13 Sep 2013

Sight reading can and should be one of the most exciting abilities of any piano player.  Who wouldn’t want to just pick up a piece of music and start playing it on their own without help?  Did I mention that your pieces take MUCH less time to learn if your sight reading skills are excellent??  Come on guys!  Sight reading is great!!

Reasons why strong sight readers rock:

  • They can learn more material more quickly
  • Their pieces take less time to learn
  • They can train to become an accompanist and make money doing it!
  • They can show off by playing music their friends are learning
  • Their lesson are more fun because we don’t have to stress over notes

If you find yourself at home fighting to learn notes, go back to the basics and use this checklist 

  • Check your time signature and then tap out a few measures of slow steady beats
  • Separate the rhythms it they are challenging – clap your notes first so you get to hear how it sounds before you plug in note names (turn your metronome on for extra help keeping the beat!)
  • Check your key signature for sharps or flats if there are any
  • Worry about one line at a time
  • Find your lowest note and highest note
  • Look for intervals larger than a third
  • Check for dynamics, accents, stacatto, and anything else that helps you style your music
  • Set up the beginning with the correct finger
  • Use what you know about steps and skips to decide how far apart notes are from each other
  • GO SLOW and try to keep your eyes a few notes ahead of your fingers
  • Always go back and play the line again once you decide what mood you want to show


About the Author

Amber Staffa is a performing arts graduate of Rowan University. She holds a BA in Subject Matter Teaching for K-12, and a BM in Instrumental Music Education with a Piano Concentration, and is currently licensed in the state of NJ.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>