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#1238277 - 07/27/09 03:30 PM Perfect sight reading  
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 543
MiM Offline
500 Post Club Member
MiM  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 543
Pennsylvania
Greetings, I'm a level 2 piano student and I'm wondering whether what I heard once that such and such was able to sight read a supposedly difficult piano piece from seeing for the first time, all the way without any mistakes, is actually possible. I would really like to hear from people who have seen this happen or know for sure that it is possible.

Why I need to know this? Besides just mere curiosity, I would like to know if this is a goal that a student like me should realistically set? I understand that it is possible for a very good sight reader to look at a moderately difficult piece, study it, analyze it, practice it for a day or two, then be able to play it reasonably well. But to just read it and play like a TV anchor would read a piece of news from the tele prompter sounds unrealistic to me. Comments on this are highly appreciated.

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#1238291 - 07/27/09 04:01 PM Re: Perfect sight reading [Re: MiM]  
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,179
Ebony and Ivory Offline
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Ebony and Ivory  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,179
Minnesota
I'm sure most serious pianists can do this. I would even say any serious musician, no matter their instrument.
I don't know exactly what you mean by "supposedly difficult piece", but I can sit down and play many new things. Not up to performance standards, but technically correct. The level and the piece would determine if I could do it without *any* mistakes.

There are many, many pieces that I can't play. I have to work at them.
Part of it is the fingerings that I have to work out. I have small hands and some things just can't be played the way they are written, so I have to improvise. Usually I can't do that without putting in some time and effort.

There are some pieces that I will never be able to play, no matter how much practice I put in.

I don't think your goal is not unrealistic at all. Once you have a lot of time and practice under your belt, you will be able to do this too. Even the TV anchors chop up names and places now and then smile


It is better to be kind than to be right.

Professional private piano teacher since 1994.
#1238306 - 07/27/09 04:39 PM Re: Perfect sight reading [Re: Ebony and Ivory]  
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 543
MiM Offline
500 Post Club Member
MiM  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 543
Pennsylvania
Thanks for the reply, it's good to hear from someone who's been in the field for some time. I understand how a particular piece can be written with some unique or clever fingering that one has to analyze it a bit, but would you say that a "good" professional/competent piano player can, and usually it is the case, take a typical Alfred L2 piece (say Alexander's RagTime Band, which he/she has never seen before but possibly has heard the tune), and be able to play it well within an hour? Within thirty minutes? Instantly?


#1238333 - 07/27/09 05:21 PM Re: Perfect sight reading [Re: MiM]  
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,179
Ebony and Ivory Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Ebony and Ivory  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,179
Minnesota
I would say any teacher *should* (and I really hate that word) be able to play anything up to about level 8 at a minimum, without any mistakes or practice. This is just my opinion, I'm sure there are lots more out there smile

I would never want to be in a situation where my student asked me to play something for him, and I wasn't able. That would be very uncomfortable.


It is better to be kind than to be right.

Professional private piano teacher since 1994.

Moderated by  Ken Knapp 

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