Playing Minor Scales on Piano: Introduction, Drill, and Practice

Playing minor scales on piano – Introduction, Drill, and Practice

Shawn Pityk
[email protected]
Kiski Area High School

TI:ME Technology Areas Addressed:

Electronic Musical Instruments




Music Theory


GEC, Keyboard Lab of Korg Tritons


40 Minutes

Prior Knowledge and Skills:

Construction of all minor scales. Basic keyboard performance knowledge. The Circle of 5th’s

MENC Standards Addressed:

MENC 2: Performing on instruments, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music.
MENC 6: Listening to, analyzing and describing music.
MENC 7: Evaluating music and music performances.


Hanon Piano book. Piano Lab GEC System


At the conclusion of this lesson, the students will able to play any one octave natural minor scale in quarter notes at 80 beats per minute with the right hand only.


(25 minutes)

1. Have students open Hanon books to scale section and begin practicing minor scales with right hand only. Allow for guided practice on groupings of 4 scales at a time around the cycle, starting with F minor. Students must practice with metronome to reinforce pulse and tempo. During this time, instructor should monitor progress using the GEC and assist students as necessary that may be having technique/fingering difficulty. Critique and monitor timing, technique, and style. During those 30 minutes, be sure to monitor when its time to move to next groupings of scales.

(10 minutes)

2. Following the guided practice, have each student perform one random natural minor scale selected at random for the entire class.

(5 minutes)

3. To conclude class, the entire class will play 3 random natural minor scales (selected by the instructor) together to establish basic ensemble awareness and understanding, and continued focus on timing, style, and accuracy.


Students will be assessed according to the following rubric.

1 point will be awarded for each correctly played note. 15 pts. (Up and down the octave)

1 point will be awarded for each note played correctly on the beat at 80 bpm. 15 pts.

1 point will be awarded for each note played with correct style (even and connected). 15pts. Total of 45 pts. The points will be recorded in the class grade book as a portion of the current 9 weeks grade.

Follow Up:

Follow up lesson will be the performance with the left hand individually, and then using both hands together.

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