Update on Scale Links Project

This spring my students are concentrating on learning and perfecting the major scales and pentascales. The younger students are working to learn all 12 pentascales and the older students are tackling the major scales. Their goal is to not only be able to play them fluently but to know the note names for each scale. Each time a student successfully learns a scale they add a link to their scale chain as shown above. So far, two students are tied for first place with 5 scales!

The biggest challenge so far has been helping students understand that they cannot earn a link on the same day they are introduced to the scale. They have a hard time understanding that just because they can play through the scale does not mean they know it! So, each week at the beginning of the lesson they have to play the scales they already earned links for in addition to any new scale they practiced during the week. This is helping them to realize that they have to stay on top of those scales!

What do you do to encourage students to become fluent in playing scales? Tell us in a comment below!

4 thoughts on “Update on Scale Links Project

  1. I have the same problem with students thinking they could pass of a scale the same day they learn it. I do like that the following week they have play not only the new one but the one’s the passed off. That definitely helps! Something I need to start doing!

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    • Thanks, Jennifer. So glad to know that I’m not the only one facing this with students! I have to say though, it is fun to watch them be so eager to get their task complete. It’s even more rewarding when they come back the following week and nail those scales. Even when they don’t, it is rewarding to see them be determined to get it right the next time!

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  2. This sounds great! Since all of my students are still beginners (most of them started in October or afterwards), I haven’t introduced them to scales yet. I think this is such a fun way to get them motivated! And I totally get you – I have a “motivations list” and sometimes they want to spend the whole lesson doing things on the list so they can check them off, haha.

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    • Thanks, Leia! I decided to introduce scales to even the earliest beginners because I was never introduced to scales until high school. By that time I had been playing for 10 years! Learning scales helped me understand so much about music that I hadn’t understood before. I believe it helps students to get these patterns under their fingers and in their ears early on even if it is just 5-finger scales.

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