Tuesday, September 26, 2006

10 ways of improving your sight reading skills

1. Practice sight reading every day. Practice makes perfect. Great sight readers are more often made than born.
Four Star Sight Reading and Ear Tests: Book 4 - sheet music at www.sheetmusicplus.com Four Star Sight Reading and Ear Tests: Book 4 By Boris Berlin And Andrew Markow. Daily Exercises for Piano Students. Ear Training and Sight Reading. Early Intermediate. Level: Grade 4. Book. 56 pages. Published by The Frederick Harris Music Company. (4S4)
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2. Practice in the dark. Piano playing isn't just an intellectual exercise but a physical activity as well. You can teach the body to trust its instincts so that when sight reading the eyes can stay focused on the music while the rest of the body does its thing with confidence and grace.

3. Read through songs and arias with a singer, or through sonatas with an instrumentalist. Sight reading isn't just forced labor. The process of reading through repertoire with a singer/instrumentalist can be extremely satisfying, deepen the level of partnership, help to build skills, and be fun.

4. Work as a pianist in the studio of a voice teacher. A voice teacher can put you to work learning a wide variety of music from the art song, opera, oratorio, and music theatre genres without a lot of lead time to learn music properly. The more you do, the broader will be your knowledge and skills, and the better you will get.

5. Read about Chunking Theory [wiki] and try to figure out how you can group musical elements into perceptual groups. Reading music, like reading text, is a process of finding perceptual groups. When you read from a book, you perceive not just letters but words, phrases, and clauses. Music is no different.

6. Read soundtrk's observations about sight reading on My Other Life.

7. Read Martha Beth Lewis's remarks on the process of teaching sight reading.

8. Improvise in the style of a particular composer or genre. It's not just about notes and rhythms, but the totality of musical elements, including style. The more you are able to re-create the style of a particular time and place in musical history, the more your sight reading will sound like the real thing.

9. Play an afternoon of voice auditions as the house pianist. Do or die. The best incentive to rise to the level of a top-notch sight reader is to be thrust into a situation where you must read at a high level under a considerable amount of pressure.

10. Play at the same level sight reading as you would in a well-prepared recital. Okay, this is impossible, but having it as a goal will propel you to the next level.
Look inside this title
Alfred's Basic Adult Piano Course - Sight Reading Book (Level 1) - sheet music at www.sheetmusicplus.com
Alfred's Basic Adult Piano Course - Sight Reading Book (Level 1) (Carefully Sequenced Examples Designed to Enhance Music Reading Skills for a Lifetime of Piano Enjoyment) Written by E. L. Lancaster, Gayle Kowalchyk. Instructional book for piano. Series: Alfred's Basic Adult Piano Course. 48 pages. Published by Alfred Publishing. (AP.14539)
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