Fishy Scales

Fishy Scales

If you’re not using Fishy Scales to motivate your students to practice 5-finger scales, cross-overs, or octave scales, you might want to try this out for the new teaching year with your elementary age students.  They are recently revised after a suggestion from one of my students to draw the minor fish “sad-looking.” I’m sharing the new design with you. (The major fish is the same.)

Now it is easier to identify minor sounds because students can relate it to the fish. Younger students are always asking me why some of the fish are a different color, and this is a good opportunity to let them hear the difference in major and minor chords.

After I started using Fishy Scales my students practice their scales with more enthusiasm. I make a fish for each student, and as they learn a scale they are very excited to write the name in the “scale” on their fish. When they complete a scale set, I give them their fish to keep and we post a new one for the next set.

I keep them on my wall with  reusable lightweight mounting strips, which come in all sizes. They are very easy to remove when I don’t want “fish” on my piano room wall, and easy to replace.

Print them out on card stock for best results, and cut each page on the lines. There is no need to cut out each fish individually. My students also write on the card what they are working on, such as Octave Scales or 5-Finger Scales.

Thanks to Arlene Steffen for the idea for Fishy Scales. It really is a lot of fun, good motivation, and is very easy for a teacher to implement.

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7 thoughts to “Fishy Scales Revised with a Very Sad Minor Fish!

  • Leah

    Not sure why it only linked half of my address…

  • Leah

    Susan, I just love these! I printed some off and created a fishbowl for them to live in while my students learn their scales. As they learn I will write the name of the scale in one of the fish scales. The kids love them! Thanks for being the springboard for a great idea. You can see your fish in their fishbowl at my piano teaching blog:

    • susanparadis

      Leah, I love the idea of a fishbowl! Thanks for telling us your idea!

  • Leah

    Susan, I love these fish!! I printed them off and created a fishbowl for them to live in on my studio wall. My students just love them! As they learn their scales I will write the scale name in one of the fish scales and when they are filled up they can take their fish home. Thanks for being the springboard for a great idea!! You can see your fish in my fishbowl at my piano teaching blog:

  • Megan

    So cute! Thanks for sharing all these creative resources, Susan! I love all of the bright colors! I think I had run across your blog several years ago and I just now came across it again. I’ll make sure to check back more often!

  • Anonymous

    Susan, I just love these – and agree with your student about the sad face!
    Is there a game you do with these? I might have missed something. I’m really enjoying your emails and materials!
    Beverly Holt Guth

    • susanparadis

      Thanks, Beverly.

      No, there is not a specific game with the fishy scales. This is an incentive to encourage them to practice scales or 5 finger patterns. You cut out a fish for each elementary age student and post the fish on a wall or bulletin board. Students write the name of each scale they learn on their fish, inside the fish scale. It’s great motivation and this is a good time of the year to begin.


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