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Piano Scales. Why they should be a part of every lesson and where to start.

Why are they particularly important if your student has a special need?

Scales are an indispensable part of a piano lesson, more so if the student has a learning difficulty or a special educational need, there is always a lot of benefits gained from starting them early on and practicing them regularly.

Build a habit to start every lesson and every practice session by playing a few scales. It’s a great warm-up and with time your student will start enjoying all the following benefits:

  • Improvement in finger strength, technical ability, and dexterity. This is more often than not one of the main challenges students with special needs suffer from.

  • A quick and effective way to imprint the piano geography of the keyboard in the mind.

  • Helping develop a musical ear and understanding and awareness of musical patterns, structures, and harmonies.

  • Improvement in sense of timing and rhythm.

  • Building muscle memory which later helps in learning new pieces and speed playing.

  • Building the foundation for composing and improvising.


Where and How to Start?

1. Start with teaching the major and minor 5-finger scales (starting on the white keys) and the open chords.

How to start learning piano scales.
5-finger scales

2. Teach the octave scales and triads.

3. Make the scales relevant. Use them to improvise, talk about patterns and keys of different pieces. Once you finish teaching a piece in a certain key, transpose it to a different key. Find and circle chords in new pieces and so on.


Still not sure how to start, download The Easier Scales Book.

This is a book with 29 pages of colorful charts of all the scales starting on the white keys. Pair it with The Easier Piano Book 1 for a creative, fun, easy, and frustration-free start on the piano.



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