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#944911 - 10/18/05 01:33 PM introducing scales  
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 43
ghelene Offline
Full Member
ghelene  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 43
Toronto
because i have a lot of younger students, i'd like to ask other teachers/pianists out there how they've gone about introducing scales to their students.

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#944912 - 10/19/05 11:14 AM Re: introducing scales  
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,919
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Chris H.  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,919
UK.
I start by teaching tetrachords eg CDEF using the pattern Tone-Tone-Semitone to work them out. They start on C and work each one out in the following order:
CDEF
GABC
DEF#G
ABC#D
EF#G#A
BC#D#E
They then play each tetrachord using right hand fingers 1-2-3-1, and then also with fingers 2-3-4-5.
We then do FGABb using just 1-2-3-4
and F#G#A#B using just 2-3-4-5
They can then play a one octave major scale on each white key with their right hand. The same process can be done with left hand (obviously some alteration to fingerings) and eventually we add another octave and those on black keys.
This can be done with surprisingly young children. If they learn ALL the scales quite quickly they enjoy knowing scales usualy reserved for high grade students (eg. F# major) and it avoids the problem of them finding certain keys or scales intimidating.


Pianist and piano teacher.
#944913 - 10/19/05 11:37 AM Re: introducing scales  
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 2,052
8ude Offline
2000 Post Club Member
8ude  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 2,052
Chris has good advice. I don't have much in the way of teaching experience, but one thing I would do is not avoid the "advanced" scales in the beginning. That's not to say that you shouldn't start with the easier ones, but I know plenty of beginner students who were "afraid" of the more advanced ones. There's nothing conceptually harder about them - in fact I find them easier.

In teaching me scales, my teacher told me how Chopin would teach his students C major last, because he found it the hardest. While I don't know if I'd go to that extreme, I can kind of see his point - with C major you're "lost in a sea of white". Other keys have black notes interspersed which can act as "markers" to help you know where you are. For example, with E major RH ascending, you always tuck the thumb when you're moving from a black key to a white key - simple.

Even now, I find the keys with lots of black notes to be easier when it comes to scales.


What you are is an accident of birth. What I am, I am through my own efforts. There have been a thousand princes and there will be a thousand more. There is one Beethoven.
#944914 - 10/19/05 04:44 PM Re: introducing scales  
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 431
musiclady Offline
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musiclady  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 431
Toronto, Canada
For piano students, I start scales by first showing them the concept of tucking the thumb under the fingers away from the piano, using 2,3, and 4 as the crossing fingers, then introducing one-octave scales for the level they are preparing for, then move to two-octave scales (and the 1 under 4).

Meri


Clarinet and Piano Teacher based out of Toronto, Canada.Web: http://donmillsmusicstudio.weebly.com

Moderated by  Ken Knapp 

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