Do you enjoy playing piano scales?
If music is food for the soul, then it could be said that scales are like musical vegetables… we all know they’re good for us but most people (if we’re honest), don’t really enjoy eating them.
Sure, we can tolerate the odd smattering of scales and arpeggios here and there perhaps as a warm-up, but most piano students and pianists would rather spend time playing what they really enjoy — the pieces they love playing.
So how necessary are scales really? There are many different opinions on this.
While it is true that scales do help you develop in all of these areas, the good news is — so too does practicing and playing your favorite pieces, especially if those pieces happen to contain scale-like passages.
There is no doubt scales are good for learning fingering and positioning on the keyboard but I'd much rather take a piece of music with a specific technical difficulty and strengthen my technique that way.
Interestingly, some pianists such as Barenboim and Richter claimed they never did a scale as an exercise.
And certainly my own piano teacher, Professor Anthony Glavin of the Royal Irish Academy of Music was of a similar view.
Now I’m not suggesting that you ignore scales altogether. Far from it. I’m simply saying that some piano teachers and many exam syllabi place more emphasis on scales than is really necessary. You should definitely learn scales and arpeggios but you don’t need to practice them for hours every day.
As a guide, regularly supplementing your practice with just a few minutes each day practicing scales is a well-rounded approach that will definitely pay dividends.
If you (dear reader) would like to experience balanced piano lessons that provide you with a well-rounded musical education including just the right amount of scales at the right time in your musical journey, I warmly invite you to try Musiah Piano Lessons.
Musiah is the world's first and only A.I. piano lessons app with the depth of instruction of a world-class teacher. It's so incredibly effective that students learn up to 16 times faster than students learning the same material with a live teacher.
So why not give yourself the life-long gift of music by taking our 14 Day Free Trial.
And if you have any questions about Musiah’s piano lessons, please feel free to contact me directly.
Thanks for reading,
Brendan Hogan L.Mus.A, A.Mus.A.
Piano Teacher & Musiah Inventor
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