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#2057732 - 04/01/13 10:56 AM Sight-Reading Boot Camp
Maechre Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/01/12
Posts: 254
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
SO WHO'S IN?

Let's support each other in the endless journey to sight-reading improvement!

If enough people are interested, I'll go ahead and make myself a new email address and Youtube account, this one devoted only to my sight-reading. The idea is that one piece of pure sight-reading every day or so would be uploaded to Youtube and shared on this thread.

This way we can all support each other in our journey. I know my videos may be riddled with mistakes and painfully slow, but that's all part of learning to sight-read, isn't it?
_________________________
I love sight-reading! One day I will master it.

http://www.youtube.com/user/Acrozius?feature=mhee

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#2057949 - 04/01/13 05:42 PM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
earlofmar Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 1733
Loc: Australia
I am in. To get good at sight reading was one of the main reasons I took up piano 5 months ago. It has been a very slow process so far so it would be nice to see how others are coping
_________________________
I thought I understood endurance sport; then I took up piano
XXXV-6-XXX

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#2058213 - 04/02/13 09:26 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: earlofmar]
malkin Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2687
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
I'm too much of a luddite to participate in posting videos, but I'm game to pledge to sightread every day and comment on how it is going.

When my ipad isn't misplaced or locked in my office at work or having a dead battery I use the ABRSM Wessar app, which is appropriately challenging--that is--just this side of impossible.
_________________________
A good student is one who makes the teacher feel like a good teacher.

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#2058237 - 04/02/13 10:27 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
LarryShone Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/01/10
Posts: 860
Loc: Darlington, UK
Sight reading for absolute beginner? Sight reading is reading music from a sheet isn't it? Excuse the dumb question but I got to thinking there's a difference between reading music and sight reading.
_________________________
If the piano is the King of instruments then I am its loyal servant.

Yamaha PSR225-I NEED A PIANO wink

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#2058248 - 04/02/13 10:45 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
Maechre Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/01/12
Posts: 254
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
People just beginning to sight-read can use 5-finger music if they feel that's a good level for them.

Reading music means reading the sheets in front of you while you're playing. Sight-reading can also mean this.

Prima vista sight-reading means reading the music the first time you've ever seen it. (You've also had a very quick look over it, looking at time and key signature, tempo and difficult sections.) People can also mean this when using the word "sight-reading".

For the purposes of this thread, I'm mainly talking about prima vista sight-reading. But if you want to upload something you've read once or twice before playing, that's cool too. It's still a greatly valuable tool to be able to play something with a few minutes of practise beforehand.

We won't be Nazis here -- prima vista sight-reading, reading pieces a few times, and learning a piece by reading it many times all help sight-reading, and it's worth doing all of these.

This is a cheer group for everyone who wants to get better at sight-reading in all its forms. smile
_________________________
I love sight-reading! One day I will master it.

http://www.youtube.com/user/Acrozius?feature=mhee

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#2058258 - 04/02/13 11:09 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
LarryShone Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/01/10
Posts: 860
Loc: Darlington, UK
Oh I couldnt do that! Im at the absolute beginner level when it comes to reading music. I need to study each note seperately. It doesnt come naturally or easily to me. Like learning a foreign language.
_________________________
If the piano is the King of instruments then I am its loyal servant.

Yamaha PSR225-I NEED A PIANO wink

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#2058261 - 04/02/13 11:16 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
Maechre Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/01/12
Posts: 254
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
The first thing you need to do is be able to recognise a note instantly and play it when you see it. I suggest flash cards or writing out random notes on staves. Start with just the C note one day. The next day play only C and E notes. The next day, add the G note, and play random C, E and G notes that you've written out. Start with the treble clef, maybe switching between treble and bass notes every day. I suggest learning up to one ledger line above the treble staff, and one line below the bass staff.

Soon enough, you should be able to recognise the notes quickly enough that you can start on the five finger music. Then learn not to focus overly much on the notes. Know them, but don't analyse them or try to think which note it is. It's much quicker to see that a note moves up a step, or that it skips onto the next line or space.

You're welcome to join us whenever you feel comfortable!
_________________________
I love sight-reading! One day I will master it.

http://www.youtube.com/user/Acrozius?feature=mhee

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#2058269 - 04/02/13 11:34 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
LarryShone Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/01/10
Posts: 860
Loc: Darlington, UK
Yes I have found an app for my phone that does that. It flashes up a note and you have to hit the right note on the virtual keyboard before it disappears off the side of the screen.
_________________________
If the piano is the King of instruments then I am its loyal servant.

Yamaha PSR225-I NEED A PIANO wink

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#2058285 - 04/02/13 12:08 PM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
Maechre Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/01/12
Posts: 254
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
It seems the same, but I have a feeling the way I described would help you learn it quicker. Sitting at the piano's a little different as you have to either look down or feel for the correct key.
_________________________
I love sight-reading! One day I will master it.

http://www.youtube.com/user/Acrozius?feature=mhee

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#2058305 - 04/02/13 01:05 PM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
Michael_99 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 935
Loc: Canada Alberta
Well, it is very, very, confusing. I opened a beginner's piano book and I learned every piece in the book, 50 pieces, of course, all short, because they are beginner pieces. Now, I can open any book at that level and play the pieces by sight reading because it is my level. I am now working through John Thompson's music book number 1, is a little harder, the next step, and I can play the pieces after I crawl through the piece a few times over 3 days and then it will take me many months of playing the pieces everyday to bring them up to speed, if you will, to play them very smoothly and musically.

Now, someone like Lange Lange should be able to sight read a lot of music because he plays at a very high level. But if Lange Lange was learning a new piece, he would have to crawl though the piece measure by measure just like I do for many days, and over many months to bring the piece up to speed, etc.

So when posters here say they want to sight read a piece immediately or after a couple of glances, makes no sense to me - unless you are playing a piece of music well within your playing and reading range.


For instance, I play and review all my pieces I have ever learned in the last year since beginning piano and I can play those pieces easily because I play them everyday or most everyday 365 days/times at least. If I am sick and can't play the piano for a few days or a couple of months, as a result of surgery recently, then I will make a few mistakes because I haven't played them everyday recently, but I can play them fine reading the music. I have NOT memorized any of them, just play them by ready the music which I do everyday.

So would any poster please explain how any piano player is able to sight read any music that is not "easy and simple" to his level of playing the piano and reading the music to his level of reading/playing - else they would have to crawl through the measures - measure by measure.

Thank for you any humble explanation so I can understand sight reading.

So any piano player can read any music at his level because he knows all the notes on, above, and below the staff and he knows the rhythms because they are well within his knowledge and experience.


Edited by Michael_99 (04/02/13 01:09 PM)

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#2058330 - 04/02/13 02:14 PM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: LarryShone]
Brian Lucas Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/11
Posts: 989
Originally Posted By: LarryShone
Sight reading for absolute beginner? Sight reading is reading music from a sheet isn't it? Excuse the dumb question but I got to thinking there's a difference between reading music and sight reading.
There are no dumb questions. This gets debated a lot. I tend to use the term more broadly, but I know there are folks who use "sight reading" to mean the first time only.

I wrote an article a few months ago discussing this very thing.
http://ezinearticles.com/?Sight-Reading-Music-Vs.-Reading-Music&id=7438618
_________________________
-Brian
BM in Performance, Berklee College of Music, 23+ year teacher and touring musician
My Downloadable Video Piano Lessons
My Sight Reading eBook
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#2058372 - 04/02/13 04:18 PM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Brian Lucas]
Michael_99 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 935
Loc: Canada Alberta
Thanks, Brian Lucas for referring to the website about sight reading that indicated that one can only sight read if you practice reading and playing the piano and sight reading is only limited by the piano player's ability to play the piano.

It is funny, but understandable, that the whole piano world wants to sight read Ballad played by Richter - Chopin Ballad No. 4, after their first piano lesson - and are searching the web for the magic that will enable them to sight read Ballad and all it takes is not money, but sitting on the piano bench day after day reading piano music and playing piano music. It is a destination after a long journey of playing the piano that you can sight read any music put before you like Lang Lang.





Edited by Michael_99 (04/02/13 04:20 PM)

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#2058380 - 04/02/13 04:48 PM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Michael_99]
Whizbang Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/27/12
Posts: 815
Originally Posted By: Michael_99
So would any poster please explain how any piano player is able to sight read any music that is not "easy and simple" to his level of playing the piano and reading the music to his level of reading/playing - else they would have to crawl through the measures - measure by measure.


I'm not sure I can explain it, but I can do it (and my teacher sure can do it).

It really depends on what you mean "easy and simple," though. I study ragtime pieces of moderate difficulty. When I first pick up a piece, I don't really have to crawl through the measures, measure by measure, but I'll certainly flub quite a few notes and won't really have the same interpretive depth as a piece I've specifically studied. So it's sight reading, but not performance quality.

On the other hand, I can read by sight ragtime pieces on the easier side of the genre. I'll still flub stuff but be closer to tempo and have fewer flubs. I'd consider these amateur performance quality and certainly not far off the level if I were to study the piece.

I was not a gifted sight reader. I recall having to painstakingly play measures note-by-note. But I was even worse at ear playing and memorization, so over the years, my brain rewired to where, now, for a lot of common patterns, I see the black marks on the page and it just makes my hands want to move a certain way. I don't really consciously have to think about the note names.

It's basically a time and study thing that, in my case, took a long time to start to develop. But if you ask me to explain "how" I do it, I can't. It's more that I simply did and did and did and did and did it until eventually, I could sort of do it.

Eye-oriented, professional musicians... as opposed to amateurs like me... are absolutely capable of reading very complex stuff at first glance and at performance quality.

Here's a video of Tom Brier, a well-known West Coast ragtime performer, not only reading a score at first sight but live-improvising over the score.

_________________________
Whizbang
amateur ragtime pianist

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#2058385 - 04/02/13 05:03 PM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Michael_99]
UK Paul UK Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/22/11
Posts: 396
Loc: Berkshire, England
I dont know about lang lang but i remember reading czerny remarked that lizst was constantly barraged with complex materials to the poin t he could play the most demanding music at first sight as if practiced for many hours....

How do we walk, talk, breath and assess the enviroment for dangers all at the same time...?

Cognative ability and practice..... lots and lots of practice till we are as much a musical instrument as the piano, atleast for the dedicated few ... not me yet lol
_________________________
http://www.youtube.com/user/PaulGPiano

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#2058452 - 04/02/13 09:20 PM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
Maechre Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/01/12
Posts: 254
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
For me, it did help to go through "Improve Your Sight-Reading!" books 1 and 2, and maybe 3, possibly 4. But after that, there's just not enough material in the books (or most sight-reading methods -- I haven't tried Hannah Smith but I think my levels beyond her book). Those first books in the series taught me HOW to sight-read, and started slowly and easily, building me up. After book 3 or 4, you really need more material at that level so you can master it before moving up a level. That's where I bring in the website I linked in a post above.
_________________________
I love sight-reading! One day I will master it.

http://www.youtube.com/user/Acrozius?feature=mhee

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#2058528 - 04/03/13 03:17 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
sinophilia Offline

Gold Supporter until Sept. 05 2014


Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 1009
Loc: Italy
I'm using Bartok's Mikrokosmos and after exercise 20 it's already starting to get difficult for me, still in 5-finger position but with the two hands doing different things... I wonder if I will ever magically improve just by trying over and over. I try to read by intervals and read ahead but it's still so hard.
_________________________
Diana & Wally - Yamaha W110BW
Martha Argerich... is an incarnation of the artistic metaphor of the "eternal feminine" that draws us upward. (Sergio Sablich)

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#2058531 - 04/03/13 03:31 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: sinophilia]
Mete Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/13/13
Posts: 45
Loc: Turkey
Originally Posted By: sinophilia
I'm using Bartok's Mikrokosmos and after exercise 20 it's already starting to get difficult for me, still in 5-finger position but with the two hands doing different things... I wonder if I will ever magically improve just by trying over and over. I try to read by intervals and read ahead but it's still so hard.


sinophilia, I know what you feel. I'm sight-reading Mikrokosmos I at the moment.

You need lots of resources for your appropriate level. Once you get through a score, it's no longer sight-reading. Here are some basic freebies from the Internet;

http://gmajormusictheory.org/Freebies/freebies.html
http://www.lds.org/music/library/childrens-songbook?lang=eng

Hope this helps!

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#2058541 - 04/03/13 03:54 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
Maechre Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/01/12
Posts: 254
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
True, but there's nothing wrong with reading a piece a second time, as that's still a useful skill. Just don't read it too many times if you want to keep it as sight-reading material for later. Still, I don't think it's a hindrance to read through a book a second or third time while you wait for more material.

I don't think the Mikrokosmos are as good as they say for sight-reading. But then again, I've only gone through the first book. It's great that they're progressive, but 35 pages is seriously not enough for you to get much better, especially when every piece gets harder than the last one, rather than keeping you at the same level. I think they're better suited to learning material.
_________________________
I love sight-reading! One day I will master it.

http://www.youtube.com/user/Acrozius?feature=mhee

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#2058559 - 04/03/13 06:05 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
Lost Woods Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/11/13
Posts: 104
Loc: The Netherlands
Originally Posted By: Maechre
For me, it did help to go through "Improve Your Sight-Reading!" books 1 and 2, and maybe 3, possibly 4. But after that, there's just not enough material in the books (or most sight-reading methods -- I haven't tried Hannah Smith but I think my levels beyond her book). Those first books in the series taught me HOW to sight-read, and started slowly and easily, building me up. After book 3 or 4, you really need more material at that level so you can master it before moving up a level. That's where I bring in the website I linked in a post above.


That's the main method I use. I'm a bad sight reader and as you say, after book 3 or 4 it gets very difficult. I'm doing the 6th now but a lot of mistakes, extremely slow playing. The books are very good in my opinion but could have been hundred pages each grade, maybe even 200 pages in stead of like 25.

The methodes introduces 'chords' relatively late in my opinion. Therefore I'm doing this hymn stuff nowadays.. man that's hard but I still like it.

As far as "first glance" thing; I play these little "sight-reading" pieces like maybe 3 times.. because in the end.. it's all about recognizing patterns and intervals. Cause if I play it only once with mistakes what did I learn from it?

When I play a piece wrong the first time, the second time I really focus on the intervals so that the next time I have this interval in antoher sight reading piece I won't make the same mistake again! This is the approach I use for the hymns too, getting to know the intervals and play it "good" before moving on. I take this piece, select like 8 bars.. sightread-play it and where I mistake or tend to mistake I'll analyze and try again.


Edited by Lost Woods (04/03/13 06:09 AM)

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#2058649 - 04/03/13 10:57 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
Maechre Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/01/12
Posts: 254
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Lost Woods, I like your process, and use it sometimes if I wasn't satisfied with my first go. By building your familiarity with a piece, you can be more prepared when a new piece comes along with a similar pattern. Which is why I do think there's something to reading a piece multiple times. Right now I'm learning a difficult piece, and for the third time I'm doing it with the music in front of me, always reading, very slowly, and working backwards from the last section to the first. This is how I want to learn music from now on. Memory fails. Sheet music is there to remind you how it all goes. When my reading skill gets better, I should have less trouble performing and accompanying.
_________________________
I love sight-reading! One day I will master it.

http://www.youtube.com/user/Acrozius?feature=mhee

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#2059561 - 04/05/13 02:41 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
sinophilia Offline

Gold Supporter until Sept. 05 2014


Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 1009
Loc: Italy
Thank you guys, I hadn't thought of this 'quantity' issue with sight-reading material! So I just ordered a bunch of other stuff, including Hannah Smith's book and Improve Your Sight-Reading 1 and 2. I have the Big Book of Beginner's Piano Classics but most of it is still too difficult for me to sight-read.

I'm devoting 15 minutes a day to this and I really want to improve! Still, sight-reading music is not just reading, you also have to 'translate' what you read to the keyboard. So hard when one's technique is still so poor!
_________________________
Diana & Wally - Yamaha W110BW
Martha Argerich... is an incarnation of the artistic metaphor of the "eternal feminine" that draws us upward. (Sergio Sablich)

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#2059563 - 04/05/13 02:51 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: sinophilia]
Mete Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/13/13
Posts: 45
Loc: Turkey
Originally Posted By: sinophilia
Thank you guys, I hadn't thought of this 'quantity' issue with sight-reading material! So I just ordered a bunch of other stuff, including Hannah Smith's book and Improve Your Sight-Reading 1 and 2. I have the Big Book of Beginner's Piano Classics but most of it is still too difficult for me to sight-read.

I'm devoting 15 minutes a day to this and I really want to improve! Still, sight-reading music is not just reading, you also have to 'translate' what you read to the keyboard. So hard when one's technique is still so poor!


Is it just me or I don't know, sight-reading is very tiring for me. I am mentally exhausted after 15 minutes or so.

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#2059577 - 04/05/13 03:58 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Mete]
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014


Registered: 05/24/12
Posts: 1383
Loc: Cameron Park, California
Originally Posted By: Mete
Originally Posted By: sinophilia
Thank you guys, I hadn't thought of this 'quantity' issue with sight-reading material! So I just ordered a bunch of other stuff, including Hannah Smith's book and Improve Your Sight-Reading 1 and 2. I have the Big Book of Beginner's Piano Classics but most of it is still too difficult for me to sight-read.

I'm devoting 15 minutes a day to this and I really want to improve! Still, sight-reading music is not just reading, you also have to 'translate' what you read to the keyboard. So hard when one's technique is still so poor!


Is it just me or I don't know, sight-reading is very tiring for me. I am mentally exhausted after 15 minutes or so.


Sight-reading, when you give it your full focus and attention, is a very mentally demanding task. I can also only focus on it for about this long, too, being a beginner; our mental stamina will likely improve over time and/or, as our skills improve, sight-reading will likely require less focus from us mentally in order to do a decent job (at least until maybe the material rises proportionately to match the increase in abilities).

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#2059611 - 04/05/13 05:28 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
Maechre Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/01/12
Posts: 254
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Mete and Bobpickle, you're both right in my experience.

At the beginning I only did about 15 minutes a day, as it was very mentally tiring for me. There's a lot to focus on and you're working your brain like any muscle. It gets stronger with practice. As the muscle gets stronger it can endure more demanding tasks for longer. As I moved towards the end of my Big-Note phase, I was sight-reading music for an hour at a time, sometimes 2 if I had the time, just to solidify everything going on in my mind.

I got my new easy piano books today, and they're not so much more difficult as to put me off or make me drop back down a level, but they're hard enough to make me slow down a lot and not make too many mistakes.
_________________________
I love sight-reading! One day I will master it.

http://www.youtube.com/user/Acrozius?feature=mhee

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#2059638 - 04/05/13 07:22 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
Mete Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/13/13
Posts: 45
Loc: Turkey
Originally Posted By: Maechre
Mete and Bobpickle, you're both right in my experience.

At the beginning I only did about 15 minutes a day, as it was very mentally tiring for me. There's a lot to focus on and you're working your brain like any muscle. It gets stronger with practice. As the muscle gets stronger it can endure more demanding tasks for longer. As I moved towards the end of my Big-Note phase, I was sight-reading music for an hour at a time, sometimes 2 if I had the time, just to solidify everything going on in my mind.

I got my new easy piano books today, and they're not so much more difficult as to put me off or make me drop back down a level, but they're hard enough to make me slow down a lot and not make too many mistakes.


As layman's terms, neurological connections get stronger each time they are used.

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#2059652 - 04/05/13 07:55 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
malkin Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2687
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
A little bit every day for me too. I have the in app metronome set at 42. When I am done with all my little exercises, I will start over but at a little bit faster speed.
_________________________
A good student is one who makes the teacher feel like a good teacher.

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#2061863 - 04/09/13 12:05 PM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
Lost Woods Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/11/13
Posts: 104
Loc: The Netherlands
Question;
If you are playing for example in D major. You have 2 sharps, F# and C#.
Do you think about them in sense of recoginizing the F's and C's on the sheet music and then know these have to be played like F# or C#? Or do you just look at the intervals and really know the scale you are in so that the interval will directly lead you to de F# and C# without thinking about it?

Till' now I used the first method.. but I began doubting it.. maybe it's much better to really "fit" in the scale so you don't have to think about de F's and C's on sheet music but only about the interval and cause your mind is in the scale it will be automatically F# or C#. For 1, 2 or maybe 3 sharps it doesn't make the biggest difference but when I sight read these little pieces in C# en F minor I find myself thinking to much about the notes in stead of the intervals.

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#2062049 - 04/09/13 04:42 PM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
earlofmar Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 1733
Loc: Australia
I can't really answer this question, it is still too early into my sight reading journey. I am just as curious as to the answers others will give. For myself I try as much as possible to read intervallicaly and will often not play the correct sharps or flats, my brain is yet to inhabit the scale. I am hoping just more experience will correct that problem.
I asked my music teacher something similar a month back - I asked did she read the intervals or the notes and she surprised me by saying both. This followed on from an early comment when I was trying to explain how I was seeing and reading music. I had asked if this was ok was I on the right path and again I got a surprising answer, that there was no right way, that whatever works for the individual is ok. I can accept this in the respect that sight reading seems to be made up of lots of things, interval, chord, pattern recognition. Sight reading is going to be a personal thing with everyone having little differences of execution. I did search for a while to find a book on the subject but I can't find the art of sight reading explained.
_________________________
I thought I understood endurance sport; then I took up piano
XXXV-6-XXX

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#2062243 - 04/10/13 01:53 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
sinophilia Offline

Gold Supporter until Sept. 05 2014


Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 1009
Loc: Italy
My approach with key signatures is that I play the related scale a few times and then I'm sort of blocking out the notes that are not in it - in D major I will just know that there won't be natural F's and C's unless they have a natural sign in front, so I just avoid those keys. It's like putting one's brain in a specific mode, although I don't know if it's a good way or not. Actually it makes it harder to change key within a song and even to practice two songs in a different key at the same time.
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#2062284 - 04/10/13 05:46 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Lost Woods]
Maechre Offline
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Lost Woods:

From my own experience, here are my two cents.

Know the scale. When I play in D major, I know that all C's and F's are sharpened, so I only ever play C sharp and F sharp. Before I start the piece I have to know the key signature, and when I do that I get myself ready to play in the correct scale. If it's a scale I haven't sight-read in much, I play the scale up and down a few times.

It's also useful to know the chords in the scale. For example, in D you have D, Em, F#m, G, A, Bm and C#dim.
In F minor, you have Fm, Gdim, Ab, Bbm, Cm, Db, Eb.

Even just knowing some chords in the scale, it will help your hand fall into the right place when you're playing chords (broken or otherwise), most likely in the left hand, and you can adjust any alterations from there.

I use the "know all F's and C's are raised" method. Getting it to happen automatically is just a matter of practice, and being careful to play those raised notes correctly while practising.
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#2062285 - 04/10/13 05:47 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
Maechre Offline
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I also +1 sinphilia's method.
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#2062899 - 04/11/13 12:49 PM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
sinophilia Offline

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I got my new books smile Unfortunately I'm up to my eyes in work right now, but I will start the Hannah Smith's book next week.

I also got ABRSM sight-reading books for grades 1 and 2, just to check the kind of level I'm supposed to reach sooner or later.
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Martha Argerich... is an incarnation of the artistic metaphor of the "eternal feminine" that draws us upward. (Sergio Sablich)

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#2063267 - 04/12/13 02:44 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
Maechre Offline
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Exciting! I love new books! smile
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#2063408 - 04/12/13 10:41 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: sinophilia]
malkin Offline
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Originally Posted By: sinophilia

I also got ABRSM sight-reading books for grades 1 and 2, just to check the kind of level I'm supposed to reach sooner or later.


I think these are the same ones I have in the ipad app. I work them at mm=42 (don't laugh!) and plan to start over at a faster tempo when i finish them.
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#2063418 - 04/12/13 10:58 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: malkin]
Mete Offline
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Originally Posted By: malkin
Originally Posted By: sinophilia

I also got ABRSM sight-reading books for grades 1 and 2, just to check the kind of level I'm supposed to reach sooner or later.


I think these are the same ones I have in the ipad app. I work them at mm=42 (don't laugh!) and plan to start over at a faster tempo when i finish them.


I do it at about 40-50. It's amazing how you notice your mistakes when you're that slow.

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#2063453 - 04/12/13 11:51 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
malkin Offline
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If I try to go faster, I can't even keep up to even make any mistakes!
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#2063819 - 04/13/13 01:33 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
earlofmar Offline
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Ok sight reading bootcampers. As most of you have more time at the piano under the belt than myself there are several burning questions I have:

1. I have searched intently on the web for any blog, site or book describing the sight reading process so I have read just about every "the ten principles" or the "just exercise more" pages. I am interested in what my brain should be doing as I approach the piece. Has anyone found any reading matter on the subject worthy of sharing (also read Super Secrets of Sight Reading & Fundamental of Piano Practice.

2. I feel I may be in a bit of a slump as far as my SR is concerned which is probably why query 1 is there. So my next question is can you remember when your sight reading made a sudden improvement and could you put it down to any changes you had made.
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#2063851 - 04/13/13 03:47 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
Maechre Offline
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I'll answer number 2.

It wasn't very sudden, but the biggest improvement I made after a year of using sight-reading books was when I stopped using those books and started reading through Big-Note books slowly. The critical thing that the method books were missing was the fact that you have to stay on one particular level for long enough so that you actually become proficient. 80 pages isn't enough. You need hundreds.
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#2063856 - 04/13/13 04:08 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
earlofmar Offline
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That makes a lot of sense Maechre
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#2082273 - 05/14/13 05:13 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
Maechre Offline
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I've returned to the boot camp to update with the original intent of the thread -- to post videos of sight-reading. It wasn't easy to start because it involved creating a whole new email address, and a third Youtube account, but I did it today anyway. So here's the first video.

I hope others will come to post their own videos. We're not here to judge, but to encourage. We're all at different levels and sight-reading is a tricky business. First attempt, second, third? Let us know. Four might be pushing it. This was my first attempt -- I should have looked it over first, and checked the key signature.

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#2082328 - 05/14/13 08:58 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
sinophilia Offline

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wow Maechre, that's great!

I'm religiously doing about a page of Hannah Smith every day and I'm loving it. I'm just at no. 119 but I feel I've improved!
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#2082341 - 05/14/13 09:24 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
Maechre Offline
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Thanks, sinophilia!

Nice, I'm so glad you're keeping up with it. Maybe when you're feeling even more confident you could post a video or sound file. smile I'll post more videos soon.
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#2082344 - 05/14/13 09:31 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
sinophilia Offline

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Yeah well it will need some more time for videos! I'm definitely more willing to read stuff I don't know - yesterday I tried out the Chinese anthem and Bach's Bourrée in E minor smile - but everything is so above my level that I could never read hands together. It definitely helps to learn new things faster though!
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#2082351 - 05/14/13 09:54 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
Maechre Offline
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Sure does! It's helping me learn harder pieces quicker because I don't have to decode them, even if I still have to work on them hands separately. Hands together... I think if you keep with the exercises you'll get there. smile It's all in going slow and not worrying about the speed. Like the one I played, it's quite a lot slower than the original, because I'm just trying to build my accuracy. smile

I'm hoping to continue posting videos, and to keep this thread going, and people can pop in when they want for tips or to share something they worked on when they're ready.
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#2082367 - 05/14/13 10:44 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
carolinagirl Offline
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If it's not too late, I'd like to join in on this. I started playing piano about a month ago. I can pick my way through easy pieces, including a simplified version of Fur Elise. I am taking lessons once a week but need to find a teacher that's closer to home. Where do I start? I have so much to learn!
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#2082375 - 05/14/13 10:55 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
Maechre Offline
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Welcome! I'm eager for more people to join. Definitely worth discussing this with your teacher, as they'll know where you are and where to start. And if you are looking for some tips, we'll be here as well. smile

This thread is a pretty good gold mine itself, but there are many others on this forum if you do a search. I've read every thread here on sight-reading, plus a book and studies, and watched videos, all while trying to work my way through sight-reading methods and easy piano books. Now based on my practise and the information I have, I pick and choose from different theories until I find out what works for me. But I don't think all of that's necessary. I just wanted to improve so much.
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I love sight-reading! One day I will master it.

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#2082609 - 05/14/13 06:32 PM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
earlofmar Offline
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Maechre you mentioned earlier using big note books for bulk reading material. Any you would recommend and one of the problems I often find with the "easy" books is the melody if fine but there either is no bass clef or the bass just shows basic chords
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#2082683 - 05/14/13 09:28 PM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
Michael_99 Offline
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Maechre, I have read your post, here:

SO WHO'S IN?

Let's support each other in the endless journey to sight-reading improvement!

If enough people are interested, I'll go ahead and make myself a new email address and Youtube account, this one devoted only to my sight-reading. The idea is that one piece of pure sight-reading every day or so would be uploaded to Youtube and shared on this thread.

This way we can all support each other in our journey. I know my videos may be riddled with mistakes and painfully slow, but that's all part of learning to sight-read, isn't it?

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Sometimes, I just don't understand.

When you first start learning to play the piano, you open a book and you slowly read and say the notes as you play them. Everyday you play that piece you have learned, and then you add a new piece that you read and say the notes as you play them. So from the start of your piano book you keep playing the old pieces you have learned and you add a new piece.
And for the rest of your piano life, you keep playing the old stuff you have learned and add a new piece. So at any point in your journey, you are playing old stuff and adding a new piece to the pile of pieces you have learned. When I add the new piece, I have to play it a little bit slower than the other pieces I have learned over days, weeks, months, years - depending long you have been playing - but you can read and play every piece you have learned - and the new piece you can read and play it, too, but you have to read and play it a little bit slower the first time through to ensure that you make no mistakes and because it is a new piece.

So I don't understand what sight reading boot camp is all about because I don't undersand how someone would not be able to read their next new piece they are about to learn. Let us say you are at grade 7 music then you would learn new pieces that are around grade 7. Obviously, if you are playing at grade 7 and you are trying to read grade 10 or grade 12 or grade 15 - if they exist - that you have a difficult time trying to play at levels you have not reached yet. So what do you think it is that I am not understanding. What am I missing about sight reading. Thanks for any help.



Edited by Michael_99 (05/14/13 09:39 PM)

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#2082785 - 05/14/13 10:45 PM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Michael_99]
earlofmar Offline
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Originally Posted By: Michael_99

Sometimes, I just don't understand.

When you first start learning to play the piano, you open a book and you slowly read and say the notes as you play them. Everyday you play that piece you have learned, and then you add a new piece that you read and say the notes as you play them. So from the start of your piano book you keep playing the old pieces you have learned and you add a new piece.
And for the rest of your piano life, you keep playing the old stuff you have learned and add a new piece. So at any point in your journey, you are playing old stuff and adding a new piece to the pile of pieces you have learned. When I add the new piece, I have to play it a little bit slower than the other pieces I have learned over days, weeks, months, years - depending long you have been playing - but you can read and play every piece you have learned - and the new piece you can read and play it, too, but you have to read and play it a little bit slower the first time through to ensure that you make no mistakes and because it is a new piece.

So I don't understand what sight reading boot camp is all about because I don't undersand how someone would not be able to read their next new piece they are about to learn. Let us say you are at grade 7 music then you would learn new pieces that are around grade 7. Obviously, if you are playing at grade 7 and you are trying to read grade 10 or grade 12 or grade 15 - if they exist - that you have a difficult time trying to play at levels you have not reached yet. So what do you think it is that I am not understanding. What am I missing about sight reading. Thanks for any help.




Michael_99 what you are describing, learning a new piece by reading the notes slowly is described as decoding, right. Sight reading is the ability to read & play a never seen before piece at tempo, and the idea of this thread is to support anyone who wishes to contribute in their journey towards that goal.
I guess for some people reading at speed is not necessary or important but it is a highly desirable skill if you have the many years it takes to even become half good at it.
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#2082829 - 05/15/13 12:18 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: earlofmar]
Michael_99 Offline
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earlofmar, I have read your post, here:


Michael_99 what you are describing, learning a new piece by reading the notes slowly is described as decoding, right. Sight reading is the ability to read & play a never seen before piece at tempo, and the idea of this thread is to support anyone who wishes to contribute in their journey towards that goal.

________________________________________

Thanks, earlofmar, I understand.



But, earlofmar, when you say

--->I guess for some people reading at speed is not necessary or important but it is a highly desirable skill if you have the many years it takes to even become half good at it.

----> a highly desirable skill if you have the many years it takes to even become half good at it.

I am only a beginner, but if I reached grade 10, then I would able to read and play lots of music because a lot of it would be at grade 10 - so anybody at grade 10 would have a great advantage because of their years of playing to get to grade 10.

So I guess what I am saying is that sight reading speed is based on the piano player's ability to read and play the music at their level. A piano player cannot read/sight read music that is beyond is ability to play the music. In other words you can't sight read music that is more difficult than you can play. A person's ability to sight read is limited by his level of playing the piano.

In other words you can't sight read fast any music that is beyond your ability to play. Music that is at your level you could read it quickly and you can play it for the first time.

If you opened a beginner's book of piano you could sight read new pieces you have never seen before, but it is easy music because it was at a beginner level and now you are reading and playing 4 or 5 levels beyond the beginner level.
_____________________________________________________


Edited by Michael_99 (05/15/13 12:29 AM)

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#2082830 - 05/15/13 12:22 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
Maechre Offline
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michael: earlofmar has it right.

earlofmar: Yes, the two big-note books I have involve both static and moving bass in every piece.

"100 Best Loved Piano Solos"
"Best Songs Ever"

That's also about 480 pages worth of material. smile
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#2082835 - 05/15/13 12:35 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Michael_99]
Maechre Offline
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Originally Posted By: Michael_99

I am only a beginner, but if I reached grade 10, then I would able to read and play lots of music because a lot of it would be at grade 10 - so anybody at grade 10 would have a great advantage because of their years of playing to get to grade 10.

So I guess what I am saying is that sight reading speed is based on the piano player's ability to read and play the music at their level. A piano player cannot read/sight read music that is beyond is ability to play the music. In other words you can't sight read music that is more difficult than you can play. A person's ability to sight read is limited by his level of playing the piano.

It's true that you can't sight-read any higher than your technical ability. The rest of your statement isn't as hard and fast, though. One's ability to play a piece of music the first time they've ever seen it (even after looking at it for a while) is hardly ever on par with their playing ability. I'm studying an Advanced Diploma of Music, yet my sight-reading is at the level you see in my video. I played a Grade 6 (AMEB) piece for my audition, but I can't sight-read at a Grade 6 level. In exams, you are given a piece to sight-read that is TWO levels below yours, eg. in a Grade 6 exam, you will be expected to read a Grade 4 piece.

Since the development of sight-reading skill is such a slow process, and learning new pieces and scales, etc. to advance through grades is relatively fast, your sight-reading probably won't catch up with your technical ability in order for this to become a problem.

You can stay if you want. This thread is here to support people working on their sight-reading, and discussion on how to improve. We know that sight-reading skill doesn't just magically evolve. It requires dedicated work.


Edited by Maechre (05/15/13 12:38 AM)
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#2082836 - 05/15/13 12:35 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
Michael_99 Offline
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Maechre I have read your comment, here:

michael: earlofmar has it right.

Maechre, what does the "it" stand for - earlofmar has it right.

thanks for any feedback, cheers

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#2082837 - 05/15/13 12:40 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
Maechre Offline
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"It" stands for his description of sight-reading and the purpose of this thread.
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#2082848 - 05/15/13 01:24 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
earlofmar Offline
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Originally Posted By: Maechre
michael: earlofmar has it right.

earlofmar: Yes, the two big-note books I have involve both static and moving bass in every piece.

"100 Best Loved Piano Solos"
"Best Songs Ever"

That's also about 480 pages worth of material. smile


I ordered "100 Best Loved Piano Solos", have plenty of material but it's nice to mix it up a bit
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#2082894 - 05/15/13 03:30 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
Maechre Offline
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Cool, let me know how it goes. I'll be posting a video later.
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#2082924 - 05/15/13 06:01 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
Maechre Offline
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Here we are. I ran through this once before recording, and the first page a second time. Still made heaps of mistakes -- I honestly restarted a couple of times just because I did the beginning so badly. So this one isn't technically sight-reading, but using what skill you do have to learn a piece quickly is also important. The cool thing about recording it is that you have to play through the mistakes and get to the end. smile

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#2083640 - 05/16/13 11:33 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
Maechre Offline
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I feel better about this one. smile

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#2083995 - 05/17/13 04:53 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
Maechre Offline
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And today's contribution. smile I was happy with this one, and I'm pretty sure it's almost at speed.

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I love sight-reading! One day I will master it.

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#2083997 - 05/17/13 04:59 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
sinophilia Offline

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Lovely! So many notes at once and you even managed to convey the feeling!
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#2084001 - 05/17/13 05:08 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
Maechre Offline
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Thank you! smile Umm, I hope the mods don't ban me for spamming. crazy
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I love sight-reading! One day I will master it.

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#2085642 - 05/20/13 09:03 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
Maechre Offline
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How's everyone going with it?
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#2085665 - 05/20/13 10:09 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
carolinagirl Offline
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I got my Big Note best loved songs on Friday and was really happy that I can read the music well enough on the few that I have played to work my way through a piece fairly easily after a few tries. A few notes I have to really think about but many of them are coming much easier now. I also got a "beginner Boogie Woogie" book and it's harder because many of the notes are not ones I am very familiar with, but with some effort I can play some of the left hand patterns pretty well. That feels like progress to me!
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#2085833 - 05/20/13 03:34 PM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
sinophilia Offline

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I'm in section 3 of Hannah Smith's book.. it's not much but I'm quite happy about it smile
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#2086008 - 05/20/13 09:14 PM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
earlofmar Offline
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I am waiting for a new big note book, but have plenty of material I can use, just smaller print which is more difficult with my eyesight.
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#2086069 - 05/21/13 12:27 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
Maechre Offline
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Excellent work, everyone! I'm running out of material, so I'm going to order two or three bulky new books. smile While I'm waiting I'll work on the classical books I have.
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http://www.youtube.com/user/Acrozius?feature=mhee

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#2086109 - 05/21/13 03:43 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014


Registered: 05/24/12
Posts: 1383
Loc: Cameron Park, California
If you're out of material, you can go through these: http://www.lds.org/bc/content/shared/eng...ng.pdf?lang=eng

Search the forums, too. There are a ton of threads with free material; CLICK


Edited by Bobpickle (05/21/13 03:43 AM)

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#2086212 - 05/21/13 10:48 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
Maechre Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/01/12
Posts: 254
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Thanks! smile I have three hundred and something LDS hymns on my tablet, but I don't read them because it's hard to keep track of where I'm up to. But it's good to know it's there if I want it.
_________________________
I love sight-reading! One day I will master it.

http://www.youtube.com/user/Acrozius?feature=mhee

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#2086574 - 05/22/13 03:54 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Bobpickle]
sinophilia Offline

Gold Supporter until Sept. 05 2014


Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 1009
Loc: Italy
Originally Posted By: Bobpickle
If you're out of material, you can go through these: http://www.lds.org/bc/content/shared/eng...ng.pdf?lang=eng


Lovely! Still too hard for me as pure sight-reading, but well worth giving it a try.
_________________________
Diana & Wally - Yamaha W110BW
Martha Argerich... is an incarnation of the artistic metaphor of the "eternal feminine" that draws us upward. (Sergio Sablich)

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#2086604 - 05/22/13 07:06 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
Maechre Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/01/12
Posts: 254
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
New video. Anyone remember this original theme song from Winnie the Pooh? I only know this one from Kingdom Hearts. The one I remember from the cartoon is the one that ends with, "It's me and it's you, and silly old Winnie the Pooh."

_________________________
I love sight-reading! One day I will master it.

http://www.youtube.com/user/Acrozius?feature=mhee

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#2086610 - 05/22/13 07:20 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
earlofmar Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 1733
Loc: Australia
I see you got your jacket on Maechre, weather has suddenly turned chilly here too.

How long did you start taking sight reading seriously?
_________________________
I thought I understood endurance sport; then I took up piano
XXXV-6-XXX

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#2086660 - 05/22/13 08:53 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
Maechre Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/01/12
Posts: 254
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Yes, it's been especially cold this week! I just can't imagine what the middle of winter's going to be like.

I started taking sight-reading seriously at the start of 2011.
_________________________
I love sight-reading! One day I will master it.

http://www.youtube.com/user/Acrozius?feature=mhee

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#2086664 - 05/22/13 08:54 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
Maechre Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/01/12
Posts: 254
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
So it's been two and a half years since I started working on it seriously. Not to say there haven't been my down moments where I took breaks! wink
_________________________
I love sight-reading! One day I will master it.

http://www.youtube.com/user/Acrozius?feature=mhee

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#2086668 - 05/22/13 09:13 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
carolinagirl Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/01/13
Posts: 54
A new book came in the mail yesterday and it's already cleared up so many things for me! I got this one:

The Complete Book of Scales, Chords, Arpeggios and Cadences: Includes All the Major, Minor (Natural, Harmonic, Melodic) & Chromatic Scales - Plus Additional Instructions on Music Fundamentals

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0739003682/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I can see how scales are done now, how cords (and inversions) work, SO many things I really wondered about!! This book is going to help me tremendously! Thanks to whoever recommended it. It's well worth the $8 price tag.
_________________________
Yamaha CLP 440 Delivered on April 16 2013
Started playing piano April 16 2013

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#2086671 - 05/22/13 09:19 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
Maechre Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/01/12
Posts: 254
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
That's going to help you sooooo much! Scales a fair bit, but the chords will make a huge difference. smile
_________________________
I love sight-reading! One day I will master it.

http://www.youtube.com/user/Acrozius?feature=mhee

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#2086713 - 05/22/13 10:48 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
Anne B. Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/22/13
Posts: 4
Loc: Banned
You will definitely be able to master your sight reading eventually! Two and a half years since you started is quite a long time. The key is to practice every day. Just allow 15' - 20' daily for sight reading so your eye and brain will get trained to move forward. At the same time you will also gain confidence which will allow you to play CONTINUOUSLY.

To help you master your sight reading try "SightRead4Piano" app on iPad. More information could be found on this website www.sightread4.com
Music is already structured for you and there are over 1,100 pcs of music available.
This method is highly regarded worldwide by both teachers and students, I am sure that it will help in getting the results you expect.

Hope this helps and good luck!

Anne

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#2086729 - 05/22/13 11:27 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
Maechre Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/01/12
Posts: 254
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Pity I don't have an iPad, otherwise I'd try it out. I'll never stop working on my sight-reading though. Unless I find that 8 years from now I've gotten nowhere . . . something I highly doubt. :P
_________________________
I love sight-reading! One day I will master it.

http://www.youtube.com/user/Acrozius?feature=mhee

Top
#2086730 - 05/22/13 11:29 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
carolinagirl Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/01/13
Posts: 54
I tried to find the app in the app store on my iphone and could not locate it. I wonder if it's available for folks in GB only? It looks like a really good app!
_________________________
Yamaha CLP 440 Delivered on April 16 2013
Started playing piano April 16 2013

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#2086964 - 05/22/13 05:50 PM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
earlofmar Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 1733
Loc: Australia
I found this blog a few months ago, it is a good read and puts ths learning time into perspective. Note though no one recommends trying to sight read two hours a day

http://pianosightreading.blogspot.com.au/2008/01/background.html
_________________________
I thought I understood endurance sport; then I took up piano
XXXV-6-XXX

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#2087133 - 05/23/13 01:49 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
sinophilia Offline

Gold Supporter until Sept. 05 2014


Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 1009
Loc: Italy
Anne B., thank you for your suggestion, but I see you have only 3 messages and they are all about this app. Advertisement anyone?
_________________________
Diana & Wally - Yamaha W110BW
Martha Argerich... is an incarnation of the artistic metaphor of the "eternal feminine" that draws us upward. (Sergio Sablich)

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#2087190 - 05/23/13 07:11 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: sinophilia]
earlofmar Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 1733
Loc: Australia
Originally Posted By: sinophilia
Anne B., thank you for your suggestion, but I see you have only 3 messages and they are all about this app. Advertisement anyone?


Well spotted sinophilia, perhaps we should discuss in this thread the cons of such an app as all I ever hear is how good it is.
_________________________
I thought I understood endurance sport; then I took up piano
XXXV-6-XXX

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#2087280 - 05/23/13 10:35 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
Maechre Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/01/12
Posts: 254
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
I noticed exactly the same thing, sino.

earlofmar: In the past I've read that whole blog, and I check up with it every now and again to see if there are any new posts.

No, people don't usually recommend sight-reading for two hours a day. However, it's something that would be good for everyone to try for a day or a week at some point, when the sight-reading's not too tiring. I started feeling pretty good about my sight-reading when I was doing it for an hour a day.
_________________________
I love sight-reading! One day I will master it.

http://www.youtube.com/user/Acrozius?feature=mhee

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#2092589 - 05/31/13 01:47 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
sinophilia Offline

Gold Supporter until Sept. 05 2014


Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 1009
Loc: Italy
Just finished part 3 of the Hannah Smith. I still have to slow down in the independent hands exercises but my left hand is getting a tiny bit better I think. Today I'll start the part on flats.

I am also going through Alfred's jazz/rock book which I had started last summer, and I found out I can read and play the first few songs without having to think too much. Not exactly sight-reading though, as I remember the rhythms a bit, but still...
_________________________
Diana & Wally - Yamaha W110BW
Martha Argerich... is an incarnation of the artistic metaphor of the "eternal feminine" that draws us upward. (Sergio Sablich)

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#2092652 - 05/31/13 04:24 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
earlofmar Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 1733
Loc: Australia
Sounds good sinophilia, I feel like I haven't been as diligent this week with my sight reading. I am waiting for a book recommended by Maechre "100 Best Loved Piano Solos, Vol 1". I got an email saying it was in New Zealand a week ago, but I don't think there is a word in the Kiwi language for "express".

I am going to give the "Sightreadingmastery.com" a go over the weekend. I am not hopeful it will be suitable but they give a seven day trial to test it out.
_________________________
I thought I understood endurance sport; then I took up piano
XXXV-6-XXX

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#2092656 - 05/31/13 04:34 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
Maechre Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/01/12
Posts: 254
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
I ordered two new books and I'm waiting for them to come. "150 of the Most Beautiful Songs Ever", and "150 More of the Most Beautiful Songs Ever". They seem to be at the higher end of what I've been working on, and if they're at a good level, they should last me a while. smile
_________________________
I love sight-reading! One day I will master it.

http://www.youtube.com/user/Acrozius?feature=mhee

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#2094091 - 06/02/13 08:09 PM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
earlofmar Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 1733
Loc: Australia
I have at least two sources (Super sightreading secrets and an online teacher) which say it is essential to be able to see and name a note instantly, including saying aloud it's name. I have not been practicing this because I have been getting most of my improvement from interval reading, and instead of naming a note I have made a connection with the note and key to be played. So I believe I am skipping this step of note naming which I thought was a good thing. Any comments on this matter?
_________________________
I thought I understood endurance sport; then I took up piano
XXXV-6-XXX

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#2094206 - 06/02/13 11:44 PM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: earlofmar]
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014


Registered: 05/24/12
Posts: 1383
Loc: Cameron Park, California
Originally Posted By: earlofmar
I have at least two sources (Super sightreading secrets and an online teacher) which say it is essential to be able to see and name a note instantly, including saying aloud it's name. I have not been practicing this because I have been getting most of my improvement from interval reading, and instead of naming a note I have made a connection with the note and key to be played. So I believe I am skipping this step of note naming which I thought was a good thing. Any comments on this matter?


The reason for being able to identify any note instantly isn't to replace intervallic reading like you're doing so successfully - but rather a supplementary skill to be used when there are large leaps or breaks in playing and intervallic reading can't be relied on (I don't know how much use for this there would be in sight-reading beginner repertoire).

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#2094371 - 06/03/13 08:22 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
Maechre Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/01/12
Posts: 254
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Bobpickle's spot on.
_________________________
I love sight-reading! One day I will master it.

http://www.youtube.com/user/Acrozius?feature=mhee

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#2099121 - 06/09/13 03:55 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
Maechre Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/01/12
Posts: 254
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Got my two new books. Easier than the last book I went through, but together they're about 1,100 pages. So hopefully I can become quite solid at that level.
_________________________
I love sight-reading! One day I will master it.

http://www.youtube.com/user/Acrozius?feature=mhee

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#2099148 - 06/09/13 06:33 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
earlofmar Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 1733
Loc: Australia
I received 88 Piano Classics the other day and it is just what I have been looking for. I have another one 101 Piano solos on order and it should be here any day.
_________________________
I thought I understood endurance sport; then I took up piano
XXXV-6-XXX

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#2111173 - 07/01/13 12:36 PM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
Maechre Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/01/12
Posts: 254
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
New video! I'm quite rusty. And this video's really blurry (out of focus). But you get the idea. wink



How's everyone doing?
_________________________
I love sight-reading! One day I will master it.

http://www.youtube.com/user/Acrozius?feature=mhee

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#2111343 - 07/02/13 03:44 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
earlofmar Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 1733
Loc: Australia
I am still hanging in there doing 15-20 mins daily sight reading. I have been at this for seven months and although improvement seems glacial, there is a least improvement of sorts.

I ordered and am now working through the two books you recommended (88 Piano Classics and 101 Piano Solos). They are great sight reading fodder.
_________________________
I thought I understood endurance sport; then I took up piano
XXXV-6-XXX

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#2112659 - 07/04/13 07:13 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
sinophilia Offline

Gold Supporter until Sept. 05 2014


Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 1009
Loc: Italy
Still 20 pages to go and I'll be done with Hannah Smith... I'm struggling a bit with syncopations, but overall it's okay. Will try to read all I can during the summer.
_________________________
Diana & Wally - Yamaha W110BW
Martha Argerich... is an incarnation of the artistic metaphor of the "eternal feminine" that draws us upward. (Sergio Sablich)

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#2112691 - 07/04/13 09:18 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: sinophilia]
Mete Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/13/13
Posts: 45
Loc: Turkey
Originally Posted By: sinophilia
Still 20 pages to go and I'll be done with Hannah Smith... I'm struggling a bit with syncopations, but overall it's okay. Will try to read all I can during the summer.


I'm stuck on exercises between 100-115 in Hannah Smith. These exercises seem so simple; single whole note on the left hand and quarter notes with simple melodies on the right hand. I'm having trouble when my left hand and right hand moves in opposite directions with big jumps. I'm aware of the problem and working on it. And it feels great! grin

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#2114811 - 07/08/13 05:41 PM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
BlackForest Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/20/13
Posts: 7
Just started sight reading super seriously. I was already doing it somehow as I often play a piece once and jump to the next one, but still I find I'm miles away of my technical level (which is not very high anyway :P )

thanks for the books recommendations

I got paul harris "improve your sight reading grade 2" and it looks exactly right for my level. Right now I am really struggling with the "look ahead thing" are you supposed to look 1,2,3 notes in advanced and prepare for it? Somehow I just can't read fast enough but I know the answer: practice, practice, practice!!

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#2117909 - 07/15/13 07:07 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
sinophilia Offline

Gold Supporter until Sept. 05 2014


Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 1009
Loc: Italy
Yay, I got to exercise 450 in the Hannah Smith's book! There were some complex rhythms that made me struggle, and I realized that getting the notes right is just the beginning!

Now I have the last section to do - ten pages of exercises in all keys - then I think I will start reading my Big Book of Beginner's Piano Classics from the beginning and see how I do.
_________________________
Diana & Wally - Yamaha W110BW
Martha Argerich... is an incarnation of the artistic metaphor of the "eternal feminine" that draws us upward. (Sergio Sablich)

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#2117937 - 07/15/13 09:01 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
Mete Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/13/13
Posts: 45
Loc: Turkey
I think my memory is so bad that I can practice any piece over and over for sight-reading. I revisit some of songs that I have previously played and it feels like I'm sight-reading. Only difference is that, I can play it better now.

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#2118399 - 07/16/13 05:32 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: BlackForest]
Maechre Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/01/12
Posts: 254
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
BlackForest:

For now, just try to look one note ahead of the one you're playing. When you start seeing the notes as scales and broken chords, then you'll be able to see farther ahead, and how quickly you can process the notes will make a difference as well, which as you know will come with practice.
_________________________
I love sight-reading! One day I will master it.

http://www.youtube.com/user/Acrozius?feature=mhee

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#2118501 - 07/16/13 11:31 AM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
BlackForest Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/20/13
Posts: 7
Thanks for the advice.

I had a ouple of frustrating seasons but really after two weeks I've noticed some progress. very little progress really but def some so I guess it is just a matter of practice!

This paul harris book is great and i got a similar one : joining the dots. I need a lot of material as I already have been through the pieces so much I am starting t become familiar woth them

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#2118655 - 07/16/13 05:29 PM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: BlackForest]
earlofmar Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 1733
Loc: Australia
Originally Posted By: BlackForest


I had a ouple of frustrating seasons but really after two weeks I've noticed some progress. very little progress really but def some so I guess it is just a matter of practice!



slow and difficult to quantify with a few false starts, and even a couple of back steps is how I would describe my sight reading after 9 months. I wish it were easier but it is a hard slog,
One trick people have advised is to turn your music upside down for some fresh sight reading experience. Bartok's Mikrokosmos vol 1 is good for sight reading practice and is available with lots of other material at http://imslp.org/



Edited by earlofmar (07/16/13 05:44 PM)
_________________________
I thought I understood endurance sport; then I took up piano
XXXV-6-XXX

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#2166680 - 10/15/13 01:59 PM Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre]
sinophilia Offline

Gold Supporter until Sept. 05 2014


Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 1009
Loc: Italy
Time to resurrect this thread!

After finishing the Hannah Smith book (which is invaluable) I stopped practicing sight-reading for a while, since I couldn't figure out how to continue. Today I've finally decided to start working with hymns, as so many people recommend. There are tons of free hymnals online but I particularly liked the LDS hymns suggested by Bobpickle. They have a simplified hymns book (Hymns Made Easy - 2 or 3 voices instead of 4), and even a more basic Keyboard Course for absolute beginners! It's ironic, I'm probably the least religious person on earth, but I've always loved church music smile
_________________________
Diana & Wally - Yamaha W110BW
Martha Argerich... is an incarnation of the artistic metaphor of the "eternal feminine" that draws us upward. (Sergio Sablich)

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