Originally posted by alglasser:
I am wondering if there is any hope for a 57 year old "ear player" to improve my sightreading skills.
Yes, there is
. There are books out there, and others may be able to tell you which are better than others (if you try a search here and on the adult beginners' forum you'll find the names of some).
But all you really need to do is practise. Find the level at which you sightread easily. Don't be embarrassed if it's ridiculously easy. Play pieces you haven't seen before for maybe 10-30 minutes per day. Once, or at most twice through. Keep your eyes on the music as much as possible (ie only peek at your hands for big leaps). Keep going, don't stop to correct mistakes. Let them go
. If you start at your comfort level you won't find this a chore! THEN, gradually
increase the difficulty. If you are patient and persistent, you will see improvement. Not overnight, but I'm not talking years either. Play as slowly as you need to in order to keep a steady beat.
Other things which will help:
 Try some ensemble playing: 4-hand piano duets with some willing collaborator, or accompanying. This makes you keep going
 When you're playing pieces you do know, play from the music and keep your eyes on it. Try starting from odd places, just by reading, not by getting your fingers to remember.
 Practise reading rhythms alone, in your head, or by tapping. Start with easy ones and work onto more complicated.
 You could drill yourself on note positions, but I think letter naming is not so useful as actual position on the keyboard. I mean, one does have to know the letter names, but that's not what you should be thinking when sightreading. Someone somewhere
posted a link to a cute little game where you click on a keyboard - it might have been etheory.com or something like that. Anyway, I thought it was quite useful.
edit: to include the link
 Don't think of your playing by ear as conflicting with sightreading. They should work together. You can hear a perfect 4th in your head and play it. With reading added you can see a perfect 4th and hear it in your head. And then play it. It's all about the music in the end. But while you're actually working on reading it's best to use music you don't know, so that you are practising that specific skill.
 Read music away from the piano, too. You can read a piece and concentrate on the rhythm, or on the pitch, or both. At the least you will get some idea of how it goes, and build up your feeling of being at home with the dots.
Anything else I've forgotten? Ah, yes. Enjoy the journey! Don't grit your teeth and think "must...improve...sightreading". Instead, pick up the music (very easy though it may be at first) and think "ooo, I wonder if this is a nice piece - I'll play it and see!".
I prepare little sheets for my students - a line of sightreading per day. Play it once, tick the box. Next day, another line. They do this from when they first start reading. Most are good sightreaders. Some are better than others, but none
are terrified by it! I work as an accompanist and sight read a lot
, but I still read unknown stuff for pleasure. I think it's a "there's so much music to discover and so little time" thing. I'm reading through the Schubert sonatas at the moment. Some I know, of course, but others I'd never heard or played, and it's such fun discovering them.
But I digress. Good luck. Sorry to be so long-winded, but it's one of my pet topics