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#1641513 - 03/15/11 01:24 PM Concentration for sight-reading
ROMagister Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/26/08
Posts: 518
Loc: Bucuresti, Romania
I've found my still rudimentary/slow skills at sight reading require so much fresh concentration that they get harder that current work, translations, computer games etc. It seems to get worse over time, in recent years (and still not much progress)

So keyboard practice 'as a pause or change' gets ineffective. Vague doodling on keys 'by ear/memory' is feasible, but is definitely not a systematic advance and only consolidates mistakes ;-)

Anyone having this experience, or a way around it ?
I can think of practicing at earliest in the morning, if other things are less needed... dream on...

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#1641521 - 03/15/11 01:38 PM Re: Concentration for sight-reading [Re: ROMagister]
Cee Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/28/11
Posts: 29
Loc: Timisoara, Romania
With sight-reading I found the best way to get better at it is not to over do it with the hours spent on this one thing.

I had the same problem as you, after a couple of hours of sight-reading I would be beat. So I started breaking it down into half-an-hours per day.

With time I found I could increase the time I spent practicing sight-reading per day.

I still suck, but at least I'm building some kind of stamina for it...

So yeah, try breaking it down. Doodle for 10 minutes, sight-read for another 10, doodle again, sight-read again. See how that feels.

Some people might say that's a super distraction from reading, but remember it's reading, not memorizing or improvising. It's easier to get into the mood once you start reading.
Pianist, composer.
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#1641548 - 03/15/11 02:17 PM Re: Concentration for sight-reading [Re: ROMagister]
Gary001 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/23/08
Posts: 201
Loc: UK
In short, Yes smile

But that's usually the difference between practice and playing for me. Playing pieces I've already put the time into learning is a pleasure and complete break/distraction from anything else I'm doing that day.

Practice on the other hand varies. When starting a new piece it's as much fun as just sitting down and playing is, but as I get further on with a piece and really try to polish it or get to grips with tricky sections it sometimes begins to feel like "work".

As for sight reading, it's felt like work from the very beginning. I just keep reminding myself that whilst the time spent sight reading isn't yet as much fun as just playing or learning a new piece, as I get better at it, it will make learning pieces quicker which in turn will be more enjoyable.

I try to do sight reading at the start of a practice session though, it's when I'm most alert. If I leave it until after the more fun parts of practice, I tend to not bother doing it.

#1642227 - 03/16/11 12:48 PM Re: Concentration for sight-reading [Re: ROMagister]
samasap Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/10
Posts: 622
Loc: UK
I think maybe when you do some sightreading, try and pick some music that you are going to enjoy, something you can relate too, this way it's not such a chore.

Don't spend too long doing it, if you are struggling to concentrate, then I'd suggest trying to do maybe one sight read a day in each practice session.

Remember to give yourself a time scale to look at the music and to work out any parts, and then play through it. I'd suggest a Minute initially, remembering to look out for Time & Key signatures, any patterns, and key and time changes, type of Rhythm and Dynamics.
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