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#1262735 - 09/05/09 01:02 AM sight reading materials  
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 34
pcs99 Offline
Full Member
pcs99  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 34
toronto
I have been teaching for quite a long time. However, I have difficult time to find real good sight reading book for my students, I mean for serious training purpose. I found that those available materials are not consistent and not enough for my students to improve their sight reading skill. Anyone know any great sight reading book that can recommend me to use? thanks

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#1262800 - 09/05/09 04:58 AM Re: sight reading materials [Re: pcs99]  
Joined: Oct 2005
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Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Chris H.  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,919
UK.
I have found the same problems with 'sight reading' books. They are also extremely boring and the examples are not satisfying to play even when completed. That's why I no longer bother with any of these books!

I think the best thing you can do is make sure they have something new to learn every week. The ability to sight read well takes a long time to develop and draws on your experience as a musician. The only way to improve is to keep doing it. However, I find it best not to draw attention to the act of sight reading as most students don't like the thought of it. This is probably because it frustrates them and struggling to play something in front of someone is very unpleasant.

Another thing you can do is encourage them to get involved in ensembles where they will need to read new pieces off the cuff on a regular basis. Learning how to accompany is a good example. Joining a choir and sight singing is also useful as the two skills are connected. The best sight readers are those who can look at the score and know how it will sound. Again, it's a musicianship skill.

Sight reading seems to be the holy grail of piano playing. The idea that you could play anything without having to practise is tempting but unfortunately unrealistic.


Pianist and piano teacher.
#1262819 - 09/05/09 07:34 AM Re: sight reading materials [Re: Chris H.]  
Joined: Nov 2002
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Kreisler Offline
Kreisler  Offline


Joined: Nov 2002
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Iowa City, IA
I've been using "American Popular Piano" by Christopher Norton. The pieces are attractive, have duet parts, and the students seem to like them all quite a bit.


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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#1262882 - 09/05/09 11:09 AM Re: sight reading materials [Re: Kreisler]  
Joined: Jun 2009
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Minniemay Offline
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Minniemay  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,702
CA
Just give them real music! Just make it a bit lower than the level they currently are studying. Duets are great for sightreading in the lesson, but not at home.


B.A., Piano, Piano Pegagogy, Music Ed.
M.M., Piano
#1263193 - 09/05/09 09:18 PM Re: sight reading materials [Re: Minniemay]  
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 484
Pete the bean Offline
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Pete the bean  Offline
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Posts: 484
Canada
I found these useful and the pieces enjoyable enough http://www.musicroom.com/Search/gsearch.aspx?searchtext=right%40sight
In Canada they are available at Long and Mcquade.
Also for the intermediate students, I think John Novello's Stylistic Etudes are amazing for contemporary styles.

#1263573 - 09/06/09 04:30 PM Re: sight reading materials [Re: Pete the bean]  
Joined: Jul 2009
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EDWARDIAN Offline
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EDWARDIAN  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 89
New York, USA
Hey pcs -

Funny, there is a topic on sight reading in the ABF I just responded to!

For the longest time I didn't see the point of "sight reading books", but then I discovered
Hannah Smith's book. The exercises go progressively from beginner to intermediate level, and really
help my students a lot. Very good for recognizing patterns, intervals, rhythms, etc.

We do a few exercises each lesson, depending on the student's need, and I
find it quite a helpful teaching tool. thumb

Hope this helps.

Joan






Joan Edward

Private piano teacher, 20+ years
EDWARDIAN45@hotmail.com
#1263598 - 09/06/09 05:22 PM Re: sight reading materials [Re: EDWARDIAN]  
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pianomommy1 Offline
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pianomommy1  Offline
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Florida
I use Paul Harris' Improve Your Sightreading series put out by Faber Music -- It IS in "English" so it speaks of "quavers, semiquavers, etc) and it gives me just an extra chance to tell my students about music is the universal language but there are some "changes" between cultures. It works well and actually there are 3 sets - Improve, MORE-Improve, and PERFECT your sightreading. I do "test" my students as the book suggests but we also APPLY the concepts into "real" music -- The First series has 9 levels, the second has 5 and the 3rd has 3

This series is also used at Stetson University as part of their "keyboard proficiency" classes.


Piano Teacher


#1263789 - 09/07/09 12:32 AM Re: sight reading materials [Re: pianomommy1]  
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Posts: 28
TonyY Offline
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TonyY  Offline
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Toronto, ON, Canada
I recommend Four-Star: Ear training and Sight-reading. It's by Frederick Harris Publishing (RCM), they have tons at Remenyi. But- I really think you should just get your student a repertoire book two to three grades below his/her actual grade (if you are familiar with the RCM system, which I believe you are)


Pianist/Piano Teacher
#1263805 - 09/07/09 01:29 AM Re: sight reading materials [Re: TonyY]  
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,332
tangleweeds Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 11 2012
tangleweeds  Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 11 2012


Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,332
Portland, OR
Originally Posted by TonyY
But- I really think you should just get your student a repertoire book two to three grades below his/her actual grade


I have a question for your teachers' experience: The material I'd be using for sight reading practice would be quite elementary -- my current playing level is pretty basic, right around the Telemann Gavotte in my sig. What beginner's books would be most interesting and musically rewarding for me to buy to use for additional sight reading practice?

I have computer software that quizzes me on note & interval recognition, rhythm reading, etc. While that can be invigorating, it's not a very musical experience. So I'd like my sight reading practice to have as much musical payoff as possible.

Given that preference, what books would you recommend for me to buy?

[edited because I wasn't being very clear, I don't think]

I'm talking not about designated sight reading books, but ordinary learning material that's easier than the baby repertoire I've been doing from Keith Snell's Preparatory Level Repertoire books. Regular beginner-beginner "repertoire" books, by which I mean as much music and as little other stuff as possible.

Perhaps material that stays in 5-finger positions in various easy keys, with melodies passing from hand to hand, with maybe just a few 2-handed simultaneous notes (or a I, IV, V accompanying chord).

Am I visualizing something that exists? My sheet music store has this huge wall of piano instructional material, but it's so tightly slotted in there that you need to know what you're looking for to start with -- it's not easily browsable.

Last edited by tangleweeds; 09/07/09 03:14 AM.

Please step aside. You're standing in your own way.
#1264210 - 09/07/09 06:24 PM Re: sight reading materials [Re: tangleweeds]  
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Posts: 28
TonyY Offline
Full Member
TonyY  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 28
Toronto, ON, Canada
Originally Posted by tangleweeds
Originally Posted by TonyY
But- I really think you should just get your student a repertoire book two to three grades below his/her actual grade


I have a question for your teachers' experience: The material I'd be using for sight reading practice would be quite elementary -- my current playing level is pretty basic, right around the Telemann Gavotte in my sig. What beginner's books would be most interesting and musically rewarding for me to buy to use for additional sight reading practice?

I have computer software that quizzes me on note & interval recognition, rhythm reading, etc. While that can be invigorating, it's not a very musical experience. So I'd like my sight reading practice to have as much musical payoff as possible.

Given that preference, what books would you recommend for me to buy?

[edited because I wasn't being very clear, I don't think]

I'm talking not about designated sight reading books, but ordinary learning material that's easier than the baby repertoire I've been doing from Keith Snell's Preparatory Level Repertoire books. Regular beginner-beginner "repertoire" books, by which I mean as much music and as little other stuff as possible.

Perhaps material that stays in 5-finger positions in various easy keys, with melodies passing from hand to hand, with maybe just a few 2-handed simultaneous notes (or a I, IV, V accompanying chord).

Am I visualizing something that exists? My sheet music store has this huge wall of piano instructional material, but it's so tightly slotted in there that you need to know what you're looking for to start with -- it's not easily browsable.


To be honest, I don't usually give out "sight-reading homework" to my students at the elementary level due to the fact that it isn't really a concern until until grade 5 or 6. I usually use Alfred's piano library lesson books for kids that just started piano, so I would recommend that, I believe it has three levels. It comprises some familiar tunes, and it teaches you about some basic theory to go along with the playing. Just browse through you before you buy it to see if you like it or not.


Pianist/Piano Teacher

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