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#2273297 - 05/09/14 03:01 PM How To Practice Sight Reading
Batuhan Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/21/09
Posts: 875
Loc: Istanbul
So i think there are 2 method for this

first one is starting from scratch and try to sight read very easy pieces ( for example starting from bach minuet and gradually raise it to a difficult one like a chopin mazurka. But it takes so much time to get there.

second one is buying books about sight reading and try to do the pieces and exercises in the book. I bought Improve Your Sight-Reading! Piano series from level 1 to level 8 but its very boring.

which one is the best way to practice sight reading or do you have any other method to practice sight reading?

I wonder how liszt practice sight reading?


Edited by Batuhan (05/09/14 03:09 PM)
_________________________
Sorry for my English, I know it sucks, but I'm trying to improve.

Published:
Waltz Op. 36 No. 1 in G-flat major,
2 Preludes, Op. 12 in D-flat major.

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#2273310 - 05/09/14 03:28 PM Re: How To Practice Sight Reading [Re: Batuhan]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5318
Loc: Philadelphia
I believe I would break this down very similarly to learning to speak any written form of language. First, you have to recognize the "symbols" on the page, and how to create meaning from it. This is music theory.. note names, chord progressions, melodic lines, rhythms, dynamic and tempo markings, etc. Then, you have to convert those symbols into speech. This is technique. First, there is how to position yourself (physical presence at the piano), and then how to depress the keys without creating destructive tension. This is kind of like learning sounds starting at 6 months old. Then, there's vocabulary-building. Scales, arpeggios, octaves, thirds, chromatics, chords, leaps, different bass lines, different common reoccuring patterns, etc.

Once you have this foundation, then you are ready to look at a speech, and try to read it aloud on sight. This is where you start to work on inflection, pacing, tone, etc. In other words, this is music interpretation. This is the step you reach when you are actually sight-reading material and working on your ability to recognize "words" on sight.

In my opinion, if you try to jump into reading well before you can recognize what's on the page and translate it into meaningful motion, you may end up thinking you just don't practice sight-reading enough and that's why you're failing to advance. Really, it could be that you are a great sight-reader, but don't have the prerequisite skills yet to keep up with your other abilities. (Kind of like non-verbal kids reading 1000wpm, or great orators being unable to read. In music, it takes both skills.)
_________________________
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

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#2273319 - 05/09/14 03:51 PM Re: How To Practice Sight Reading [Re: Batuhan]
8 Octaves Offline

Gold Supporter until July 22 2015


Registered: 04/20/14
Posts: 318
Loc: USA
I used the Four-Star books for my exams. They work.
http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/search?Ntt=four+star

Do one exercise a day, 5 minutes at most. You do have to follow the instructions. When the instructions says "Sing the note a 3rd above the given note after playing the given note" you have to sing. Don't play the other note and listen. Sing. Yeah you have to get over the embarrassment of doing this in front of family members. When they say clap back the rhythm from memory, don't cheat. Close your eyes and clap back. Somehow hearing and reading are integral skills that cannot be broken up as parts.


_________________________
La musica non mai finita, solo abbandonata.
RCM Level 5 | Gurlitt: Sonatina in A minor, op. 214, no. 4

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#2273324 - 05/09/14 04:04 PM Re: How To Practice Sight Reading [Re: Batuhan]
noobpianist90 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/23/13
Posts: 383
Loc: India
I suggest getting Howard Richman's "Super Sight-Reading Secrets". His method and exercises are working very well for me. His approach is not very boring or tedious. Most of his exercises are just for 2 minutes per day and I see good overall progress in the last month and a half.

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#2273369 - 05/09/14 06:09 PM Re: How To Practice Sight Reading [Re: Batuhan]
earlofmar Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 1586
Loc: Australia
the two methods you mention are really the same thing. Exercise books however are not real music excerpts but are specifically written to a certain grade level and I think this is a key component. Ask any of the good sight readers how to sight read and the answer always is "do lots of it" but it should always be qualified by "do lots of it at a grade level you can manage". My 18 months experience of trying to be a good sight reader was quite frustrating because I basically needed a year to rise out of preliminary and grade 1 before I could start to sight read those grades. Your joining date indicates you may well be a very good pianist who just has a low level of sight reading skill. So if your going right back to basics then its just finding the quantity of correctly graded material required which is the problem.

I have some of the Paul Harris books but find them too dry instead I have several other books I am working with:

An Introduction to Classics to Moderns - probably preliminary grade pieces
Easy Classics to Moderns books 1 & 2 - would think they are grade 1 to 4
Joy of First Classics - probably preliminary to grade 1 pieces

My own journey has not been very linear I think because good information is hard to find and my teacher seems to think this is just something that comes and cannot be taught. So my biggest mistake was trying to read pieces which are too complex before I could read the easy ones.

This lead to an "aha" moment when I starting to use a program called sightreadingfactory.com. I realised I needed to be able to read the simplest level of music well. That meant reading preliminary level material at a fast tempo before even considering moving onto a more difficult level. That alone gave me a sort of base to work from which had been missing in my earlier attempts. So for me once I got a foothold into sight reading I was able to build upon it.

Good luck and keep us posted.
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I thought I understood endurance sport; then I took up piano
XXXV-6-XXX

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#2273374 - 05/09/14 06:14 PM Re: How To Practice Sight Reading [Re: Batuhan]
earlofmar Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 1586
Loc: Australia
read this blog you may find some interesting pointers
_________________________
I thought I understood endurance sport; then I took up piano
XXXV-6-XXX

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#2273383 - 05/09/14 06:33 PM Re: How To Practice Sight Reading [Re: Batuhan]
dmd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1860
Loc: Pennsylvania
This might be useful ...

https://www.lds.org/bc/content/shared/en...ng.pdf?lang=eng


They are free, anyway.


Edited by dmd (05/09/14 06:34 PM)
_________________________
Don

Current: ES7, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD555 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, Ravenscroft275, Ivory II American Concert D, Pianoteq 5

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#2273385 - 05/09/14 06:38 PM Re: How To Practice Sight Reading [Re: Batuhan]
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014


Registered: 05/24/12
Posts: 1383
Loc: Cameron Park, California
Originally Posted By: Batuhan
which one is the best way to practice sight reading or do you have any other method to practice sight reading?


The one that motivates you to keep practicing until you reach your desired goal. Practicing sight-reading is a very process-oriented task and so if you rush in with all kinds of goals, you'll be unlikely to still be practicing it regularly several weeks/months/years down the road.

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#2274275 - 05/11/14 09:23 PM Re: How To Practice Sight Reading [Re: Batuhan]
Beth_Frances Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/14/12
Posts: 189
Loc: Brisbane, Australia
I am a piano teacher with a bachelor of music, and I can honestly say that the more I read thousands of EASY piano pieces, the better my sight reading gets all around. I read lots and lots and lots of easy pieces (mostly grade 2 and under), both in teaching and in making videos for my YouTube channel, and the more easy pieces I read the better I get at reading pieces that are harder. I really believe reading lots of preliminary and grade 1 pieces has given me enormous improvement at being able to quickly sightread a grade 5 piece or even a grade 8 piece. So I would recommend playing through 10 or so VERY easy pieces every day over struggling through something that challenges you. Give it a month and I think you'll be surprised at the results.

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#2274307 - 05/11/14 10:13 PM Re: How To Practice Sight Reading [Re: Batuhan]
ShiroKuro Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 3483
Loc: not in Japan anymore
Beth, thank you for this advice! I've been reading about sightreading, here and elsewhere, and I've used (though not consistently enough) the A Line A day sightreading books. Maybe they were too easy for me, or too short. Although maybe I just didn't do them enough or long enough.

Anyway, you're the first person I've heard put it this way, so I think I'll look at some of the books Earlofmar suggested. I looked at one just now, and the pieces are described as one page long, so that might be better than a few lines.

Earofmar, do you have a book out of that list that you would recommend starting with. I've been playing piano for 15 years and am a pretty good "reader" in terms of reading while playing, not in terms of sightreading brand new material.

I'm also going to look at the blog and the sightreading factory that you mentioned.
_________________________
Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:
https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u




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#2274485 - 05/12/14 12:12 AM Re: How To Practice Sight Reading [Re: ShiroKuro]
earlofmar Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 1586
Loc: Australia
Originally Posted By: ShiroKuro


Earofmar, do you have a book out of that list that you would recommend starting with. I've been playing piano for 15 years and am a pretty good "reader" in terms of reading while playing, not in terms of sightreading brand new material.



Sure, I think the Easy Classics to Moderns is a good book although I not up to playing much from there yet. I am playing grade 3 & 4 but only have 18 months of actual experience so I am sight reading really easy stuff. Easy Classics to Moderns & More Easy Classics to Moderns have 142 pieces & 148 pieces respectfully. As mentioned I think the books cover a few grades perhaps 1-3, but I can't be sure.
_________________________
I thought I understood endurance sport; then I took up piano
XXXV-6-XXX

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#2274525 - 05/12/14 01:53 AM Re: How To Practice Sight Reading [Re: Beth_Frances]
8 Octaves Offline

Gold Supporter until July 22 2015


Registered: 04/20/14
Posts: 318
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Beth_Frances
I am a piano teacher with a bachelor of music, and I can honestly say that the more I read thousands of EASY piano pieces, the better my sight reading gets all around. I read lots and lots and lots of easy pieces (mostly grade 2 and under), both in teaching and in making videos for my YouTube channel, and the more easy pieces I read the better I get at reading pieces that are harder. I really believe reading lots of preliminary and grade 1 pieces has given me enormous improvement at being able to quickly sightread a grade 5 piece or even a grade 8 piece. So I would recommend playing through 10 or so VERY easy pieces every day over struggling through something that challenges you. Give it a month and I think you'll be surprised at the results.


That's a really interesting perspective. Thanks for sharing it.
_________________________
La musica non mai finita, solo abbandonata.
RCM Level 5 | Gurlitt: Sonatina in A minor, op. 214, no. 4

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#2274575 - 05/12/14 05:32 AM Re: How To Practice Sight Reading [Re: Beth_Frances]
earlofmar Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 1586
Loc: Australia
Originally Posted By: Beth_Frances
I am a piano teacher with a bachelor of music, and I can honestly say that the more I read thousands of EASY piano pieces, the better my sight reading gets all around. I read lots and lots and lots of easy pieces (mostly grade 2 and under), both in teaching and in making videos for my YouTube channel, and the more easy pieces I read the better I get at reading pieces that are harder. I really believe reading lots of preliminary and grade 1 pieces has given me enormous improvement at being able to quickly sightread a grade 5 piece or even a grade 8 piece. So I would recommend playing through 10 or so VERY easy pieces every day over struggling through something that challenges you. Give it a month and I think you'll be surprised at the results.


I already dedicate time per day to sight read, but I like the idea of ten a day for a month. Sounds like a plan.
_________________________
I thought I understood endurance sport; then I took up piano
XXXV-6-XXX

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#2274584 - 05/12/14 06:08 AM Re: How To Practice Sight Reading [Re: Batuhan]
noobpianist90 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/23/13
Posts: 383
Loc: India
Check out some of Bernhard's posts on Pianostreet on Sight reading, they're really useful:
http://www.pianostreet.com/smf/index.php/topic,9159.0.html

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#2277369 - 05/17/14 07:59 AM Re: How To Practice Sight Reading [Re: Batuhan]
Jean-Luc Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/19/12
Posts: 322
Loc: France
Sorry, I don't know if this topic should be considered "closed" since there were not activities for a few days but while looking for resources on sigh-singing for myself I have found this site (free) and it might be of use to the op http://musi101.com/sight-singing/beginner-sight-singing-exercises/
I hope it can be useful.
_________________________
- Please, forgive my bad English smile

Jean-Luc

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