Exam Preparation: Scales

Scale PractiseAs the exam entry deadline for the next session approaches (Friday 3rd May), the big question on every teacher’s mind is which students are going to be ready to enter this time. Can we afford to leave it another term or is the student going to go “off the boil”? Will the scales be perfected in the next couple of months? Would the pieces be ready in time?

As students progress through the grades, the sheer volume of scales that need to be learned increases (almost exponentially in the advanced levels). A formal approach must be taken to ensure that ALL the scales are known. To this end I have started to use weekly scale practise sheets on which students can either record and/or evaluate their scale practise. There are eight boxes for each scale to enable the sheet to be used in a number of ways.

Daily practise can be recorded throughout the week then the final column can be used in the lesson to assess the progress of each scale and chart improvements. Some students prefer a mark out of ten, whilst others prefer a range between crosses, circles, and ticks, or a combination of both.

The sheets are available to download for free in PDF format and currently cover the requirements or the ABRSM piano syllabus from Grade 1-4. As time permits, I shall add sheets for the higher grades to the collection.

ABRSM Scale Practise Record Sheets