Sight reading is playing music on the first try.
Remember when you learned to read words?
I don’t remember learning, but I remember when my children did. You can’t read everything at first, just the easy stuff, it takes years of practice to advance your reading level to University Technical level!
Sight reading music is a lot the same!
- Sight read music that’s easier than the hardest pieces you can play. It’s no fun to read a really dense technical document, your mind gets full and you have to re-read things to keep it all straight. Music is the same. If the piece you are reading is too difficult, you’ll struggle and this won’t help you to develop your skill!
- Analyse before you begin. Look the music over thoroughly. Do you understand all of the markings? Can you tap the rhythm with a steady beat? Do you know where the accidentals are? Make sure you know what’s on the page before you start to play.
- Play slowly. If you want to take in all the details, you need to go slowly. Imagine driving down a windy country road and there are many houses with long driveways. The architecture and the gardens are so interesting and you want to see it all. Well, you better slow down so you don’t go off the road! Again, same with sight reading. Give yourself the time you need to observe and take in all the details.
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