Smart Scales

SMART SCALES will transform the way you teach scales. These melodies fill the gap between Five-Finger Patterns and scales. They help your student achieve comfort in each key by first familiarizing themselves with its feel. What's unique about each different Major scale? Where are its curves? What makes it feel good?

Each key begins with four melodies printed both with and without key signature. This provides a wonderful opportunity to help students read and understand the way key signatures work.

Book One contains melodies in all major keys with scales that begin on white keys. (C, D, E, F, G, A and B Major.) 

Available in downloadable version.

Book Two contains melodies in all major keys with scales that begin on black keys. (D♭, E♭, G♭, A♭and B♭Major.) 

Available in downloadable version.

Major Scales combines Book One and Book Two in a single print edition.

Smart Scales

Teacher Edition

My students did even better playing their Smart Scales when I improvised accompaniments underneath the melodies. "If you learn all the A♭ melodies, we can play straight through them at your next lesson," I'd offer as an incentive. They loved it!

 

Now you can do the same thing with your students! I've written out the kinds of yummy accompaniments I played for my students so you can play along.

The Teacher Edition includes accompaniments for both Book 1 and 2 — includes all Major Scales.

 

Let Smart Scales transform your scale teaching!

Copy Cats

COPY CATS are versatile, adaptable teaching pieces. Each phrase is played first in one hand, then imitated by the other. Catchy, physically comfortable melodies encourage an unusual and combination of sight- reading and playing by ear.

Copy Cats provide ingenious opportunities to experience how playing the same notes in each hand doesn’t mean using the same finger numbers. They do not include dynamics or articulation so the student can focus on interval reading and simple articulation. This also makes them loads of fun to add articulation to! Students love to add staccatos and slurs to make them their very own.

 

Pieces are printed both with and without key signatures. These side-by-side examples provide a refreshing opportunity to see exactly what a key signature does. 

I like to play one hand while my student plays the other. Sometimes we play them as duets with two different students — one playing each hand. The possibilities are endless and the learning is immediate.

Use COPY CATS for:

  • Sight Reading

  • Transposing

  • Balancing skills when one hand is stronger than the other

  • Assessing reading level and ability
     

"I used these with a student last week -- amazing what it revealed about his reading, especially perception of intervals, and how they connect with his ear. These are truly useful tools for developing reading and coordination."

  —Keith Snell

© 2019 by Diane Hidy

You'll wonder how you ever taught without this 32-page book. I made these cards for my students to give them plenty of opportunities to practice all the different skills they were acquiring. This series starts with the simplest possible rhythmic patterns on the Landmark notes Middle C, Bass F and Treble G. Each set becomes incrementally more difficult.

Here are a few of the many different ways to use these cards:

  • Encourage students to write in their own fingering. This paves the way for making true fingering choices later on

  • Circle the thirds before starting to read the flashcards. This helps the student focus on the difference between steps and skips.

  • Help your student write in their own staccatos and slurs. Try them out. Talk to them about why they do or don't like them. 

  • Help the student add dynamics and phrase marks.

  • Print these in their entirety and use them as a book.

  • Print them on heavy paper or card stock and cut them into separate cards. Trying sending home a set with a student and ask them to become proficient with each one. At the next lesson, mix them up and play them in random order. It’s a nice combination of preparation and reading.