Do scales seem to take up too much of your lesson time? I’m going to rescue some of that time back for you by making your students’ scale practice more efficient.
Do your students claim that scales are BORING? I promise you’ll never hear that again if you use these fun ideas for teaching piano scales.
This week I’m flipping two more scales – the D major scale and the F major scale. If you haven’t been following the flipped music theory series so far, it’s all about saving you lesson time so that you get to do more fun things than just explaining music theory.
So once your students have watched these videos for homework, you’re ready to do some awesome things during lesson to solidify the concepts.
And I’ve got a whole list of scale review activities for you to use that time for! These ideas will work great for any scales you want to review – and they might just make scales you and your student’s favourite bit of the lesson for a change. 😉
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Get Creative with the MusiClock App
I first heard about this app on Tim Topham’s site. That was a while ago but I’ve only really been getting into using it more regularly lately. It’s so much fun, the kids absolutely LOVE this app!
I made a quick demo video to show you the kind of things you can use this app for and how it works. There’s tons of possibilities, but this should give you an idea of what you might do with this in lessons.
Piano Maestro App Scales Drills
I’m sure you’ve heard of Piano Maestro. But not everyone realises there’s a whole section on there with scales in every key and lots of different permutations.
To get to this screen in Piano Maestro click on “library” then “exercises”. From there you can select the type of scales and change the keys on each one by tapping on it and using the dropdown menu.
Since Piano Maestro is often a reward saved for the end of the lesson – kids are super jazzed when I bring it out at the start to practice their scales with. They might not even notice that this is still scale practice. Fabulously sneaky. 😉
Black and White Blocks
I came across the idea for these blocks through Mrs Miracle’s Musical Room while surfing Pinterest. What a great manipulative to add to my collection! I really like the simple black and white design matching the piano keys.
You can use these blocks to review scales in private lessons quick-fire quiz style. Or you could use them in groups and get teams to build as many different scales as they can in under a minute.
I made my set by painting foam dice like these ones. I painted a white undercoat, then the white and black backgrounds. When they were dry I used tracing paper to transfer the letter outlines and then paint markers to colour the actual letters.
I was happy to spend a while putting these together because of how adaptable they are. I’ll definitely be using these for much more than just scales!
If you’re drilling scales for an exam or other test you’ll need your student to randomise their scale practice. This is THE solution. It’s fun, fast, and effective.
I have written about scale spinners before here and shared a blank template so you can make your own. If you’re not in particularly crafty mood though, there is another solution: the Decide Now app.
I only recently discovered that you can also deactivate the options as you go so they don’t get repeated. I already loved this app but now my love goes even deeper.
Now you can’t say you don’t have a better option than just following the syllabus list in order. Get spinning!
Even More Scale Practice Ideas
If you need more ways to practice scales – you’re in luck! I wrote this post, Making Scales Stick: 7 Ways to Practice Scales, a little while back and it obviously hit a chord.
This is one of the most shared pages on my site. Teachers absolutely love these tips and hopefully you’ll find a new idea or two there too. Anytime I get in a scale rut, that’s the list I could back to to spice it up again. 🙂
Piano Scales Flipped Learning Videos
In these videos, I walk students quickly and simply through the D major scale and F major scale. Feel free to send these videos to parents for their kids to watch, use it in group lessons or as part of lab time.
These videos are designed to be clear and concise so that students can watch them – and then get on with some writing work for reinforcement. Saving you time to do fun activities during the lesson time.
More Flipped Thinking Theory
If you liked this music theory video, you might also like these others:
- Flipped Basic Note Values
- Flipped Beginning Solfa
- Flip and Gameify Landmark Notes
- Flipped Time Signatures
- Flipped Note & Rest Values
- Flipped Dynamics
- Flipped Accidentals, Tones & Semitones
- Flipped Articulation Marks
- Flipped C and G Major Scales
- Flipped Tempo Marks
- Flipped Ledger Line Landmark Notes
- Flipped Intermediate Note Values
- Flipped Note Stem Rules
- Flipped Solfa Scale Singing
Do you have any fun ways of teaching piano scales?
I’m always on the lookout for new ideas! Post your scale review activities in the comments or in the Vibrant Music Studio Teachers community on Facebook.