This year I’ve been implementing some new motivational strategies within my classroom. One of them was to put up “Fishy Scales” for my piano students. These have been a HUGE hit! The kids are excited to play scales and are all very eager to get all of their “scales” on their fish. I have a small prize box filled with loot from the Dollar Store. When they fill up their chart I let them pick a prize. It’s taking most of them a few months to get them filled up, but the excitement hasn’t wavered. My students have been reminding me each class that we need to go through their scales. How awesome is that? No more groaning when we get to the technical stuff!
I started most of my students with 5 notes scales and then moved to one octave scales (Round 2!) and filled it again. Round 3 would be 2 octave scales. You could even move on to formula patterns, chords, and arpeggios. Whatever you need to work on, this is a great motivational tool to help with technique. This could easily be adapted for use with voice students as well
To make the charts I found a clipart image of a fish, printed it on card stock paper, then laminated them so we can keep reusing them with dry-erase markers. You could easily do this with a hand drawn version of a fish if you find this one has too many scales to complete. You could also skip the laminating and just give each student their own page to keep and colour in as they complete their scales. Then they could just keep their coloured fish as their prize and then start a fresh new one!
Here is a download of the fish image I used with my students:Fishy Scales
I originally found this idea on susanparadis.com: http://www.susanparadis.com/?s=fishy+scales check it out for Susan’s version of the Fishy Scale.