Introduction to Major Scales

Introduction to Major Scales

James Cirillo
[email protected]
Queensbury Union Free School District

TI:ME Technology Areas Addressed:







A computer with the capability to project on a screen or large monitor.
Music Ace 1 software by Harmonic Vision


45 Minutes

Prior Knowledge and Skills:

Students have had approximately 20 lessons. Students have knowledge of half steps and whole steps. Students are able to play a range of an octave required for a scale.

NAfME Standards of 1994 Addressed:

NAfME Standards of 1994: Performing on instruments, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music.

NAfME 2014: Performing 

NAfME Standards of 1994: Reading and notating music.

NAfME 2014: Creating 


Standard of Excellence Book 1 p.42 Scale Exercises (or any sheet with an instrument appropriate scale written).
Whiteboard and dry erase markers


Students will be able to aurally identify a major scale.
Students will be able to perform a major scale with an appropriate range for their instrument.


Students will warm up with long tones, lip slurs (brass players) and rhythm echoes (7 min.). Students will then echo the teacher one note at a time as the teacher plays a major scale. The students will then identify the notes that were played and write them as whole notes on the whiteboard (15 min.). Next, students will view Session 24 of Music Ace 1. Throughout the presentation, students will have the opportunity to answer questions about identifying scales and steps. Students can also volunteer to come up to the teacher workstation to click on the correct answers (15 min.). Students can then open their books to p.42 or look at the appropriate scale sheet to see a scale written out for their instrument (the scale will be the same scale they played at the beginning of class except written in half notes and quarter notes). Students will then attempt to perform the scale without echoing the teacher. Students can then attempt to play the scale individually (8min.).


Students will be able to perform a major scale on their instrument with 80% accuracy.
Students will be able to aurally identify a major scale when compared to notes played out of order (on Music Ace 1) with 100% accuracy.

Follow Up:

Students will progress to 100% accuracy in playing their first scale. Students can learn other major scales. Students can construct and perform scales starting on other pitches using the whole step/half step formula. Students can learn to identify what scale a song is based on. Students can also play the Music Ace Session 24 game to test their skills in creating major scales.

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