Improving sight reading

Amy L., California

I have a student who is interested in improving his sight reading skills. Any advice other than lots of reading?

Maureen K., California

It is recommended that sight reading be two levels down from the reading. We don’t level reading in Simply Music, but just make sure it’s significantly easier than music he is able to read/learn from the page. Help him find appropriate level sight reading pieces. Good sight readers do a quick check of time signature, key signature, and patterns, just like we learn in Simply Music, before they start. Check from time to time at lessons how he is coming along by putting an appropriate piece in front of him and asking him to sight read it.

Marsha L., Virginia

I try to specifically work on sight-reading for five minutes a day before I work on my playlist and “fun” songs I’m trying to memorize/master. I’m still not where I want to be, but I’m getting better.

Jayne J., Wyoming

When I sight read a piece, I will use the aural skills I learned in college to “hear” it before I play it. In an aural theory class, a student will learn solfege syllables and how to sing a line of music from sight. I also visualize what the music looks and feels like on the piano. Being able to pick up a song and internally hear and visualize it is a valuable skill. Along the same lines, listening to a piece while following along in the music strengthens those connections between seeing, hearing, and internalizing.