two octive scales : LUSENET : Everything About Teaching and Learning the Piano : One Thread

I have been trying to teach my middle school aged piano students their scales in two octives since August. Many have not gotten past "C", or "G". My question is, should I slow down and just really emphisize one octive with this age group? I feel maybe I should push learning the key signatures with the one octive scales. Thanks Karen Garrett

-- karen garrett (, February 15, 2002


It all depends on where they are developmentally. 2 octave scales shouldn't be that difficult for middle-school students. I usually introduced them around third or fourth grade, maybe even earlier. Is it a physical (technique) problem? Is it a mental problem? Are they just not practicing? Do they not understand the patterns involved? Until you know what the root of the problem is, it's very difficult to remedy it.

If a student isn't getting two octave scales, I don't think going to one octave will help much. Have they done pentascales? Do they do exercises? are you teaching them? Are you taking a tetrachord approach? Having them sing or write them? Did you do any other preparatory exercises with them?

-- Jason (, February 16, 2002.

This is karen Who asked the original question. I response to your answer, I do emphisize the pattern of fingering, I emphasize contrary motion since the fingering pattern is the same. I feel that the kids arnt practicing their scales. I have even gone so far as to offer scale awards at the final recital. I emphisize sitting down and doing their technique first. The technique book I use is "Dozen a Day". The kids do well with that book. I have no problems there. My studio is made up of everyday kids. Piano is used to round out and enhance their overall education. I personally dont think Jr. High is to yound for two octives either. I just thought maybe I am barking up a wrong tree here. Thanks for taking the time to answer me. Karen Garrett

-- karen garrett (, February 16, 2002.

Hi! Just wanted to say that I use the Dozen A Day books, too, as that is what I grew up with. When I teach scales, I write them in their notebooks as follows: C Scale

R.H. C D E F G A B C 1 2 3 1 2 3 4 5 (I connect the places where you cross under L.H. C D E F G A B C or over) 5 4 3 2 1 3 2 1

Then, I tell the kids (of course) to practice RH, then LH, then try hands together. This (of course) is the tricky part. So I have them break it up, like: RH play 123, and LH play 54321, then stop. Practice it that way until they get it down.

Most kids don't understand why scales are so important. Some day they will, though, when they start playing those Sonatinas!

I don't know if I was of any help. I just like talking shop!

-- Deanne Petras (, February 22, 2002.

My previous answer didn't come out as I expected. The RH and LH CDEFEAB&C's were supposed to be lined up directly on top of each other. Silly computers. ---And I wanted a digital piano!! haha!

-- Deanne Petras (, February 22, 2002.

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