Prescription for Scale Sickness

I could totally relate to this comment that Mindy left on Monday’s Teaching Scales post and I’m sure that many others can as well!

But truth be told, I am sick to death of teaching scales. It’s not that I don’t think it is important, I do. I am just lacking incentive to go at it again with my students. They are in shock! Perhaps I need to rethink my approach and we will all be more successful. I’d take any incentive ideas you have for getting through all the scales.

So I thought maybe we could do some brainstorming and share ideas of ways to make learning all the scales more exciting. I’ll start with a few that come to mind:

* For starters, I include this scale and chord progress chart in my students’ assignment books each year. This helps us at least keep track of what scales they’ve learned.

* Plan a fun Olympic event centered on scales. Give the students a designated number of weeks to learn as many scales as possible and then place them on teams and have them compete against each other in a scale relay. You can watch a video from one of my piano camps where we did this. Here’s a post with a more detailed explanation.

* Make several sets of scale blocks and focus more on the theory-side of constructing scales for a while. You could teach the major and/or minor scale patterns and then have them close their eyes and draw out a block from the jar. Then time them to see how fast they can construct that scale. You could post the times or just record them in their assignment book to see if they can improve their times from week to week.

I’m sure there are tons of ideas that can help us incorporate scales into lessons in a way that we don’t become sick of them. Feel free to leave your ideas below or post them on your blog and link back to them! This should be fun!

Share and enjoy!

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