Past Issue: July/August Student Page

100-day Challenge

Keep working on your practice charts. You can still do this challenge.
Start at any time! Download this chart or make your own.

100 Day Challenge PDF

Students who have completed the 100-day practice chart

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Composer of the month

Johann Sebastian Bach


Brandenburg Concerto #3, Mvt. 1


Lang Lang performing Bach’s The Well-Tempered Clavier: Book 1,  Prelude C Major, BWV 846


Cantata BWV 29 – Wir danken dir, Gott, wir danken dir (We thank you, God, we thank you)

Bach wrote this in 1731 for four vocal parts plus an orchestra with strings, trumpets, timpani, oboes and organ.


Famous cellist Yo-Yo Ma playing Bach’s Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major, BWV 1007, Prélude


Baroque Keyboard Instruments

When Bach was 18 years old (in 1703), he was asked to test this new organ in Arnstadt, Germany. They were so impressed by his playing that they hired him as an organist.

This piece is a Bach violin partita being played on a replica (recreation) of clavichord built around 1670. The clavichord is a softer keyboard instrument.

This is Bach’s Sonata No. 4 in E minor played on an instrument called a pedal clavichord. This means that it had an extra keyboard played by the feet with pedals for the lower notes. Clavichords usually had only one keyboard, but sometimes they were stacked (as is shown here) so the musican could play more notes.

Bach’s Concerto for Three Harpsichords in D minor, BWV 1063, with string accompaniment, performed by the Netherlands Bach Society.

2020 Composition Contest Winners

Congratulations to everyone who participated. Your pieces were great! Hundreds of students sent in compositions about the Arctic and Antarctica with music about penguins, polar bears, walruses, and other animals as well as pieces about the polar landscapes and oceans! As always, it was difficult to pick just a few, but we are pleased to announce the 2020 winners.
Winning Pieces will be printed in upcoming issues.

10 and younger

1st Place:
A Polar Bear’s Lullaby
by Beverly Horton, age 10
Teacher: Terry Doremus

2nd Place:
The Arctic Fox
by Maggie Miller, age 10
Teacher: Jessica Olson

3rd Place (tie):
Arctic Waves
by Jillian Williams, age 9
Teacher: Jessica Olson

3rd Place (tie):

by Harry Graves, age 10
Teacher: Alison Siener Brown

Honorable Mention:
Jumping Arctic Foxes
by David Beamer, age 9
Teacher: Barbara Azevedo

Honorable Mention:
Cold and Beautiful
by Marissa DiChiaro, age 10
Teacher: Mark Raimondi

11 and older

1st Place:
Lullaby of the Northern Lights
by Colleen Leacock, age 16
Teacher: Lydia McCool

2nd Place:
The Penguin Strut!
by Elisa Lipkin, age 17
Teacher: Diana Wan

3rd Place (tie):
by Audrey Schultz, age 11
Teacher: Maggie Casey

3rd Place (tie):
The Groovy Walrus
by Ella Miller, age 13
Teacher Jessica Olson

Honorable Mention:
Waltz of the Polar Bears
by Eli Minasian, age 14
Teacher: Reese Ancheta

Honorable Mention:
Guided by the Northern Lights
by Marina Prikis, age 17
Teacher: Nancy Osborne

Honorable Mention:
A Sled Dog’s Day Off
by Shawn An, age 18
Teacher: Diane W. Higgins