One of my new year’s resolutions for my teaching was to get more consistent about scales. All my students practice scales (whether they’re in the exam system or not) but I wanted a way to keep track of all their progress. Scale level charts seemed the perfect way to track this in my students’ folders.
This new system had to be quick and easy to use. It also needed to have clear guidelines, so I would know exactly where each student was in their technical work. Plus I wanted to leave room to review each scale several times for better retention.
Scale Level Charts
Thus these scale level charts were born! There are 7 levels, each one with a circle of fifths to track progress, and accompanying blank keyboard worksheets for students to fill in finger numbers on the keys.
This how I divided up the scale levels:
- Pentascale Level 1: Pentascale Star
- Major pentascales in every key
- Pentascale Level 2: Pentascale Hero
- Minor pentascales in every key
- Scale Level 1: Scale Apprentice
- One octave major scales in every key
- Scale Level 2: Scale Scholar
- One octave minor scales in every key
- Scale Level 3: Scale Ninja
- Two octave major scales in every key
- Scale Level 4: Scale Superstar
- Two octave minor scales in every key
- Scale Level 5: Scale Master
- Three octave major and minor scales with staff worksheets.
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I have three circles under each key signature. The scale is passed once it gets a tick (or a sticker for the younger students) for the scale at three different lessons. This makes sure its really gone in, and not just crammed directly before their lesson time!
How do you approach scales in your studio?
Do you have a system like this? Or are you more random in your approach?
Do you wish you had a levelled system for intervallic reading?
Interval Wizard cards split reading by intervals into 8 different levels. Piano students always want to practice these cards so they can level up – and by the time they reach level 8 they’ll be interval pros! Check out the Interval Wizard cards and see if they might be a good fit for your studio.