Do your students ever come back to a lesson and say they forgot how to play a particular scale? Perhaps even though you’ve written it down for them, or they have a scales book to look at?
That’s the problem I wanted to solve when I set out to create these scale practice videos and the accompanying printable.
I love being able to send my Piano Safari students to the reminder videos they can use at home. These are especially fantastic if the parents have never played music themselves.
So, I decided it would be great to have something similar for scales. I searched around YouTube but nothing was available in the simple style I wanted.
And if I can’t find something…I figure other teachers might be searching too. Thus, these scale practice reminder videos were born.
While I was at it, I also created some matching scale practice graphics which you can download below.
How to Use the Booklets
There are many ways you can use these scale graphics. Here are just a few examples:
- Print the whole booklet to include in your student’s practice folder/binder.
- Print the booklet on card/cardstock, cut around each box and keep them as reference cards in your studio or for your student to have at home.
- Give your student one page or one scale at a time and send their parents a link to the corresponding video (on the Colourful Keys YouTube channel) so that they can figure out a new scale, or remind themselves of an old one in their practice time.
- This booklet can also be used to assist students as they work towards the scale levels.
Use these graphics in any way that’s useful and fits your style. There are no “wrong” methods as long as it’s helpful for you and your students. 🙂
Download the Scales Booklets & Worksheet
Enter your details here and I’ll send you four printables: major pentascales, major scales, harmonic minor scales and a blank scale worksheet. How’s that for a bounty?!
How to Use the Reminder Videos
These videos (or complete playlists) can be sent to anyone you wish. Send a YouTube link to your adult students, piano parents or a child-minder who helps with practice. Make sure your student has access to the video so that they can never again say that they just “forgot” how a scale goes.
You may also wish to use these at your studio during lab or practice time if you do overlapping lessons.
The major pentascales are the first set of scales many of my students will learn. When I thought about making these reminder videos, and what I wanted to do differently than other videos – I knew I wanted them to be non-legato.
The wonderful creators of Piano Safari have fully indoctrinated me into a legato later approach to beginning technique. Rushing legato playing often leads to collapsed fingertips and a lack of arm weight, among other problems.
Each of these videos shows the keyboard layout of the pentascale, not on the staff. Most students who are working on pentascales are not at the stage where staff notation would be a useful aid. It would only be distracting.
I have not made reminder videos for the minor pentascales because I do not want my students to remember these as patterns. I prefer my students to think of the major pentascale, and then drop the 3rd to create the minor.
Each major scale is shown in the graphic at the start of the video on the staff and the keyboard. Different students will respond better or get more clarity from these two ways of looking at the scale.
I then show the scale on the keyboard, pointing out the starting finger in each hand if it is a non-standard fingering.
I show the scale in each hand and then similar and contrary motion as this is the requirement for the Scale Apprentice challenge. Feel free to tell your student to ignore the contrary motion if they are not doing this yet.
Harmonic Minor Scales
Although I do teach my students about the natural minor scales first, the harmonic minors are the first one they will need for exams and also for the Scale Scholar challenge. So it was more important to me to have reminder videos for those than any other minor scales.
In each video you will see the staff notation and keyboard notation, followed by me playing the scale. I point out the relative major and the sharps/flats from the key signature before playing in order to emphasise this relationship.
Download the Scales Booklets & Worksheet
Enter your details here and I’ll send you the major pentascales, major scales, harmonic minor scales and a blank scale worksheet.
I hope you find these reminder videos and the freebies helpful. Let me know if you have any questions in the Vibrant Music Studio Teachers group on Facebook.