the recent composition contest. The third place pieces will be printed in October and November.

The featured composer this month is J.S. Bach and the keyboard instruments of his time.

Beginner’s Corner starts with the basics with a look at the distance between notes. This will be expanded upon in upcoming issues.

The article on Five-Finger Patterns continues a series that will lead to students being able to harmonize melodies with simple chords in every key.

The final feature in this issue is an article on how playing and practicing the piano helps people develop patience – something we can all benefit from!

The composer schedule for this year will be as follows:

September: J.S. Bach
October: Mussorgsky
November: Clementi
December: Stravinsky
January: Haydn
February: Robert and Clara Schumann
March: Berlioz
April: Liszt
May/June: Tchaikovsky
July/August: Gershwin

There will be additional shorter profiles of composers and musicians throughout the year.
Schedule is subject to change.

Answers to September Puzzles

Crossword Puzzle (page 5)

Exercise (page 9)
1. a  2. d 3. circle the first two notes in m. 4  4. a  5. 6

Word Scramble (page 11)
Classical, Romantic, Baroque
Answer: MUSIC

Quiz (page 15)
1. b 2. b (note: they often had a small orchestra accompanying them, but they were written for singers.) 3. c  4. b  5. b  6. a  7. a  8. c

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 or Adjust Subscription Numbers

You can adjust group numbers or renew your subscription at any point during the year. We will prorate your subscription, and you only pay for the issues you receive.

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


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 is announced each year in the January issue and on the website. The deadline is usually in early March. Note you must subscribe to Piano Explorer to submit a composition.

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.