So as my students grow up of course they need to know their scales. I usually teach them by pattern and have them figure out notenames/key signature themselves, but usually practice by ear so they can focus on the quality of their playing, tone, technique, all that stuff. But still, sometimes it feels like mindless repetition. Once you know the scale and have the finger patterns in your muscles, what is the purpose of practicing it further except as review? OK, I know there are a lot of purposes! But for, say an elementary kid, early intermediate level, lesson already too short for me to want to spend a lot of my teaching time on it--how would you direct the practice so that it's more than just quality review? What can they be teaching themselves in their scale practice? And how can you get such a student to the point that they can think through this for themselves and take ownership of it, rather than me directing this scale, this variation, etc. etc. every week?
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