Sight Reading has always been my favorite piano activity :) I definitely need to reinforce it more in lessons and in assignments for home practicing.
But I will often tell my students, “The best way to improve in sight reading is to get your hands on every bit of music you can find.” Just play, play, play. :)
Poor sight-reading has been identified as one of the reasons students stop lessons. The most effective way to become a successful sight-reader is to practise the skill regularly. Just as with reading a book, in time students will recognise clusters of notes as phrases rather than as individual entities. There is a correlation between proficient sight-reading and time spent practising it. You do not become fluent at reading anything without regular practice. Everyone who can read a book has the intellectual capacity to become an effective sight-reader, but improving sight-reading requires a continual increase in the difficulty of the material.
The beauty of this skill is that it speeds up the learning process and opens up new and wider opportunities for making music with others.
Learning to sight-read involves a different mindset than when one learns for a performance. Maintaining fluency and momentum is paramount. In particular one must not…
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