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#1268930 - 09/15/09 06:27 PM The 24-cent scale randomizer
ProdigalPianist Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/08/07
Posts: 1049
Loc: Phoenix Metro, AZ
OK I'm sure most of you already have excellent methods for scale practice but I thought I'd share mine. It's cheap and easy to do.

I realized at one of my lessons that I had gotten so used to practicing my scales "in order" that when my teacher just asked for them randomly I had a horrible time and flubbed completely. How embarrassing! shocked And I thought I was finally doing well with scales.

I decided I needed a method for practice that would ensure everything got covered equally but in random order to avoid these bad habits. So I came up with this:

Take 24 pennies (more if you are going to do multiple minors). Cleaner and newer is better.
Take a Sharpie or something else that won't rub off, and write a scale name on each one (12 UPPER CASE for major, 12 lower case for minor).
Keep them in a decorative cup or bag near the piano. When it's time to practice scales, mix up the pennies and draw one out - practice that scale and set it aside. If you don't play all M/m scales every day, then have a ziplock bag to put the "used" scales in until it's time to start over. Technically, as my husband pointed out, in statistics this is called "randomization without replacement" not totally random (which would mean you would put the penny back in the cup every time).

When I originally came up with this idea, I was trying to think of something beautiful to use but pennies are cheap and easily available.
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Adult Amateur Pianist

My only domestic quality is that I live in a house.

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#1268940 - 09/15/09 06:47 PM Re: The 24-cent scale randomizer [Re: ProdigalPianist]
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5945
Loc: Down Under
Originally Posted By: ProdigalPianist
Technically, as my husband pointed out, in statistics this is called "randomization without replacement" not totally random (which would mean you would put the penny back in the cup every time).

When I originally came up with this idea, I was trying to think of something beautiful to use but pennies are cheap and easily available.
We don't have pennies here (I'm old enough to remember when we did, however) smile
I suggest the same method to my exam students, who have to cough up any scale on their list promptly and fluently in the exam, only I have been unimaginative enough to suggest bits of paper smile.
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Du holde Kunst...

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#1269698 - 09/17/09 12:28 AM Re: The 24-cent scale randomizer [Re: currawong]
Candywoman Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/14/03
Posts: 850
I think jelly beans would be more enticing. Each bean has it's own paper holder with the scale's name on it. You can get fat AND get good at scales...think of the benefits!

(This is a joke.)

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#1269708 - 09/17/09 01:18 AM Re: The 24-cent scale randomizer [Re: Candywoman]
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5945
Loc: Down Under
Originally Posted By: Candywoman
I think jelly beans would be more enticing
Living up to your name smile
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

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#1270154 - 09/17/09 07:42 PM Re: The 24-cent scale randomizer [Re: currawong]
ProdigalPianist Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/08/07
Posts: 1049
Loc: Phoenix Metro, AZ
smile
Actually, I was thinking of something like flat glass...well not beads...years ago I saw a stained glass shop selling something they called "Dragon Tears" at a Ren Faire...they looked kind of like this
Glass Rune "Stones"

Except of course these would have scale/key names engraved rather than rune symbols.

Anyway, it could be something really pretty as well as useful. I always think it's nice to have functional stuff that's beautiful too. And you could use them to randomly choose keys for anything...improve, scales, arps, Hannon...

But I'm not a stained glass artist or that motivated to do it so I'll stick with pennies ;o)
_________________________
Adult Amateur Pianist

My only domestic quality is that I live in a house.

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#1270182 - 09/17/09 09:06 PM Re: The 24-cent scale randomizer [Re: ProdigalPianist]
Susan K. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/03/09
Posts: 192
Loc: Central California
You can find those flat rune stones at the 99 cent store or Michael's craft store (in the U.S.) by the silk flowers!!

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