Click to the newly updated PreTime to BigTime Piano Library--VIDEOS, song lists, and more!
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >
Topic Options
#27604 - 09/17/03 09:34 AM Practicing Scales
Carole Offline
Star Member

Registered: 06/08/00
Posts: 2225
Loc: southern California
I assign them and I hear them at every lesson, but almost always I can tell that they have not been practiced or very little. I tried the scale boardgame suggested on Practicespotand I have made charts, but nothing seems to motivate them to practice. Do you all have the same problem or do you know something I don't? Any help would be appreciated! (I also can't get them to do hands together-they prefer HS :rolleyes: . Thanks.

Top
#27605 - 09/17/03 12:50 PM Re: Practicing Scales
unreal Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 06/23/03
Posts: 939
Loc: CA
I assign them and hear them at every lesson too. I guess I just know that some will practice them and some won't. Sorry that's no help at all. Actually though, the kids who do CM or Guild will practice at least the minimum required for their level, if not more--maybe these evaluations are the answer. As for hands together, I use Roy Bogas' scale fingering which is found in the California Certificate of Merit syllabus, or I could post it if anyone's interested. His fingering is MUCH easier than traditional, and hands together is not very hard at all. All CM judges are supposed to be familiar with it, and all Guild judges I've had are fine with it. But fingering printed in books and pieces conforms to traditional fingering, so I have to rework the fingering in any piece which has hands together scales in it. Well worth the effort though, IMO.

[ 09-17-2003: Message edited by: unreal ]

Top
#27606 - 09/17/03 01:00 PM Re: Practicing Scales
Jalapeņa Offline
Star Member

Registered: 02/20/03
Posts: 1143
Loc: New Mexico
My piano teacher assigned pieces that contained scale passages in them. She also made me play a scale before playing a piece. Always. Every piano lesson. For years & years. No joke. Before I could play a piece for her, she'd ask me what key the piece was written in, then make me play that scale.

The "scale book" my teacher assigned was the good ol' Hanon Complete book, Schirmer edition. She made me memorize all the scales & play them for her during lesson time. Of course, I practiced them because I knew she was going to ask me to play them.

Beats me why today's generation of piano students don't practice scales... but that doesn't mean they don't have to learn them! I hope the above-mentioned ideas help. I don't know what else to suggest.

BTW, it doesn't make any difference whether your students prefer HS or HT. They need to play the scales the way you ask them to play them. Period. Case closed.

Aren't I nice? ;\) \:D

[ 09-17-2003: Message edited by: Jalapeņa ]

Top
#27607 - 09/17/03 03:35 PM Re: Practicing Scales
Arlene Steffen Offline
Star Member

Registered: 06/20/00
Posts: 2972
Loc: Fresno, CA USA
I actually don't teach scales HS. Right from the start, they are HT. However, I have a repertoire of preparation things that I do so that this is successful. I have little fingering games involving the crossover points for the Rule I scales; we block the Rule III scales (which I usually use as their first scales) and we have stop/start games for the Rule II group.

I also hear them at every lesson and make sure that I assign something very specific about the scale (not just "play the A major scale this week"). I always give them something specific to listen for (isn't that the real point in assigning them in the first place? We use them in repertoire and they must sound good?).

There are some who practice scales less than others, but I would say that all of my students practice their scales. I think it helps them if they see their usefulness -- not just because I said so. I make sure we use them in some way during the lesson -- repertoire, improvising or for teaching some kind of articulation.

I personally don't like to practice scales, so I do everything I can to make them interesting. Try to think of as many different ways you can practice them and pass that on to your students. Don't expect them to be excited about it (I never was), but they may be more willing to do them.

Top
#27608 - 09/18/03 11:56 AM Re: Practicing Scales
Jalapeņa Offline
Star Member

Registered: 02/20/03
Posts: 1143
Loc: New Mexico
What better way to get students to understand the usefulness of scales than to assign repertoire pieces that contain scale passages? ;\) \:D

FWIW, Piano Kid loves the Incredible Scales board game created by Philip Johnston, but she liked practicing scales long before I introduced that game to her... maybe because I practice them.

Top
#27609 - 09/23/03 11:48 AM Re: Practicing Scales
lynn Offline
Contributing Member

Registered: 06/11/03
Posts: 21
Loc: TN
I, like Arlene, only teach scales HT from the beginning. Also start everyone with B, F#, and C# to get over fear of black keys and scales. BUT I'd love to know, Unreal, this California alternate fingering. Even with Jane Tan's method of teaching them, some flounder a bit. But of course, enough PRACTICE would also solve the problem! \:\(

Top
#27610 - 09/23/03 04:18 PM Re: Practicing Scales
pianoannie Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 07/20/01
Posts: 946
Loc: midwest USA
For those of you who teach scales HT from the beginning, have you already done a lot of prep work, as far as the thumb crossing? I do that, of course, but I still teach HS scales first, and even after a couple of weeks of HS, some kids (not most, thankfully), have a hard time getting HT. I'm wondering how you do it from the get-go?

Top
#27611 - 09/23/03 06:36 PM Re: Practicing Scales
Lisa Kalmar Offline
Star Member

Registered: 04/10/00
Posts: 4277
Loc: KC
 Quote:
Originally posted by pianoannie:
For those of you who teach scales HT from the beginning, I'm wondering how you do it from the get-go?


1. First, teach TWO octave from the very beginning. Much more value pedagogically, but I'm too tired to elaborate right now.

2. Start out with them practicing "paint rollers" for a week. Example: For C scale, RH, they would play middle C and then glide the hand up to high C (played) and then back down again. The emphasis is on the lateral movement and the gliding. Telling them the ultimate goal for a scale is a zipper works pretty well. Then practice hands together.

3. They then need to memorize the fingering for each hand separately, first chanting it (very important they do it OUT LOUD & quickly without a "bump") and then playing it on a tabletop or the fallboard with the same free lateral/paint roller gesture.

4. Then you're ready to put hands together, but I would start with B first, then F#, since the fingering has the thumbs at the same time. After that, I don't care about hands together from the very beginning and hands separate is OK. If they practice using the above steps the hands will go together quickly.

Top
#27612 - 09/23/03 09:26 PM Re: Practicing Scales
unreal Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 06/23/03
Posts: 939
Loc: CA
Roy Bogas' "universal scale fingering," included in the CM syllabus:
As mentioned in other posts, start with B, F# and C#/Db, as thumbs play together in these scales. Notice that in Db, the thumbs go on F and C. For F, Bb, Eb and Ab, ALSO play the thumbs together on F and C. In addition to the thumbs playing together, the 234 finger groups play together, always on or around the 3-black key group, and the 23 finger groups play on or around the 2-black key group. The same fingering works for all forms of the parallel minors too, but you'll play thumbs on E & B in the sharp-key minors. The RH fingering is the same as traditional, you're just adapting the LH to match up the thumbs and finger groups. You can't believe how much easier it is to play these so-called "hard" scales with this fingering. I show it to transfer students who've already learned some of them and they heave a sigh of relief that they really aren't so hard after all.

The other scale group is C,G,D,A,E,F. (F shows up in both groups.) On these scales, you play the thumbs on the 1st and 5th notes of the scale. F is already fingered that way anyway. So the RH plays 12341231 instead of 12312345--LH plays 14321321, which is traditional, except you start with the thumb instead of the pinkie. You simply adapt the RH to match up the thumbs and finger groups. Again, all forms of the parallel minors use the same fingering. A big advantage here is that all the little changes you make to go from natural to harmonic to melodic minor happen with fingers 23--and the "split" in harmonic minor is very comfortable with RH 23 instead of the more awkward 34 that the RH traditionally plays.

It seems a little long to explain, but it is really easy to learn, and it reduces the fingerings you have to memorize to 2!! I'm totally sold on it, and teach it to everyone, beginners and advanced alike, HT right from the start. When a single-hand scale shows up in a sonatina or wherever, you can use traditional or universal fingering, whichever seems to work best.

Top
#27613 - 09/24/03 06:51 AM Re: Practicing Scales
Lisa Kalmar Offline
Star Member

Registered: 04/10/00
Posts: 4277
Loc: KC
I think that was how my piano teacher retaught us scales after she went to a workshop back in the 70's. This was back in the Dark Ages, btw. :rolleyes: I remember she called it the "Lawless" method and I was never sure if it was a person's name or a reference to the method itself, ha.

When I got to college and started "serious" study I had to go back and relearn the old fingerings again because it didn't/doesn't translate to literature as well. It IS easier to teach to students, but, and this is just my opinion that I'm throwing out & not wishing to debate, I'm not sold that it's a better prep for literature. What they will need in a Beethoven sonata dictates how I teach scales in the long run, I guess, but maybe there's something wrong with moi that I couldn't translate it to lit.....

[ 09-24-2003: Message edited by: Lisa Kalmar ]

Top
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >


Moderator:  Archivist 
Search

Recent Posts
Welcome to the new online guide!
by DonnaH
04/19/14 11:01 PM
Bridal Chorus level 2
by MeriD
04/19/14 05:26 PM
Supplements
by FreyaLewis
04/18/14 07:38 AM
Please help me find this duet.
by FreyaLewis
04/18/14 07:34 AM
How do you organize or store the duet downloads?
by FreyaLewis
04/18/14 07:33 AM
Duets for pre-staff beginners
by Meghan
04/16/14 11:07 PM
Children who make themselves at home
by DonnaH
04/16/14 09:55 PM
Group make-up lessons
by AmyEliz
04/15/14 12:24 PM
How much improvising should you let student do?
by Christi
04/12/14 10:05 PM
Song Suggestions
by Jennifer
04/09/14 03:08 PM
Top Posters (Last 30 Days)
12
DonnaH
11
Jennifer
11
Lindy
6
pianojazzgirl
5
EllaCat
5
SharonAdelle
4
FreyaLewis
3
ransomed
3
AshleyJane
3
alidoremi
Newest Members
Meghan, Tempo48, FreyaLewis, Sophi Viola, reblyn811
2460 Registered Users
Forum Stats
2460 Members
46 Forums
5589 Topics
62124 Posts

Max Online: 273 @ 01/14/13 12:57 PM