Scales and arpeggios are widely considered to be the building blocks of western music. Teachers will often ask their students to practice their scales, arpeggios at piano lessons, since the music examiners will also check the proficiency of the students in arpeggios and scales. However, it is observed that most young musicians who are studying music do not enjoy practicing scales. This is because music teachers are often stressed out and do not tell their students about the importance of the arpeggios in music according to Murray McLachlan, a performer and a music teacher.
Mclachlan says that practicing the scales should be an enjoyable activity, and the student should use their creativity while playing the scales. It is important to de-stress. He said that arpeggios, scales are neutral and are basic when considered alone, yet they are an integral part of all types of music making. They should be practiced before taking up a music repertoire or studying music. Students should not consider practicing them to be chore or exercise, they should be considered to be an integral part of the music. The student should sing them or try to add a rhythm to them to make it more attractive.
Bernard King who is an music examiner at ABRSM, which conducts music examinations for students, has listened to many students play their scales on the piano. The arpeggios can be combined with the scales in many ways. He says that advanced players should be able to easily play in all the keys. He said that if a player is taught in the right manner, he should be able to understand the construction of the keys, scales and will add a few scales for every grade he completes. He said that the main problem was that people were not starting learning the scales early enough, and they leave a lot of studies for the last minute. For young pianist, this article might be helpful: 8 Practice Tips for Young Pianists
The director of the school for girls in the City of London, Steven Barryman is also a consultant for music education, and a music composer. Based on his extensive experience, he has provided the following tips for studying music quickly and efficiently.
– Students should have the right posture when they are practicing their music on the piano. They should be sitting upright with a relaxed neck and trying to make the best possible music. The rhythm should be adjusted to make the scales even. They should played in a dotted manner, long short or in a reversed manner, short long.
– If a player is playing a new pattern, he should first repeat the name of the note which he is playing and then play the note. This will help the student memorize the note since he is thinking slowly. Similarly for the next few notes, he should say the note name and play the corresponding note. If this is done in the right manner, he should be able to play all the notes in the pattern.
– Students should be asked to record themselves while playing the piano to check if they are fingering the piano in the right manner. Specifically, there should not be any bumps or lumps in the music.
-The scales should be musical in a manner similar to music pieces, using a crescendo to shape the music if required.
– In higher grades, there are many scales which have to be learned. Hence a practice schedule should be made and each of these scales should be practiced for a few weeks. Then practice the scales in one week, and keep reducing the time till all the scales can be played in one day. It is also important to make a practice schedule for all the arpeggios along with the scales, and ensure that the student is focused on it.
– It is important to find ways to enjoy playing scales.
– the student should understand each key which is being played, the scales and notes in each key. It is also vital to understand how it is related to the other keys,since this will make it easier to remember.
The student should learn the right fingering for each scale, since this will help to playing fast. The student should practice with separate hands, and should remembers the notes associated with each piano key. Students should learn to use their finger tips for creating sounds as well as playing notes slowly for a full sound. The arms and wrists should be flexible. The student should also try playing with the left hand instead of the right, since the left hand is weaker.