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Piano lessons - learning scales

(3 Posts)
JooLoo Sat 12-Jan-19 06:49:31

We are overseas with not much choice of teacher. Daughter (8) has been having piano lessons for a year. Seems to be doing fine. They are working there way through some books and she was happy to play a little carol concert for the family. However she has not yet learned any scales. I did them right from the beginning when I started at a similar age. Should I ask the teacher to start on them?

Mistigri Sat 12-Jan-19 08:55:01

Outside the UK and its formal exam system, teachers are often happy to use pieces for technical work. My daughter went through the French conservatoire system and went from nothing to a high mark in her "second cycle" exam (roughly grade 8 in terms of the difficulty of the pieces) in 2 years without so much as a scale or arpeggio in sight. She had a very competent teacher whose ex pupils do well in international competitions.

My teenage DS is now doing the same thing (but quicker) with again not a single scale. I'm confident that he would learn scales very quickly if he needed to.

I should hasten to add that as an adult piano player I do see value in scales and exercises (personally I do a lot of scales and also exercises which I transpose into different keys). However, if you are happy that the teacher is competent and you have no immediate plans for ABRSM style exams I would leave well alone.

NeleusTheStatue Sat 12-Jan-19 10:02:39

We are in the UK but DS didn't do scales from the beginning for piano and violin. They were introduced after 6 months or more for piano and a good few years for violin. Personally I haven't witnessed any damage for doing no scale at the start (he's post grade 8 for both instruments now smile). As Mistigri pointed, there are many different ways of learning, I believe.

You may like to discuss your concern and ask the teacher her thoughts rather than 'instructing' her to start them?

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