Conquer the summit: the final skill set in the Scale Olympics

This week we offer the final installment in our three-part series on the “Scale Olympics,” the skills challenge for pianists participating in the Piano Lessons in Your Home Young Performer Awards. Mr. Shaun is back to demonstrate the requirements for passing the final and most difficult test, Skill Set 3.

The third skill set incorporates the techniques covered in the first two, while introducing additional keys and a metronome. Students are now expected to be fluent in A and E Major scales, along with f# and c# minor, and to play in time with a metronome with quarter notes set to 60 beats per minute. The participant will also be asked to demonstrate four octave arpeggios in 16th notes, ascending and descending, at the same tempo.


Student pianists who have participated or expect to participate in future Young Performer Awards should be encouraged to view this demonstration as a preview of techniques they will one day be able to perform, with the understanding that they should master the techniques demonstrated in skill sets 1 and 2 before concerning themselves with the metronome. Finally, non-participants should consider using these videos as guides for their training as well. Happy practicing!

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