Scale Saavy

Scale Saavy

Karen Creeden
[email protected]
Parkland High School

TI:ME Technology Areas Addressed:

Electronic Musical Instruments


High School




iMac Computer
Synth Keyboard or MIDI Keyboard Controller
Garage Band Software


30 Minutes

Prior Knowledge and Skills:

Piano Class I – Knowledge of early beginner level piano.
C,G,F Scales: One octave; seperate hands (proper
fingering); Chord Pattern I-IV-I-V-I
Piano II – Knowledge of beginner level piano.
Scales: C,G,F,D,Bb,Am,Dm (proper fingering)
Two hands together ; Chord Patterns I-IV-I-V-I

NAfME standard of 1994 Addressed:

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

NAfME 2014: Performing 


Scales, Chords, & Arpeggios by James Bastien, Kjos Pub.
Several prepared sequences in Garage Band.


The piano students will become proficient on their scales and chords by performing them to a recorded sequenced rhythm section. They will choose from a selection of sequenced files of different styles and record their scale on to a blank track. Each student will do the following:

1. Choose a tempo and meter.
2. Choose an instrument to record.
3. Record in a blank track. (Need to learn to use record controls)
4. Delete and re-record if necessary.
5. Save in personal SCALE folder.


Teach a group lesson on the Garage Band Software program. A variety of GarageBand files of different styles should be pre-recorded. These “default” files with which the students work should have a percussion track containing drum loops. OPTIONALLY there could be other rhythm instrument tracks with bass and guitar loops. There should also be a blank keyboard track in which the student will record their scale.

The students will learn how to open a sequence, find the blank track, and record their scale/chords in rhythm.

They will learn how to choose a different timbre (software instrument) for the keyboard track, and may alter the tempo if desired.

After scale is complete, they must SAVE in their folder. Teacher can also work individually with students as the others practice at their keyboard stations.


Teacher will evaluate the scales for proficiency.
Students can also play their recorded scales for each other in the different styles.

Follow Up:


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