When approached systematically and comprehensively, mastery of key signatures and major/minor scale construction is a reasonable goal for nearly any student from 7th grade through adults. While keys with 5,6, or 7 sharps are rare in most repertoire, it is easier and very helpful to learn everything there is to know on the topic.
LISTED BELOW ARE THE PAGES FROM "KEY SHAPES STUDENT PACK
THAT RELATE TO 'KEY SIGNATURES', AND 'SCALE CONSTRUCTION'
KEY SIGNATURES - INTRODUCTION AND WORK SHEET
This is a one page introduction to everything there is to know about the layout of all 15 key signatures on each of the 4 clefs (Treble, Alto, Tenor, Bass). It also introduces the concept of circle of 4ths / circle of 5ths. The page concludes with an assignment to copy the examples given of the 7 sharps key signature and the 7 flat key signature in all 4 clefs.
MAJOR SCALE BUILDER - INTRODUCTION AND WORK SHEET
This 2-page work sheet begins with an explanation of how to build a major scale from any note. It briefly explains what a key signature is. It concludes with an assignment to follow the guidelines and write out each of the 15 major scales using accidentals as the scale is written out then writing the key signature for the scale just written. The point of the exercise is to make sure that each student makes a direct connection between how a scale is built and its signature. The sharp keys are drawn on one side, flat keys on the other. The work can be done in the favorite clef of each student.
KEY SIGNATURE QUIZ
This one-page quiz allows students to demonstrate mastery of the 15 key signatures and the major & minor "Do" for each signature. Prior to distribution of this quiz, students should be reminded how to find the 'Minor Do'.
SOME FACTS ABOUT KEY SIGNATURES AND OPINIONS ABOUT TEACHING THIS TOPIC COMPREHENSIVELY
KEY SIGNATURES - Key Signatures provide a short cut to help the performer visualize the instrument finger patterns for the key in which any piece is written.
There are 7 sharp keys. There are 7 flat keys. There is one key with all naturals.
There are only 15 key signatures.
There is only one sequence for the way that the sharps are placed in a key signature. There is only one sequence for the way that the flats are placed in a key signature.
Each one of the 15 key signatures is used for one major scale and one minor scale.
There is a simple process to determine the names of the major and minor scales for each of the sharp key signatures. There is a slightly different process to determine the names of the major and minor scales for each of the flat key signatures.
These activities include everything there is to know about this topic.
Mastery of this topic provides a critical foundation for further musical growth.