40-Piece Challenge Chart for Piano Students

I just recently found out about the 40 piece challenge that piano teachers from all over the world have been taking part in this year in their studios (I believe it started in Australia?). It’s such a fantastic idea and there’s even a great dedicated website by Hal Leonard here https://40piecechallenge.com.au/.

I immediately took to this idea for a few of my students in particular, and started right away.

40 piece challenge

Why is this so great?

Our society, and piano lessons in particular, can be so focussed on exam success that we forget about teaching the really important things.

What do we want for our piano students? I for one want them to really enjoy music, and feel confident making it. I want them to keep playing piano for the rest of their life, because they love it.

The best parts of the 40 piece challenge to me are:

  • It will improve sight reading as students will simply be reading more repertoire
  • We can explore all different genres of music and types of piano playing such as jazz and pop
  • Student’s will be balancing easier, short term pieces with long term pieces at a higher level
  • It an amazing motivator to practice

How does it work?

Below is the card I use to keep track of my students’ pieces. I staple this inside the front of their notebook and every time a piece is complete (for me that means they can perform it confidently and musically at a decent tempo) I stamp the number with little rubber “Well Done!” that fits perfectly in the place.


Looking for more practice resources?

For more ideas about teaching practice a piece try these posts:

  • Practice Strategy Stickers – A quick and easy way for you to improve the quality of your students practice time.
  • Piano Practice Kits – This is one of the most popular posts on Colourful Keys, with step by step instructions for creating your own practice kits for your students.
  • Effective Piano Practice Series – This series of five blog posts explores strategies for tackling common practice issues such as metronome work, score study and memorisation.
  • Summer Practice Quest – If you want to keep practice going during the summer break check out this free printable.
  • The Challenge Board – My wall of fame keeps piano practice going year round in my studio (even with technical work)

2 thoughts on “40-Piece Challenge Chart for Piano Students”

  1. Fabulous post!

    And yes, the 40 Piece Challenge DID start in Australia – its first manifestation was a 100 Piece Medal – which usually takes students a couple of years to earn… The 40 Piece Challenge was a way of making the challenge an annual event, and has been taken up by teachers all over the world (sometimes in 30 Piece Challenge format, as adapted by Wendy Stevens for the US teaching environment).

    So exciting to see the challenge take root in Ireland!!

  2. Hi Elissa this is really useful – do you sell an editable version of this? I’d like to use it for my students for scales but my ‘landmarks’ will be at different numbers/points on the chart..

    Thanks 🙂


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