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#1248924 - 08/14/09 06:10 AM Scales for the intermediate student...
BSP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/03/07
Posts: 209
Loc: Hudson Valley, NY
Hi,
When I was getting my degree, and had lots of time to practice, I used to challenge myself by playing scales in 2 different keys at once, (i.e., C major in R.H., F major in L.H.). I did this just for *fun* and to shake up my brain a bit. Another reason I did this was because I was trying to get different sounds in my ears, as I was also studying jazz piano. I did this once in the practice rooms.. then a couple of days later I heard someone else doing it.

I wonder if this is something you would try teaching your more advanced students.. those who already know all their scales and were fluent with them?

If not, what do you do to keep your late intermediate students challenged with their scales?

One thing we used to do in our (required) group piano class was to: Play the scale HT 2 octaves ascending parallel motion, 2 octaves contrary motion (R.H. ascending, then descending, L.H. opposite),then 2 octaves descending. The teacher also made us (there were at least 10 of us in the class) each play a different scale as a class (i.e., I'd play C, the person next to me would play F, next to them, Bb, around the cycle of 4ths, etc.). Then he'd discuss Charles Ives. I loved this, but of course, I was easily amused, returning to college f/t as an adult to study music. wink

Please don't flame me.. I really just mean this for fun, since I'm a piano geek. wink
BevP

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#1248975 - 08/14/09 09:20 AM Re: Scales for the intermediate student... [Re: BSP]
Ebony and Ivory Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/05
Posts: 1179
Loc: Minnesota
Flame you? Why?? I think doing that is a great idea!
I like to shake things up too, and keep it from becoming too redundant.
_________________________
It is better to be kind than to be right.

Professional private piano teacher since 1994.

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#1249058 - 08/14/09 11:48 AM Re: Scales for the intermediate student... [Re: Ebony and Ivory]
BSP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/03/07
Posts: 209
Loc: Hudson Valley, NY
Gosh.. thanks!
Why did I think I'd be flamed? I guess I thought it was a somewhat outrageous idea...

Guess I am a geek! LOL
BevP

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#1249064 - 08/14/09 11:54 AM Re: Scales for the intermediate student... [Re: BSP]
Ebony and Ivory Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/05
Posts: 1179
Loc: Minnesota
Well, geek away then cuz I like it smile
_________________________
It is better to be kind than to be right.

Professional private piano teacher since 1994.

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#1249105 - 08/14/09 12:49 PM Re: Scales for the intermediate student... [Re: Ebony and Ivory]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7200
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
My elementary students begin with one octave and advance to two. They learn the scales in this order: C-G-D-A-E-B major, then the same in minor. Next come the five black key major scales followed by the respective parallel minor. By the time they get through the white key majors, the move on to two octaves. My intermediate students are playing all 24 scales in 3 octaves, and my early advanced move up to 4 octaves and add chromatic. Some do contrary motion, a few more dedicated students learn to play the scales in 3rds, 6ths and 10ths.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#1249110 - 08/14/09 12:57 PM Re: Scales for the intermediate student... [Re: BSP]
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10297
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
Originally Posted By: BSP
Gosh.. thanks!
Why did I think I'd be flamed? I guess I thought it was a somewhat outrageous idea...
BevP


If I were Mr. Spock I might raise one eyebrow. The vulcan sign of being intrigued and taken slightly aback at the same time.

Raising an 'outrageous' idea thoughtfully is not usually an invitation to a flaming. Being a jerk is. The idea may be outra.... intriguing, but the way you posted it was not. It was a genuine invitation to a conversation.

Now, about that idea. Sounds like it would work better for some key pairings than for others. C and E, for instance. Major thirds sound kinda nice! C and G flat? Yeah, tritones up and down! Ouch.
_________________________
Grotrian 192 #156455

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#1249145 - 08/14/09 01:33 PM Re: Scales for the intermediate student... [Re: Piano*Dad]
BSP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/03/07
Posts: 209
Loc: Hudson Valley, NY

I like the major thirds thing myself. I tried it this morning before I saw your post with Bb major and D major and rather liked it. Another teacher I had would play two major scales a minor 2nd apart to get our attention in class if we got too loud. Ouch!! but.. LOL

Now, I'm going to have to try C and Gb together...

BevP

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#1249182 - 08/14/09 02:31 PM Re: Scales for the intermediate student... [Re: BSP]
EDWARDIAN Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/16/09
Posts: 89
Loc: New York, USA
I introduce scales right away. Very first lesson unless the child is very young - 4 or 5 years old. They learn one octave C, G, D, but then I sometimes do E before A because it's next door to D and a bit easier than A. Then on to A, B, and F. I then give them the option to learn their parallel minors, flat scales, or add another octave to the ones already learned. Whichever way they choose, they'll eventually learn it all anyway.

I was appalled once when I asked a transfer student about her NYSSMA score from the previous year. Perfect except for the scale fingering - 12345123! The adjudicator was kind enough not to mark her down completely because her teacher hadn't taught her proper fingering. And it was an almost impossible task to impress upon her how important good fingering is. It carried over from scales into her playing of pieces as well.

So thanks BSP for the innovative ways to play scales. Hanon has some in the back of his Complete Virtuoso in third and minor thirds, etc. as well as similar ideas for chromatic scales. Fun for the fingers & the grey matter. thumb

Joan
_________________________
Joan Edward

Private piano teacher, 20+ years
EDWARDIAN45@hotmail.com

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#1249195 - 08/14/09 02:44 PM Re: Scales for the intermediate student... [Re: EDWARDIAN]
BSP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/03/07
Posts: 209
Loc: Hudson Valley, NY
Hey thanks, EDWARDIAN,
I actually did play C and Gb together. An acquired taste, but I did like it..
BevP

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