I had a request to make the Keyboard Pentascale Cards into a reference page for young pianists. Here is the result – All of the major pentascales on 2 pages. Susan Paradis also has a wonderful version of the pentascales here.
Hey, Cathy! You’ve found me out! This is what I do when I am procrastinating or have kids keeping me up at night. Maybe I’ll get back into the music room again sometime so we can at least chat during back to school nights. :-)
Hi D’Net. I was wondering how you use this tool to explain the scales to your students. For instance, the “Snowmen” scales include two that are all white, but one that is not. How do you explain the black key? Same thing with E major in the “Hamburgers” group. Thanks.
I just came across this blog and I absolutely love this question. I don’t know if you’ve already answered this question as I know it’s been asked before, but I’m a little confused with how you would present the concept as teh “Snowmen” pentascales include two that are all white and one that is not, how do you explain the black key? Thanks.
When teaching the pentascales, I first teach the tonic-whole-shole-half-whole pattern. I have them figure out several different pentascales, starting both on white and black notes. Next, I explain how the 1st, 3rd, and 5th tones make up the tonic triad. I show them how the C, F, and G triads all consist of white keys, so I like to refer to them as the “Snowman” group.
The terms simply help group the pentascales based on the tonic triads. My students have never had a problem with there being a black key in the F group. It is still a member of the “Snowmen” because of how the tonic triad looks. Hopefully this helps!
Wow, I can’t say thank you enough for having such a big heart to share your hard work with us. I love your creative ideas. I group the keys according to their patterns, but never thought of using words such as “snowman” or “hamburger”.
I have taught group 1 and group 2. I understand group 3. How do the chocolate and killer bees work? My brain is probably just fried. it took me forever just to find this page. first time around I only copied page 1 and I needed page 2. thanks so much for all you do. Especially your primary music.
The Chocolate is F#/Gb, since the triad is on all black keys. The Killer Bees are B natural and Bb, since these can be “killer” keys to learn. I usually make a big deal about how difficult the Chocolate Killer Bee’s can be, and act SO surprised when the student plays them after only a few tries. Sometimes I even teach these first, and make a big deal about how it is just downhill from there.