I’m always on the hunt for new scale drills that I can use with my students. As more and more scales get introduced, it’s great to have lots of tricks up your sleeve so piano students don’t mix them up.
These four scale drills are not only fun – they help kids think in a new way about scales. Because they won’t be playing a single note!
Make sure to grab the cheatsheet below too for even more scale practice ideas.
Finger Aloud Scale Drills
When you say the finger numbers out loud, you can’t rely on muscle memory. This is a great exercise for students as it means they’re more likely to remember the fingerings under pressure (such as at a competition or exam).
You may just have to ask them to sit on their hands to stop them from miming the fingerings though!
Note Name Aloud Scale Drills
Similarly to fingering aloud, saying the note names aloud makes the memory and theory knowledge much more concrete. Don’t let your student mime this one either and make sure they say all the sharps and flats.
Mark Out the Scale
What I mean by “mark out” is to use some kind of token to map out the scale on the keys. I like to use my hedgehogs but you could use anything from coins to post-it notes.
Just make sure it’s something that can’t fall in between the keys. You don’t want to have to call your technician… 😉
Draw the Scale
Asking your student to draw the scale on the staff (even if you teach them by rote) is a great exercise. Have your student do each scale with and without key signatures.
And if you want to really test your students, make them write in the fingerings too!
Younger students can still do this, marking the finger numbers on a keyboard instead. In fact, this is part of my pentascale challenges that I do with all my young beginners.
Download the Scale Drills Cheatsheet
In this cheatsheet I’ve included eight fun ideas for scale practice. Scales will never be boring again!
B flat Major Scale Flipped Learning Video
In these videos, I teach students about the B major scale and show the scale on the piano and the staff. 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
- Flipped D & F Major Scales
- Flipped Note Grouping/Beaming
- Flipped Expression Marks
- Flipped Triplets and Two Against Three
Got any more scale drill ideas?
What creative ways do your students practice their scales? Share your thoughts in the Vibrant Music Studio Teachers community on Facebook or in the comments below.