Is there a good scales, arp book geared for children? : LUSENET : Everything About Teaching and Learning the Piano : One Thread

I have a couple of very good 8-year old students who have been taking lessons for a year now. I think it's time to introduce scales and arps, but all of the scale books are too advanced. Does anyone know of any good scale books geared for children? Does such a thing exist? Help.

-- Pamela Seley (, October 19, 2001


Who needs a scale book? When I introduce a scale I explain the fingering in relation to the notes and write it out for them in their assignment notebook (for example I would right out the fingering for the right hand and left hand and write in the notes above the fingering so they can see where things are in relation to eachother.). I usually start with the sharp scales and then progress to the flat scales and minor scales. I'm thinking of changing this though and teaching the relative majors and minors together. I haven't had a problem teaching this way and start my students on scales within the first few lessons (depending on age.)

-- Mrs Moses (, October 20, 2001.

It seems to me that introducing full-blown scales and arpeggios to 8- year-olds who've only studied for a year is a little premature. I would recommend dealing with the motions and coordinations that are necessary to prepare the student for scales and arpeggios before actually introducing the complete thing. A good book for this is Magic Finger Technique by Bastien. The book is progressive, and introduces such things as thumb crossings, chordal leaps, and chromatic scale patterns.

-- Jon (, October 21, 2001.

Jan Clark from Australia has written a simple book with large illustrations and large print (there are no pictures that make it for children necessarily) so you could use it with all students regardless of age--makes scales look easy rather than confusing. It has a large keyboard with the notes on the keyboard for each scale then the grandstaff notes for each hand with the fingering. Just the thing you might try to draw in their notebooks, but she has done it for us. The book has 20 pages and costs $5--don't know what it would be for us in the USA with shipping. I traded her for PIANIMALS so I didn't pay for them, but I will order some soon because they are just what a young student would need. Her email is

Flo Arnold

-- Flo Arnold (, October 21, 2001.

I start scales almost immediately with my students, even the little ones. A book that is laid out very nicely is "Scales, Chords & Arpeggios" by James Bastien. It has a beautiful waterfall on the front cover. So many of the scale/arp. books look confusing with their tiny type and squished-up notes. This book seems more organized, and there is plenty of room on each page for notes. Each page lists the one octave scale, the two octave scale, cadence patterns, and arpeggios. Usually when I start them, the kids only recognize several notes on the staff, so until they can easily read all the notes, I write in notes for the one octave scale. That also ends up being a good reference in their other books if they get confused about a particular note. None of my students, even the ones that aren't terribly "bright", seem to have any problem with scales. My personal opinion is that playing scales and understanding them very early on helps their coordination, fingering, etc. With the very small ones, I usually go through most or all of the major scales one octave/hands separate the first time through.

Wendy Stephens

-- Wendy Stephens (, October 22, 2001.

Kjos publishers now has Scale Skills in 10 levels from pentascales through advanced skills.

-- Barbara Graham (, December 11, 2001.

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