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Klarinet Archive - Posting 001046.txt from 1999/04

Subj: Re: [kl] helping students learn scales?
Date: Sat, 24 Apr 1999 11:50:05 -0400

The reason why many student loose interest in scales, it that usually
the are told to just read them and practice them. What I do is the
1. Require each student to obtain a loose leaf binder with stave
2. Teach them how to build scales.(if a student a student knows the
theory behind the scale, there is more interest.
3. Devote about 3 pages for each scale.(later on you will have them
build the relative minors)
4. Next have them build arpeggio's with inversions(leave room for Maj.
6,b7,7,aug 5, 9,11,13, later on you will show them)
5. Next have them write thirds, fourths, fifths, sixths, sevenths,(at
least 2 octaves)
6. Whatever you would like them to practice of the scale, have them
write it.
I usually start with C major and then go to 1 fifth, then 1
fourth.(i.e., CM, GM,FM) This will show the relationship to each scale,
especially Db & C# etc..
What they are really doing is writing their own method book and learning
the why.
After they have completed some of the scales and they understand the
concept, I constantly point out and ask them when they are playing a piece
of music, to analyze some of it and tell me what they're playing(i.e.
thirds, fourths, arpeggio's,) Soon realize that all the music that they
play is based on scales. This makes practicing scales more interesting and
helps with sight reading. I do not do this all at once, I will spend at
least 6 weeks per scale any do many things with them to help get the bugs
out .

Aaron Hayden
----- Original Message -----
From: Gary Smith <>
Subject: [kl] helping students learn scales?

> Hello all
> I teach private lessons. My current crop of students are mostly 2nd-3rd
> year junior high students.
> I'm a firm believer in scales as a tool to help with sight reading,
> intonation, overall command of the instrument -- I don't think anyone here
> really needs to be sold on the merits of learning scales. I have
> a lot of resistance to learning scales in otherwise fairly diligent
> students, and I was wondering what approaches others are using.
> I've tried to start by teaching the order of sharps and flats, the circle
> of 5ths, and of course have provided them with scale sheets. I've found
> that week after week the students just don't seem to have spent time with
> the material such that I could identify specific problems and help them
> with them - they just don't seem to have practiced.
> This points to motivation, of course. Any ideas or success stories?
> -----------------------------------------------
> "Any male turtle dove will tell you that, if conditions are
> right, the female turtle dove can spit on her hands and throw her
> weight about like Donald Duck."
> - _The Editor_Regrets_, P.G. Wodehouse
> Gary Smith
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
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