How To Sight Read On The Piano
"Sight Reading" is probably one of the most useful - and most neglected - skills that any pianist at any level needs to have. So how do you learn how to sight read piano music?
Learning to sight read music is strikingly similar to learning to read words. Once we learn our alphabets, we piece them together to form words, and then those words become sentences, paragraphs, books, and so on. But to read fluently and proficiently, you need to practice reading every day.
What if you learned your alphabet, learned to read about 25 words, and then, practiced reading those same words over and over in the same paragraph for months at a time? You'd certainly have those words memorized - and most likely the entire paragraph - at the end of that time, but you would be struggling to read any new material if your vocabulary never expanded on a regular basis beyond those 25 words. Unfortunately, most music training runs along those lines - a student is given a piece, learns the notes, and practices those same notes over and over until they can play the piece perfectly, but their reading skills have never progressed beyond an elementary level.
The only way to improve sight reading music is to read something new everyday, just as you read new words in new books or articles or blogs every day. Makes sense, doesn't it? But it can be really difficult for teachers to come up with enough material at just the right level and progression rate to make reading music as fluent as reading words.
This is where Sight Reading Academy comes to the rescue. Sight Reading Academy is a website that provides brand new, short, sight reading exercises for piano students of every level - from absolute beginners to highly advanced pianists looking to improve their skills. In addition to reading something new every day, Sight Reading Academy provides some innovative features to train the eye to move ahead while playing, as well as fun accompaniment tracks to liven up your reading sessions (and keep you reading in time, rather than getting stuck note to note). Sight Reading Academy provides membership accounts for both students and teachers (teacher accounts are free, by the way).
In this episode of Pro Piano Tips, I interview Colin Thomson, the founder of Sight Reading Academy, and we go in depth over the features of the site. Click here to visit Sight Reading Academy and check it out for yourself.
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