Scales and Transposition: An Invitation for Improvisation

Playing 5-finger scales has significant value for early-level pianists. Randall demonstrates how this innovative book helps students chart progress through all major and minor 5-finger scales, cross-hand arpeggios, and primary chords. Engaging teacher duets for each key are used for scale exercises. Students also enjoy improvisation activities for each key with creative prompts to inspire imagery, character, and tempo. From Scale and Chord Book 1, page 8.

4 Responses to “Scales and Transposition: An Invitation for Improvisation”

  1. Caroline October 3, 2017 at 8:18 am #

    Thank you for sharing! Im very interested in offering more improvisation opportunities and of having a book that offers such opportunities in all keys! I will look into the book later today when at a local music store. I probably misunderstood or did not see correctly but was wondering if the RH was playing the leading tone of the scale while the lesson was on the 5-finger scale?

  2. Betsy Henrichs October 3, 2017 at 11:41 am #

    Hi Caroline, Thanks for your question! This video highlights the improvisation activities you can teach using 5-finger scales, as found in Scale and Chord Book 1. Here, Randall demonstrates how the right hand can improvise using all the tones in a 5-finger scale, while the left hand is playing the teacher duet part. This imparts a very pleasing set of sounds, and encourages to student to explore and develop a unique musical voice using 5-finger improvisation. It also helps students gain a deeper understanding of each pitch or tone, relative to other tones within an easier context of the 5-finger scale.

  3. Meya Fitzgerald October 5, 2017 at 8:37 am #

    I LOVE, LOVE this book and have used it with every student ever since it was introduced to me a couple of years ago. It is the most comprehensive, engaging book on introducing improvisation, transposition, and the circle of 5ths that I have ever seen. I love the bonding that comes with the student as we play their improvisation creation together with the duet, and boy do they ever feel smart when they can transpose! We continue to use the book when completed, by going back and placing small colorful stickers on the front of each key signature, when they master the whole scale in the circle of fifths. I will rave about this book forever, and can never thank Randall and Nancy enough for putting it together. It is such an inspired work. All of their work lay teaching concepts out so successfully for me the teacher, and transfer a great sense of understanding and accomplishment to my students.

  4. Marilyn Henry November 28, 2017 at 9:16 pm #

    I thought this was just “another scale book” and why did I need it, when I teach the pentascales by patterns? I randomly used it with an adult student and found the joy and beauty in the teacher accompaniments. I will be using it often in the future!