Regarding sight reading- help please

Posted by: ginn

Regarding sight reading- help please - 10/05/12 08:40 AM

After a break of two years, I started playing piano. I could not sight read the music notations of treble and bass clef while I try to play the piano. Can any one suggest the simplest method to recover from this problem. I have passed up to grade 5 from Trinity guildhall exams. I can't understand where the problem is? Pl. help.
Posted by: Andy Platt

Re: Regarding sight reading- help please - 10/05/12 08:43 AM

Almost certainly you are trying to read much too hard material. Start on really really basic material. I like this as a start:

Hannah Smith Progressive Sight Reading

Yes, it is really basic but that's the point. You can't decode music a note at a time, you have to learn to read it and you start with the world's simplest pieces.
Posted by: keystring

Re: Regarding sight reading- help please - 10/05/12 08:58 AM

I suspect your teacher never taught you reading skills and you muddled through somehow. Something similar happened to me on another instrument. The question of skills never came up until one day I realized I was missing a bunch of them.
Posted by: Dror Perl

Re: Regarding sight reading- help please - 10/05/12 12:00 PM

I'd try any of the method books ( I personally prefer the Alfred) and start at the very basic level and slowly, gradually and thoroughly browse through it and re-build your sight reading abilities. good luck !
Posted by: Evan R. Murphy

Re: Regarding sight reading- help please - 10/08/12 11:17 PM

I agree with Andy Platt and Dror Perl about starting with very basic material.

You want to start with music easy enough that the first time you play it through, you don't have to stop and you still do a pretty good job. (Don't worry about getting it perfect - just focus on not stopping while still getting across the essence of the piece.)
Posted by: PianoStudent88

Re: Regarding sight reading- help please - 10/09/12 01:16 AM

Originally Posted By: keystring
I suspect your teacher never taught you reading skills and you muddled through somehow. Something similar happened to me on another instrument. The question of skills never came up until one day I realized I was missing a bunch of them.

keystring, is there a different kind of teaching that could have gotten af your lacking skills, and taught them explicitly? Do you think you would have been open to this teaching *before* you hit a wall with your own muddle-through techniques?
Posted by: keystring

Re: Regarding sight reading- help please - 10/09/12 04:36 AM

Originally Posted By: PianoStudent88
Originally Posted By: keystring
I suspect your teacher never taught you reading skills and you muddled through somehow. Something similar happened to me on another instrument. The question of skills never came up until one day I realized I was missing a bunch of them.

.... Do you think you would have been open to this teaching *before* you hit a wall with your own muddle-through techniques?

An interesting set of questions, and you made me think. smile I should clarify that this involved a different instrument. The major hurdle was technical, but since you played a single line of notes reading was less a challenge than for piano. For your 2nd question, I think so, because I came as a mature student who had played a number of instruments self-taught for decades. The idea of managing to play pieces was not exciting since I had done that; learning how to play and being taught by a real teacher was exciting. So when I was shown how to do something, I was interested, while my teacher's experience was that students find it tedious and "spared" me.

Quote:
keystring, is there a different kind of teaching that could have gotten af your lacking skills, and taught them explicitly?

I know there was a more explicit way, since later I got exposed to that. I think it may also have to do with the proportion of time spent, and maybe what the teacher stresses that you should aim for, and maybe the pieces and exercises he chooses.

Addendum: I didn't really answer anything about reading music. (Came from a long trip yesterday). That was actually after returning to piano, which I had played self-taught as a child. By this time I no longer had a teacher, and I decided to learn sight reading and spent 10 - 15 minutes a day specifically on reading music. The rest of the time I tried to also work that way, making sure I was reading.
Posted by: atinm

Re: Regarding sight reading- help please - 10/09/12 06:26 AM

I've found that sight-reading is really a self-motivated thing because you get better at sight-reading by doing sight-reading which is mostly done separate from the teacher. There is a "Guided Sight-Reading" book by Leonard Deutsch that talks about a method where the student is only taught via sight-reading for the first few years with the teacher and student both playing the same piece at the same time, with the student trying to hang on with the teacher and therefore learning sight-reading, dynamics, fingering etc all by imitation. I wish that is how I'd learned - but I intend to try this with my 4 year old son when he shows some interest in the piano beyond want to make noise with it!

But basically you have to find your "sight-reading level", which is the level where you can read comfortably and practice and try harder pieces ad infinitum wink

I am doing the "Sight-reading and Rhythm Every Day" books these days and they might be worth trying.
Posted by: landorrano

Re: Regarding sight reading- help please - 10/09/12 08:54 AM

Originally Posted By: atinm
I intend to try this with my 4 year old son when he shows some interest in the piano beyond want to make noise with it!


There are scores that are perfect for 4 year-olds who want to make noise! Have a look at the Jatekok collection, György Kurtàg. Splendid material.
Posted by: atinm

Re: Regarding sight reading- help please - 10/09/12 09:05 AM

Originally Posted By: landorrano
Originally Posted By: atinm
I intend to try this with my 4 year old son when he shows some interest in the piano beyond want to make noise with it!


There are scores that are perfect for 4 year-olds who want to make noise! Have a look at the Jatekok collection, György Kurtàg. Splendid material.


Thanks!