Lesson Plan

Major Scale Masters!

Students figure out how to play Major scales
Kim I.
Classroom teacher
Gretna High School
Gretna, United States
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My Grades 9, 10, 11, 12
My Subjects Arts

Students will be able to...

- Identify interval relation between steps of Major Scales

- Build a Major Scale 

- Notate all 12 Major Scales

- Perform all 12 Major Scales

Grades 7 – 12
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 What are Major Scales?

Activity: Investigating

Teacher plays a Major Scale on the piano or with an instrument.  Asks students if it was a Major Scale or a Minor Scale and how they know.  Major Scales have a distinct sound.  Have the students sing a Major Scale using solfege.

Student Instructions

Student Instructions: Students identify the scale as a Major scale.

2 Review of Whole Step and Half Steps

Activity: Presenting

Teacher draws an example of a Major Scale on the board.  Then describe the half steps and whole steps that make up the Major Scale.  All Major Scales follow this pattern, 2 whole steps, followed by a half step, followed by 3 whole steps and finally another half step.  With that recipe, students can create a Major Scale on any note.

3 What Makes a Major Scale?

Teacher will task each student two write out 3 Major Scales using Noteflight (free).  

Student Instructions

Students will use Noteflight (free) to write out 3 Major Scales of their choosing, using the formula, WWhWWWh.

4 Play that Major Scale!

Activity: Exploring

Teacher will pass out a copy of all 12 Major Scales and lead the class in playing 5 Major Scales.  *Be sure to pick on that is not used as frequently.  Give students time to think about the whole steps and half steps and play through the scale on their own before doing it as a class*

Student Instructions

Play through the teacher-selected Major Scales keeping the formula for Major Scales in Mind.

5 Performance Time

Activity: Other — Recording

The teacher will lead the students in a performance of all 12 Major Scales.  Be sure to give students time in between each scale so they can go through the formula for the scale.

*Teachers, by having students place their device on the stand in front of them, they are able to still see you and their scale sheet while allowing you to see their embouchure and fingerings to allow feedback from you.

Student Instructions

Student Instructions: Students will use a front-facing camera (on their tablet/smartphone) to video record themselves playing all 12 Major Scales.