I am excited to share with you some new additions to the scale exercises. These additions are based on teacher input asking for these patterns and we hope that you will find them useful. Though they are new to SmartMusic, these patterns are some of the most commonly used to learn scales.
First of all, let’s find out where the new patterns are located on the SmartMusic desktop application. Although there are a couple of ways to find these new patterns, here is a quick way.
- On the left-hand navigation bar, select Find music and then select the Exercises icon. If the new patterns aren’t downloaded yet, they should download at this point.
- After that, click on the Scales Icon. If the new patterns aren’t downloaded yet, they should download at this point.
- Normally a whole note scale exercise will appear on the screen.
- From the top selection pull-down menu mouse over Major and at the bottom of the menu you will see two new folders: Three Octaves Scales and Standard Patterns as shown in the following screenshot. (The new patterns are currently only for Major Scales.)
Let’s take a look at an example of one the Three Octave Scales: 3 Octaves-Eighth Notes. From the name of it you might think that the pattern is just in eighth notes. But as you see here it is in a very common pattern.
Now let’s go to Standard Scale Patterns and select Eighth notes-1 Octave.
Again, the rhythm pattern presented is a commonly used pattern.
Many of you have your students play scales as part of the warm-up with SmartMusic using the accompaniment as a harmonic metronome. If you haven’t tried this yet, it is a great way for the teacher to be able to roam around the room and have active interaction with the students as the SmartMusic accompaniment keeps the students on track and engaged. You just need a sound system connected to your computer or iPad.
So what can you do when some students can play a two octave scale (ex. Flute) and because of instrument limitations or skill limitations some students play one? (ex. French horn) Now the teacher can easily show the students what pattern to play when others are playing a two octave pattern. And of course any of these can be made into a SmartMusic assignment.
To download the new patterns for the SmartMusic iPad app, choose Browse Online and from the All Categories Menu, select Exercise and then scroll down to the title that says Scales. (Not Scale Exercises.) Then click the Download button.
Please take time to explore the added patterns and let your students know about them as well. The addition of these common patterns gives teachers and students more ways to use SmartMusic to improve skills. Practicing with the accompaniment allows students to hear how the notes sound when played correctly and incorrectly. It gives the teacher the opportunity to discuss the importance of playing the correct notes and key signatures. A wise colleague of mine gave me this advice: “Scales are just the same melody using different notes. Scales should be played musically.” SmartMusic can help you with your goal to develop skilled musicians.
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