This is a great article on learning how to sight-read from our friends at Alfred Music Publishing. Written with the pianist in mind, it does have implications for all instrumentalists. You can buy Alfred’s Premier Piano Course discussed here as well as many of your favorite piano method series – now 20% off!
Originally posted on Alfred Ledger Lines:
Have you overheard these comments? Do you believe either statement can be true? Are some students born with special gifts making sight-reading easier for them? Can students sight-read without practice?
The answer is no. All pianists start at the same place, with the same tools. Sight-reading skills must be developed over time and with the right kind of practice.
Music research has also demonstrated that sight-reading is a learned skill, not an inborn talent (Lehmann & McArthur, 2002).
To learn to sight-read, the following must be present:
- Some time each day to specifically practice sight-reading (not performance, which is a different process)
- A reasonable practice environment—quiet, well-lit and without distractions, (ideally) using an 88-key acoustic or digital keyboard
- Sight-reading music materials chosen for their systematic progression in difficulty and their motivating qualities
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