“For many, scales and arpeggios are an academic, dry and soulless part of learning the piano, and have to be practised because, like cod liver oil, they are ‘good for you’.”
Anthony Williams, The Piano Teacher’s Survival Guide (Faber, 2017, p.31)
Why bother with scales? (by which, for the purposes of this article, I also mean arpeggios and broken chords) …
In order to properly answer this question, this article will consider these related questions, of vital importance to students and teachers concerned to know about the purpose and value of teaching and learning scales:
- What are the benefit of learning scales?
- Is it important to use consistent fingering?
- What are the benefits of cumulative learning vs. exam preparation?
- How can scales practice and creativity go hand-in-hand?
Let’s get started by considering the core benefits of learning scales…