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Re: Introducing all Scales, Arpeggios, Chords, and Cadences
AZNpiano #2842821 04/27/19 04:07 AM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
[quote=RyanThePianist]
Do you have students who struggle with pentascales? I have a kid who transferred to me from a kiddie program two years ago, and she still can't play pentascales correctly. Do you use any interesting strategies?


To give you a bit of context, nearly all my students started with me. The ones who didn't, about 7 students, took lessons for a few months with another teacher or a "music school" but the parent pulled them out because they wanted a less cookie cutter education or wanted a quiet private setting, so they basically started with me as well. For the "transfer wrecks" who took lessons for a few years, I had to basically start from Express Book 1 or 2 unless they were early intermediate level students playing Sonatinas.

Now to begin answering your question. I introduce the C pentascale by rote just a bit before Alfred Premier formally introduces them in book 2A. Thus, I introduce pentascales in the middle of 1B or towards the end of the first Express Book. I find starting them early is the key, and with separate hands.

I want to elaborate more on the 7 year old girl who I mentioned could play B Major Scale one octave hands together. I spend 4-5 days a week with her for 45-60 minutes because of practice sessions I offer, so her progress is entirely because of me. Before we got to the pentascales in the 2A book, she was playing one handed white key pentascales for about 2 months. After constant reminders about no overlaps in sound, curved fingers, loose level wrists, and counting, she easily put both hands together. It also helps that she loves piano and has parents who can afford so much time with me.

The same process worked with Junior Hanon exercise 1 with her just recently. She did hands separate for 1 month, and just recently she played two hands together simply because she was bored and decided to, and hey it was pretty good!

Same process for B Major, which was taught before the Hanon.

My other students learn similarly, though with more or less technical problems such as stiff wrists, flying fingers, etc. which I try to fix asap. I require these students to practice white key pentascales hand separate every day at home and I see their progress every week. I also require they memorize them because... well, it's not too hard to memorize.

So no, I don't have the most "interesting" strategies... but simply hands separate for a long time seems to work. In my opinion, Alfred Premier introduces pentascales way too fast in the sense that many songs begin to involve pentascales in Lesson 2A out of nowhere... just look at "Bartok's Study" and "Shadows". I find it better to start early.

Last edited by RyanThePianist; 04/27/19 04:11 AM.

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Re: Introducing all Scales, Arpeggios, Chords, and Cadences
RyanThePianist #2842871 04/27/19 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by RyanThePianist

I want to elaborate more on the 7 year old girl who I mentioned could play B Major Scale one octave hands together. I spend 4-5 days a week with her for 45-60 minutes because of practice sessions I offer, so her progress is entirely because of me.
...
So no, I don't have the most "interesting" strategies.


I think 45-60 minutes 4-5 days each week is a pretty interesting strategy!


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Re: Introducing all Scales, Arpeggios, Chords, and Cadences
RyanThePianist #2842936 04/27/19 11:13 AM
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Yup. They would do every day if my schedule allowed. She's basically 3-4 students in one haha. She advances noticeably faster than the students around her age, she sightreads every practice, and her technique is solid.


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Re: Introducing all Scales, Arpeggios, Chords, and Cadences
RyanThePianist #2842998 04/27/19 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by RyanThePianist
I want to elaborate more on the 7 year old girl who I mentioned could play B Major Scale one octave hands together. I spend 4-5 days a week with her for 45-60 minutes because of practice sessions I offer, so her progress is entirely because of me.

I'm going to quote you on that. Several of my students need this, and obviously their parents can afford to do so.

I have a couple of students who have two lessons a week, and they progress SO MUCH faster than the other little ones.

In contrast, I have a pair of siblings who split a 30-minute lessons, so I see them 15 minutes per week. You can guess how poorly they play. It's like their parents aren't willing to invest the time or energy or money.


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Re: Introducing all Scales, Arpeggios, Chords, and Cadences
RyanThePianist #2843101 04/28/19 02:31 AM
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Thanks AZNpiano. Ouch. I wouldn't even accept split 30 min lessons. I recently had to talk to a family of a pair of siblings saying 30 min was not enough for the 9 year old because it was too easy for him. I barely had enough time to introduce new material too. I can't imagine 15 min lesson per kid... they must learn... 2 kiddie songs a month.

I require parents of students ages 4-7 to sit in during lessons so they know how to guide their child at home. I even text "Practice Guidelines" each week to these families. It's a bit extra work, but these kids progress decently and families are happy. My practice sesh 7 year old progresses way faster than these students still.

Also, I notice around 7+ is when kids want to practice on their own without their parents, haha.

Last edited by RyanThePianist; 04/28/19 02:31 AM.

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Re: Introducing all Scales, Arpeggios, Chords, and Cadences
TimR #2843148 04/28/19 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by TimR
Originally Posted by Groove On
Originally Posted by cmb13
You should try the cardiologist's diet: "If it tastes good, spit it out"

By extension, you could say musically "if it sounds good, don't practice it". ... oooh sounds so evil ... grin


The local jazz professor near here often says "if it sounds good, you're not practicing. You're showing off. Stop showing off and start practicing."


More off topic than cooking............

Yesterday our trombone choir did a concert in the local library. (I asked if I should bring a mute. Eyes rolled.) That professor showed up, and he's a virtuoso player. And............he sat down next to me and played the same part. I found it a bit intimidating.


gotta go practice
Re: Introducing all Scales, Arpeggios, Chords, and Cadences
malkin #2843424 04/29/19 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by malkin
Originally Posted by RyanThePianist

I want to elaborate more on the 7 year old girl who I mentioned could play B Major Scale one octave hands together. I spend 4-5 days a week with her for 45-60 minutes because of practice sessions I offer, so her progress is entirely because of me.
...
So no, I don't have the most "interesting" strategies.


I think 45-60 minutes 4-5 days each week is a pretty interesting strategy!
The legendary Bernhard of PianoStreet advocated this. Not everyone has the time or the money, though....


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Re: Introducing all Scales, Arpeggios, Chords, and Cadences
Stubbie #2843436 04/29/19 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Stubbie
Originally Posted by malkin
Originally Posted by RyanThePianist

I want to elaborate more on the 7 year old girl who I mentioned could play B Major Scale one octave hands together. I spend 4-5 days a week with her for 45-60 minutes because of practice sessions I offer, so her progress is entirely because of me.
...
So no, I don't have the most "interesting" strategies.


I think 45-60 minutes 4-5 days each week is a pretty interesting strategy!
The legendary Bernhard of PianoStreet advocated this. Not everyone has the time or the money, though....


This is the formula used at piano camp: 60 min private lesson daily; master classes in the evening. Awesome! Wish it could be my normal routine.... alas, lack of both time and money


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Re: Introducing all Scales, Arpeggios, Chords, and Cadences
dogperson #2843452 04/29/19 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by Stubbie
Originally Posted by malkin
I think 45-60 minutes 4-5 days each week is a pretty interesting strategy!
The legendary Bernhard of PianoStreet advocated this. Not everyone has the time or the money, though....
This is the formula used at piano camp: 60 min private lesson daily; master classes in the evening. Awesome! Wish it could be my normal routine.... alas, lack of both time and money

I do two 45-min lessons a week. I don't think I practice enough for much more lesson time to be fruitful, although I could see in a future edition of my piano lessons asking my teacher to extend to 2x60mins instead of 2x45mins. This is assuming I can get back on the wagon with practicing, which was temporarily derailed by a pinky sprain from the dreaded 'collapsing pinky' phenomena.


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