"Scales are, or at least could be, music". Scales are an integral part of the compositions of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and so on. Think of the opening of Beethoven's Piano Concerto no. 1, the Emperor Concerto 2nd movement, and so on.
Student compositions could use sections of scales, or octaves of complete scales. Ideas:
Write the scale, and
- Add rhythm and beat
- Add a harmony
- Add an ostinato
- Add paused notes and in the pause let left hand (or voice/second instrument) add a few melodic notes/ornamentation
- Repeat some of the notes in the scale as a motif
- Cluster the notes of the scale and insert short motivic developments of those segments
- Add rests and insert body percussion (snaps/claps) at the restsIdentify the notes of the tonic arpeggio and pause or accent those notes
- Add different accompaniment styles to the scale, e.g. waltz bass, walking bass, drone bass, etc.