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#949302 - 09/16/05 09:52 PM Serious problems with sight-reading
Failing Nowadays Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/16/05
Posts: 4
Loc: Singapore
Good morning one and all

I am basically a piano learner preparing for my grade 8 ABRSM piano exam. However, I received my grade 7 marks recently and realised that I failed my sight-reading test. The examiner's comment was "This started right but unfortunately, of the #s, only 7 was remembered and although playing keeps going on, it was rather slow and not very rhythmic". Well, I studied my sharps for each scale thoroughly. However, during sight-reading, I tend to miss the sharps and flats. Normally, when a piece have more sharps and flats(above 3), I do badly. Therefore, I am in a bad shape and my teacher basically can't help me much. Please, can anyone help me? Thank you.
(Notice that I am reposting this message over hear in this forrum. This is because I think that piano teachers might have methods to solve this kind of problem. Thank you. \:D )

Yours truly
Failing Nowadays

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#949303 - 09/16/05 11:29 PM Re: Serious problems with sight-reading
Sweep88 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/27/05
Posts: 190
Loc: Ohio
Hi Failing...
I want to throw in there first that failing DOSENT mean failure....

I suggest going to the Adult Beginnners Forum. Theres a lot of information that will help you I think... good luck!
I try to live, love and laugh as much as I can every day, because every day may be my last

#949304 - 09/17/05 04:30 PM Re: Serious problems with sight-reading
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4534
Well, a couple of things that might help.
Don't look at the keys when playing (find your
way about the keyboard by the identical pattern
of black keys), which will enable you to
play with your eyes riveted to the sheet music,
which should automatically improve sight-reading.
And note that there are some quirks in the
human anatomy that can have an influence
on playing. For example, there is a sensitive
nerve at the base of the left shoulder blade
(there is none under the right shoulder blade)
that can become pressed while playing
the lt. hand part. And when this nerve is
pressed, this essentially shuts off signals
to the brain, which doesn't help in sight-reading.
So try experimenting to see if you are
inadvertantly pressing on this nerve when
playing. If you seem to be, then try bending
slightly forward from the waist and crooking
your lt. elbow slightly outwards. This should
relieve pressure on the nerve in those
parts of the music where the lt. hand movements
cause you to press on the nerve.

#949305 - 09/19/05 12:36 PM Re: Serious problems with sight-reading
DantheMan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/23/05
Posts: 62
Loc: Chicago
Who, Gryo! I've never heard of that nerve thing. Where can I get more info about that?
"Life is a thirty-second note. Live it Forte!"
Quote by me,

#949306 - 09/19/05 01:09 PM Re: Serious problems with sight-reading
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4534
This is something I noticed on my own. People
are bothered by this in varying degrees, some
people apparently not at all. And what happens
is that you simply play through it most of
the time, but I think this is one of the sources
of missed notes, since when the nerve is pressed
your brain essentially shuts off. In most
playing the nerve apparently is just rubbed
against slightly, but I think that even this
is enough to cause problems to some degree.

You can see the nerve on anatomical charts
as one of the secondary nerve centers. You
can also see it on acupuncture and martial
arts charts as a pressure point. The fact
that there is no similar nerve at the base
of the rt. shoulder blade is interesting.
This may be why rt. handedness is anatomically
normal for humans and why lt. handers tend to have
a natural curving motion in their lt. arm
movement--apparently they do this naturally
in order to avoid aggravating this very nerve.

#949307 - 09/29/05 05:25 AM Re: Serious problems with sight-reading
junmer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/22/04
Posts: 397
Loc: United Arab Emirates
Master your Scales & Arpeggios and everything will fall into place. Not only that your fingers will want to press the right notes without much thinking, your ears will also guide you along the way.It's a very long and tedious process but a lifetime of benefit as a music reader.

Piano tuner / Piano teacher
United Arab Emirates

#949308 - 10/27/05 12:07 AM Re: Serious problems with sight-reading
zorrodepiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/21/04
Posts: 24
Loc: Encinitas Ca
Think key! Practice triads on the scale as well scales and arpeggios.


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