Although young musicians may believe scales to be a fishy way to spend time during a lesson, we as teachers know it’s important to hook them into a scale routine as early as possible. The Royal Conservatory Music Development Program and other esteemed assessment exams around the world include levels of achievement in scales, chords and arpeggios as part of their syllabi. Although all agree that mastering scales is crucial to developing a rock solid musician, it doesn't make practicing technical patterns any more appealing or easy to play.
Enter Piano Maestro. The student appealing app that successfully builds sight-reading skills has just expanded the scale library with the additions of harmonic and melodic minor and two-octave scales! This makes Piano Maestro a perfect companion for those training for assessment programs. Download Piano Maestro Now.
Help Students Master Piano Scales
Interested in teaming up with Piano Maestro to introduce scale playing in your studio? Here are some ideas:
- Ensure that students hear and discern the difference between the two at the lesson with various ear training drills.
- Integrating the theory behind scales will help students transfer this understanding to any key. Ask students to memorize where the half steps occur between scale degrees by memorizing the major scale code: 34-78.
- As a scale is played, name the keys aloud. Ex: G A B C D E F# G
- Unlock the fingering required for scales—most follow a 123 1234 pattern.
- Encourage students to keep a rounded hand position and a steady pulse. Repeat the top note to maintain a steady 4/4 meter in preparation for playing along with Piano Maestro.
Piano Maestro Assignment Hands Alone
1) Warm Up in Learn Mode, then earn three gold stars in Regular Mode
2) Major Scale Steps, Right Hand in Learn Mode, then earn three gold stars in Regular Mode
3) Repeat with Left Hand
Piano Maestro Assignment Hands In Contrary Motion
1) Major Scale Steps, Both Hands, Mirror Movement with Tempo and Hold On assists
2) Major Scale Steps, Both Hands Mirror Movement, no assists, earning three gold stars
Piano Maestro Assignment In Parallel Motion
1) Scale Warm Up – Both Hands Parallel in Learn Mode
2) Scale Warm Up – Both Hands in Parallel, no assists, earning three gold stars
Teaming up with Piano Maestro to aid scale mastery could be included during the lesson, or at home IF your student owns an iPad. However, you might consider offering a Music Tech Time before or after your students’ lesson time to guarantee assignments are completed. Students quickly learn their way around the app, could complete the assigned tasks independently AND improve their scale playing saving precious lesson time for repertoire and creativity.
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