Ban scale books?

Once upon a time…
There was a violin teacher who didn’t teach scales. She thought that scales are “stupid.” But this person didn’t actually practice scales herself. Even though she taught many violin lessons, she never had her students play scales and they never learned why scales were important.

Scales are the building blocks of tonal music.
Studying scales means that the musician not only physically but also aurally, intellectually and psychologically experiences the nuance of every key. Scales also serve as a vehicle for tone production. Being “boring” or tedious is really the point. Because scales are so basic, the musician has the ability to hear their sound deeply, intimately and without distraction.

There have been hundreds of banned book attempts so far in 2023.
Very often it is just one person attempting to ban a book which ironically the person hasn’t even read. Let’s not stop teaching scales for such flimsy reasons. Students need to understand that studying music requires commitment which means not everything they do is going to be “fun.” Teachers can help students by pointing out the positive impact of scale study on their overall technique and musicianship. They can also teach dynamic approaches to playing scales such as with the presentation in the Carl Flesch Scale System.

Violinist Linda Beers is the creator of the Inspiration for Violinists, a 50 card deck. Each card has a unique image and text inspiring musicianship, mindfulness and spirituality.

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