A cup of coffee with me

Welcome to Scales Aren’t Just a Fish Thing School.

You are in a very special group of students.

If you could have a cup of coffee with me, what would you ask me?

Think about your questions and put them in an email. You can email me as often as you would like with your questions. When you want to move on, we can either face-time or you can send me a video of your progress. This is all at your own speed.

Look over all the classes available below and please send me a video of you playing a song. If you are a beginner, awesome. We can get started right away. Let’s connect.

You will not have immediate access to the Dolphin level with Vivaldi and Bach. This is a process. Each level will be opened as you advance to that point.

Email me at: carolanderson@scalesarentjustafishthingschool.com

Removing the black notes that don’t really teach us more than just memorizing which note sits where

We replace them with notes that teach music theory through the back door of learning
where there are no roadblocks or short circuits

Colored notes remove any roadblocks. Each note has a color representing the overtones. Each sharp or flat is circled by the color of the tone it is moving toward.

Slowly – notice that F is sharp in the key signature so I circled it with the color of the note it was moving toward – G=green. Notice the accidental C#. It is circled with gray for D=gray
Up to speed

Beginner level

Level One –

From Beginner to Playing Minuets and a Gavotte

Violin – MasterClass –Module 1 -PreTwinkle Practice on open strings
One bit of information is presented through a large picture followed by a series of descriptions. With each pass through the book, a new description can be added. Eventually, the part and its use are understood without extra effort. Enjoy Learning the names of the parts of an instrument is foundational to the study of that instrument. Instructions can be laser-focused by the teacher and carried out by the student without terms like: “Put your thumb on the ‘thing-a-ma-jig’ while you are bringing the ‘whachamacallit’ to the ‘bottom’. Teachers can use the book on their computers to teach the parts of the instrument. Be sure to check out the playing card games “Go Fish” and “Memory for Non-Readers”. Templates are available. Next, get acquainted with the strings on the violin and the position needed to play with quality.
Violin – MasterClass – Let Your Fingers do the Walking – Exercise play-alongs
5 Classes of exercises and practice on your fingers in the first position. 1st finger on the A string songs with sheet music and play-along music. Second finger on the A string songs and sheet music. Mary had a Little Lamb. Digital Books – Let Your Fingers Do the Walking. Songs for the third finger on the A string and Songs for the first finger on the E string. This book sets you up to play Twinkle and the songs in the Twinkle Master Class
Violin – MasterClass – Lunch Anyone – Let’s make a musical sandwich
Make a sandwich means to learn the structure of a piece of music. You will learn rhythms and put them together into a song. Starting with practice songs for just the individual fingers you will quickly learn the proper placement of your fingers. By the time you are done this module, you will be playing lots of tunes. Mary had a little lamb, Hot Cross Buns, and the rhythm sandwiches.
Violin – Master Class – Twinkle Class of Gum Drop Notes & Nursery Rhymes To Play
Hold onto your bow because it is going to be flying now. So many new songs to play. Twinkle, Baa Baa Black Sheep, ABC Song, This Old Man, Lightly Row, A All The Way, Song of the Wind, Row Row Row Your Boat, Rain Rain Go Away, Pussy Cat, Pease Porridge Hot, Diddle Diddle Dumplin, Chippy (Go Tell Aunt Rhody) London Bridge is Falling Down, Five Little Ducks, The Wheels on the Bus, Three Blind Mice, Old Mac Donald, Ring Around the Rosie,
Violin – MasterClass – The Guppy School
The Guppies is the level after the Twinklers. It is ‘Book One (level 3). Pre-Twinkle, Twinkle, Guppies, Salmons and Graduates make up Book one. Scales Aren’t Just a Fish Thing is an amazing method of teaching music theory and sight-reading at the same time, while having fun. Every possible crutch to learning is given. The method uses the concept of nurturing into learning not testing so our brains don’t set up a roadblock before we get started with learning to sight-read music. This volume of ‘The Big Book of Gum Drop Notes’ book one, includes both color-coded notes with stems indicating the string the note is played on and the notehead indicating which note is played and black notes. The following songs are included: Hey Diddle Diddle A Frog Went a Courtin’ A Peanut sat on a Railroad Track Hickory Dickory Dock Oh Dear What Can the Matter Be Here We Go Around the Mulberry Bush Anchors Aweigh O Come Little Children Long Long Ago May Song Old MacDonald Had a Farm Allegro
Violin – MasterClass – Salmons
The tunes in this level of the Big Book of Gum Drop Notes are a bit of a challenge. Salmon swim against the current. It is a challenge for them but they are mono-focused. They want to accomplish the task. This is what will be required of us in this level of playing. Using the ‘gumdrop notes’ makes it easier. Almost too easy. It doesn’t seem to be an upstream battle. It isn’t our goal to become sophisticated or classy. Our goal is to learn to sight-read music as if it were a second language. Learning happens best when we are having fun. Most of all, our purpose is to ignite our sleeping brains, by using music as the catalyst, to pull each of us through whatever it is that challenges us. The Gum Drop Notes are an amazing system of color-coded notes structured to teach music theory without our being aware. Here are a list of the tunes: Perpetual Motion Doubles – Perpetual Motion – Solo – Alouette – Andantino – Ring Around the Rosie – Allegretto – Animal Fair – All the Pretty Little Ponies – Happy Birthday – Ode to Joy – Etude – Solo – Etude Doubles Bingo – Solo Bingo with rests
Violin – MasterClass – Graduates Book One
The Scales Aren’t Just a Fish Thing method works so quickly and efficiently that students fly through the curriculum, memorizing along the way. Why? Because every modality is addressed. And with that, each student is learning through their own unique learning style. Color-coding notes, play-along music, hints along the way to prevent anything incorrect from being learned, all makes this not only efficient but a yummy way to learn, practice and work until you master the results. Gum Drop Notes aren’t sophisticated and classy but they take a student through a ‘dark forest’ of the unknown task and make it enjoyable. Violinists can assure themselves that they are playing correctly because each note has a bowing indication and each stem of the note reminds the student on which string they should be playing that note. An Open E string tone can be played, and often should be played with a fourth finger on the A string. Lots of reasons why but does a four-year-old care? No, they will play it correctly and understand fully down the road. They will shake their head at your explanation and when they are eight acknowledge what you said. At four, they have the capability to play well and efficiently but want it at lightning speed. Gum Drop Notes offers this and much more. Give them a try.Nick Nack Paddy Wack Gavotte by Gossec

A Year in Level Two

Level Two- purchased separately on a monthly subscription or as a one year study program

Songs from the great composers from years past and their biographies

Keepers Level – Chorus from Judas Maccabeus
Handel was a prolific composer. He invented the English oratorio. His most famous oratorio was “‘The Messiah’ So what’s an oratorio? It is like an opera where people sing, chamber groups play and orchestras are hired and it tells a story. The difference? The opera uses costumes and performers. The oratorio is just singing. Chorus was an oratorio performed at the Theatre-Royal in the Covent-Garden. Chorus is the first song in book two of the Suzuki repertoire.
Keepers Level – Musette by Bach
Keepers – Musette by Bach – is the second song in the Suzuki Violin repertoire. The color-coded sheet music, play along mp4 videos and audio files help the student memorize the song and techniques almost like magic. Try it.
Keepers Level – Hunter’s Chorus by Carl Maria Von Weber
The musical story of The Hunter’s Chorus is about ‘marksman’ or ‘hunter’ who relies on magic. Hunter’s Chorus. This is called Jägerchor in German. This means the “Master of the Hunt” The tune of the Hunter’s Chorus is in act 3, It is the chorus about the joy of hunting
Keepers Level – Waltz by Johannes Brahms
Waltz is a Suzuki song in Book 2. It is a great opportunity to understand repetition in songs and dynamics.
Keeper Level – Long Long Ago by Thomas Bayly
Composer story, mp4 play along music, mp3 audio ,downloadable sheet music and lyrics Tell me the tales that to me were so dear, Long, long ago, long, long ago, Sing me the songs I delighted to hear, Long, long ago, long ago, Do you remember the paths where we met? Ah, yes, you told me you’d never forget, Let me believe that you love ‘me still yet’, Long, long ago, long ago.
Keepers Level – Bourree By George Frideric Handel
Bourree by Handel is one of my favorite songs in the Keeper Level. Be sure to learn the previews first and well because the whole song is based on how they are played. I like to start with a small bow and open the bow as I go through the run. This is a fun, secret way to get the sound to become fuller.
Keeper Level – The Two Grenadiers by R. Schumann
The musical story of two French soldiers returning home after a war. Lots of expressive passages and bowing. Take your time and play it with energy and expression.
Witches Dance – Paganini
Witches Dance is so much fun to play. Lots of arpeggios and a final run. Try to learn them first and your life will be a lot easier.
Keepers Level – Gavotte from Mignon
Gavotte from Mignon is a step up the ladder. Give it a try and you find that you are a better player for having taking this class
Keeper Level – Gavotte by Lully
This song is beautiful but actually quite easy. The biggest challenge is the run. Try to start with small bows and as you continue up the scale play with longer bows.
Keepers Level – Minuet in G by Bach
Lots of previews….lots of bowing techniques.
Take it slowly and learn the previews well before attempting the song.
Keepers Rigoletto and Teddy Bear’s Picnic
Two of the most interesting songs to learn that can make solos or living room concerts lots of fun.
Keepers Level – Minuet by Boccherini
Minuet by Boccherini is not as hard as it seems at first. Simply take it in pieces….’one little bit at a time’ and you will master it quickly

Level Three- purchased separately on a monthly subscription or as a one year study program

The Manatees – Level Three

Manatees – Gavotte by Martini
The Manatees is Level Three of the Scales Aren’t Just a Fish Thing Method of learning an instrument. Martini is a fun song with lots of repeated parts. First, try to remember the ‘ingredients’ to the Dagwood Sandwich and then put it together with the playing cards provided.
Manatees Level – Minuet Three by Bach
Minuet Three is an extension of the song in Book one Salmons. It contains a very beautiful exercise to prepare the student to play G minor. Learn it well first. It is a preview spot.
Manatees – Gavotte in G Minor
My favorite song in book 3. Ok well….one of my favorite songs. This is a great collection of huge songs with gentle spirits. The Gavotte in G Minor includes mp4 videos, sheet music and instructions. Take your time. Email me if you run into a problem. Always happy to help.
Manatees – Humoresque by Dvorak
The composer of this song looks like a bear but with how gentle the song is, he must be a teddy bear. This MasterClass includes Humoresque and Songs My Mother Taught Me, This is one of my favorite songs. Watch the stem colors because it does unexpectedly shift for one little phrase.
Manatees – Gavotte in D Major by J.S.Bach
Gavotte in D Major is a great solo piece for the violin. Take each section slowly and put it together with clear grace notes.
Manatees – Gavotte by Becker
Gavotte by Becker is a bit of a challenge. Learn the previews first and then try it by sections.
Manatees – Bourree by Bach
Bourree by Bach – To study a piece correctly, it helps to know the correct bowing and the correct fingering. Scales Aren’t Just a Fish Thing teaches complex music theory concepts with clues and crutches throughout the song. Memorize the music quickly while learning subtle bits of theory by using the play-along music at different speeds.

A Year in Level Four

Level Four- Dolphins

Dolphins – Seitz 1 Concerto No2, 3rd Movement
The first Seitz in book 4 of the Suzuki repertoire in Gum Drop Notes with harmony. Stick with it until you can play it at the polished speed with the harmony. Downloadable sheet music, mp3, mp4 play along videos. Play with the videos. The first time will be horrible. Expect that. The second time will be better so work through it.
Dolphins – Seitz 2 – Concerto 5 1st movement
Seitz – mp4, mp3, downloadable sheet music and harmonies. Give it a try but take your time and learn the bowing techniques, the ups and downs, and the speed at which some of it is played. Go til you’ve got it!…Be able to play it along with the play along music.
Dolphins – Seitz 3 Concerto 5 3rd Movement
Give this a try. Mp4, Mp3 audio, downloadable sheet music. Lots of previews. Practice with the previews until you can play them up to speed and then work on the entire song. Don’t stop until you can play it well…..memorized. The cost of a few cups of coffee.
Dolphins – Lullabies Schubert
and Brahms
Two simple tunes to help you understand the 3rd position on the violin. Another song to practice your ability to play in 3rd position. Watch the color of the stem for an indication as to which string the note is played on. The numbers on top of the note are also in the color of the string on which it is played.
The Dolphins – Concerto in A Minor 3rd Movement – Antonio Vivaldi
Another amazing concerto from Vivaldi. This song is a great introduction to the music of a great composer and teacher. Learn it well. Memorize every little note and then play it up to speed with the play-along mp4. Work on it until you can play along with the mp4.
The Dolphins– Concerto in A Minor 1st Movement – Vivaldi
Vivaldi was a red-headed priest who taught girls to play music in Venice. It was forbidden so he put something in front of the girls so they couldn’t be seen while playing. This concerto is energetic and fun to play. Lots of fast notes and 3rd position at the beginning.
The Dolphins – Bach Double Concerto for Violins in D Minor
The Bach Double is considered among the best examples of the work of the late Baroque period. It is an amazing feeling to be playing in the midst of a group of violinists. We have the manuscript written in Bach’s own handwriting. It is a dance between two violins. Amazing.

Add on Master Classes

– Monthly subscriptions (second month is at a reduced fee)

Selfie Profiles
Here are some of the topics we will discuss in very short, 5 minute stories. They aren’t instructive talks. They are stories, examples and ideas to mentally ‘chew’ on. ‘ Data with a Soul’. Take one or two a day. Once you complete the Master Class, you might want to consider the 7 week course of the Igniting Sleeping Brains Project – taking one week on each of your senses and layering very simple, non-threatening activities to force your brain to vie for dominance and build extra paths. The class will only be offered to those who have gone through the free “Igniting Sleeping Brains 7 Day Challenge Project” and the Master Class.
“Who are the Super Heroes?”
“Super Heroes are Happy”
“Super Hero Test and answers”
“Facial Dominance”
“Eye Dominance”
“Hand foot and ear dominance”
“A Goal without a Plan is just a Wish”
“A Study in Happiness and Commitment”
“Comparing Stress vs Burnout”
“Don’t think about Fish”
“I Played the Truck”
“The Parking Lot and the Why Behind our Choices “
“Desirable qualities and Undesirable flaws and why does that matter when studying music?”
“Compliant or Cooperative – Which is better?”
“How We are Wired and Why it Matters When Learning Music — or anything for that matter”
“What Others Think and Why it shouldn’t Matter”
“Organized Clutter”
“Wait for it!”
“The Perfect Storm”
“Winter Doldrums”
“Creatively Strengthening Mini Minds”
“The dimmer switch on progress”
“The Pattern Interrupt”
“Moments are the ‘bytes’ of our life”
“Practice with sticking power”
“3 Steps: Make a dream a vision and then a reality”
“Healthy Model vs Diseased Model”
“Smorgasbord Feast for the Brain”
“Chatting with the birds”
“What if you knew the end of the game at the beginning?”
“Planting Seeds”
“Don’t fight the Loss – Define and Fight the battle”
“Take Back Your Life and Make it Happen”
“5 points for making memories”
“Igniting Sleeping Brains Strategy”
“The 8’s week one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight”
“Crutches to Creativity”
“See – Hear – or Move to Process Information and life around you”
“Mind Control – I feel Happy, I feel Healthy, I feel Terrific!”
“Playing Music at the Grandparents’ house”
“Memorial Day”
“The Flow”
“Enriching the Brain”
“You deserve a break today ….if…. “
“Character First “
” Four D’s We can Influence and One we Can’t”
“Are you in the cycle of the revolving door?”
“Anchors in Life”
“Capture the Moment”
“Mommy Manifesto”
“It’s Easier to Start Something than Finishing it”
“The Psychology of Choice”
“What is Scales Aren’t Just a Fish Thing?”
“When children’s or our eyes are distracted – focus”
“The value of speed and games in learning”
“Three kinds of Music Readers”
“Creatively strengthen music students”
“Life is better when in balance”
“A cup of tea”
“Perfection vs Excellence”
“Greenhouse Mentoring”
“Today I identified with a gas station”
“What is the Gas that Runs the Motor that Feeds the Meter?”
“Practice – A little thought on a little change”
“Drift – Driven – Design your Practice”
Violin – Early One Morning
Early one morning is a cute fun tune. Starting on C Major you continue the song by going to D Major and then E Major etc. with the same tune. It is a great warm up or any instrument. Written for the violin with the stems indicating the string it is played on, this still works for mandolin, cello, piano and guitar.
Violin – Pachelbel’s Canon – MasterClass
Pachelbel’s Canon has become one of the most popular wedding songs of the decade. It has just about taken the position of the wedding march for brides as they come down the aisle.
Pachelbel’s Canon starts with previews of the most difficult passages. Once the previews are mastered, the student then begins the song with ‘candy cane’ notes. The notes are color-coded and lettered to give a solid foundation. Eventually, the student moves to black notes with very few prompts.
A fun duet completes the book using the skills from Pachelbel’s Canon.
Scales Aren’t Just a Fish Thing is a system to teach complex music theory concepts, sight-reading and how to play the violin, teaching students to memorize repertoire rapidly and deeply.
This Master Class has all the stems colored to indicate the string the note is played on for the violin but it can be used for two or three pianos, mandolins, harps etc. to play as a round as well.
Pachelbel Canon Preview (very slowly)
Pachelbel Preview

Pachelbel Preview (Very Slowly)—
Pachelbel (Very Slowly)
Pachelbel First Shift
Pachelbel Preview 3 Rhythm
Pachelbel – the complete song
Pachelbel – trio
Violin – MasterClass – Canons (most in the key of C)
The Canons – most in the key of C are a compilation of many rounds and canons for individuals with the play-along videos or a group
Violin – MasterClass – Fiddle Tunes – Gum Drop Notes
The violin is like our voice. It is the tool we use to produce different languages. Fiddle is a far cry from classical violin and a close cousin to Gypsy. Give it a try. Download the sheet music and learn the song. Don’t frustrate yourself by trying to play quickly when you are just learning the tunes. That will definitely come later. Listen to the audio and watch the mp4 at various speeds. Enjoy the journey,
Violin – MasterClass – Fickle Fingers Companion Books Finger Positions
Can you imagine playing ‘The Flight of the Bumblebee”? It’s possible with this course if you take each lesson and learn it well. Just as we studied the rhythms on the open strings, we will use these same rhythms to become familiar with each of the fingers used in first position. Take it slowly and enjoy the path of adding one finger at a time to your songs.
MasterClass – Christmas Sheet Music and Play-along for Violin, Piano and Cello
The Christmas Masterclass is for the piano, cello, violin ,harp and mandolin. Enjoy the amazing difference playing and singing Christmas Carols in the comfort of your own living room. Almost anyone can learn a Carol with the Scales Aren’t Just a Fish Thing method.