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It's time to talk about sight reading.........again #2948223 02/17/20 08:33 PM
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earlofmar Offline OP
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thought some people might be interested in this youtube series of an ABRSM grade 6 player who ''can't read for toffee'' (her words). Sound familiar?






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Re: It's time to talk about sight reading.........again [Re: earlofmar] #2948264 02/17/20 09:57 PM
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Can't read!! Seems she can read quite well...although she seems to play mainly by memory watching her eyes.
She gets stuck occasionally ..as you do.
What am i missing.

Re: It's time to talk about sight reading.........again [Re: willywagtail] #2948269 02/17/20 10:21 PM
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earlofmar Offline OP
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Originally Posted by willywagtail

What am i missing.


when she plays repertoire she isn't reading, when she tries to read even the most basic of exercises she is having problems. This is someone who has passed grade 6 ABRSM, but of course your performance level is no indication of your reading level.


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Re: It's time to talk about sight reading.........again [Re: earlofmar] #2948276 02/17/20 10:59 PM
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What is the point of the video other than to show some students are poor sight readers? Her teacher is partly to blame.

Poor sight reading skill limits how fast one can learn music since it's related to reading skill. It also greatly decreases the enjoyment one can have with piano playing since one can sight read music for pleasure.

Re: It's time to talk about sight reading.........again [Re: pianoloverus] #2948299 02/18/20 12:45 AM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
What is the point of the video other than to show some students are poor sight readers? Her teacher is partly to blame.


This is the first in a serious of videos where she stops lessons to pursue getting better at sight reading. Why did she stop lessons? Because she felt she could not go on without becoming a better sight reader. I happen to disagree that is the best thing to do, but each to their own.


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Re: It's time to talk about sight reading.........again [Re: earlofmar] #2948328 02/18/20 02:13 AM
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I was having trouble both reading and playing HT, until one day, suddenly something clicked and Voila! I was doing both.
My teacher suggested that the neurons finally came together laugh

I have always likened learning to play the piano to learning to drive a shift car and using hand signals as well. Very tricky until it all comes together.

Re: It's time to talk about sight reading.........again [Re: leel] #2948384 02/18/20 06:47 AM
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Originally Posted by leel
I was having trouble both reading and playing HT, until one day, suddenly something clicked and Voila! I was doing both.
My teacher suggested that the neurons finally came together laugh

I have always likened learning to play the piano to learning to drive a shift car and using hand signals as well. Very tricky until it all comes together.


I'm struggling with that currently. I can sight read at my level hands separate quite well. Hands together however and I have to drop quite far back in material.

It's slowly coming together though. I can now at least quickly recognise when L.H is mirroring right hand (parallel or contrary), or when a small number of chords I'm familiar with crop up. Once you get to the L.H playing more varied notes to the R.H however I quickly lose myself. I can cope with one hand playing out of position (depending on how complex a pattern the other is playing) but once both start to move even a few notes out of position, falls apart there too.

Not sure if she was exaggerating in her video, just how bad her sight reading is. I know mine was that bad last year :P I can now sight read some of the things she was showing. I feel I've come a long way in just 4-5 months though of doing 5-10 minutes every day sight reading, still, a long way to go...

Last edited by Gary001; 02/18/20 06:48 AM.

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Re: It's time to talk about sight reading.........again [Re: earlofmar] #2948419 02/18/20 08:16 AM
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One observation about my own sight reading. I felt I really really regressed as I left the beginner stages and moved into longer/more involved pieces. One of her videos touches on that by recommending the Paul Harris "A Piece a Week" books.

The blurb on the back says these are written to be below the grade you're playing such that you can learn a piece in, erm, a week smile The idea being that once you get onto longer pieces, you're spending perhaps several weeks on a single piece and only a fraction of that time is spent actually reading it. The rest is just using the score for quick reference whilst you work on technique, rhythm, articulation etc

I decided back end of last year to drop back to playing a ton of Grade 1 pieces which I know I can learn one (1-2 page) piece a week. I wasn't aware of that series of books, instead I've been making use of all the old ABRSM exam pieces from over the years for Grade 1. I've been doing that along side my daily sight reading practice too (which is pieces below Grade 1) and one normal piece that can take multiple weeks to learn.

I intend to keep plugging away at a Grade 1 piece every week along side daily sight reading until I feel a sufficient improvement and then I'll bump up to learning a Grade 2 piece every week. Not sure what I count as "sufficient improvement" though.

As to which has had the biggest impact on my sight reading skills, I'm not sure, but I certainly feel I can read harder pieces than when I started this.


PW Recitals: LVI, XIX, XIV, XII, XI
Recent Recording: No. 9 - Nana de Mercedes (Javiere Navarette)
Re: It's time to talk about sight reading.........again [Re: earlofmar] #2948447 02/18/20 09:35 AM
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How can a teacher teach to grade 6 and you end with someone that can’t read grade 1 music ?

Re: It's time to talk about sight reading.........again [Re: earlofmar] #2948448 02/18/20 09:36 AM
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Perhaps we should not critic a stranger in an online forum. I wish her luck trying to sight read !

Re: It's time to talk about sight reading.........again [Re: earlofmar] #2948520 02/18/20 12:48 PM
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Everything she is doing in that video is wrong, and it's no wonder she has a hard time sight-reading. The hesitation, the perfectionism, the physical tension, etc. It's all making it more difficult. If you want to improve your sight-reading, don't do what she's doing in the video.

Re: It's time to talk about sight reading.........again [Re: MichaelJK] #2948539 02/18/20 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by MichaelJK
Everything she is doing in that video is wrong, and it's no wonder she has a hard time sight-reading. The hesitation, the perfectionism, the physical tension, etc. It's all making it more difficult. If you want to improve your sight-reading, don't do what she's doing in the video.
Or one could say her poor sight reading is causing hesitation, tension, etc. Or tension could just be poor technique.

Re: It's time to talk about sight reading.........again [Re: Moo :)] #2948551 02/18/20 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Moo :)
Perhaps we should not critic a stranger in an online forum. I wish her luck trying to sight read !


Some teachers almost ignore sight reading, and assume a student just isn't a sight reader.

Re: It's time to talk about sight reading.........again [Re: earlofmar] #2948584 02/18/20 03:06 PM
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Maybe Moo is making a statement more than just being critical.
I originally thought she must have learnt to read quite well and the hesitant stuff was new pieces.
My teacher would constantly point out a note on the sheet and ask me to play it.
I never done any levels just a casual teacher for about a year

Re: It's time to talk about sight reading.........again [Re: earlofmar] #2948591 02/18/20 03:17 PM
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It makes me feel uncomfortable to critic someone online without their knowledge. We have discussed this struggle a lot in other threads. I think she can learn to sight read and wish her luck. I will probably leave it there.

Last edited by Moo :); 02/18/20 03:19 PM.
Re: It's time to talk about sight reading.........again [Re: pianoloverus] #2948613 02/18/20 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by MichaelJK
Everything she is doing in that video is wrong, and it's no wonder she has a hard time sight-reading. The hesitation, the perfectionism, the physical tension, etc. It's all making it more difficult. If you want to improve your sight-reading, don't do what she's doing in the video.
Or one could say her poor sight reading is causing hesitation, tension, etc. Or tension could just be poor technique.


Sure, but that wouldn't be quite as useful. What I'm offering is a practical way to improve sight-reading.

Re: It's time to talk about sight reading.........again [Re: MichaelJK] #2948630 02/18/20 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by MichaelJK
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by MichaelJK
Everything she is doing in that video is wrong, and it's no wonder she has a hard time sight-reading. The hesitation, the perfectionism, the physical tension, etc. It's all making it more difficult. If you want to improve your sight-reading, don't do what she's doing in the video.
Or one could say her poor sight reading is causing hesitation, tension, etc. Or tension could just be poor technique.


Sure, but that wouldn't be quite as useful. What I'm offering is a practical way to improve sight-reading.
If the poor sight reading is causing her hesitation, for example, then it's illogical to suggest not hesitating will improve her sight reading.

Re: It's time to talk about sight reading.........again [Re: earlofmar] #2948632 02/18/20 05:04 PM
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I would just practice reading and playing more pieces, instead of making videos. I think that will improve your sight reading faster smile


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Re: It's time to talk about sight reading.........again [Re: pianoloverus] #2948662 02/18/20 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by MichaelJK
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by MichaelJK
Everything she is doing in that video is wrong, and it's no wonder she has a hard time sight-reading. The hesitation, the perfectionism, the physical tension, etc. It's all making it more difficult. If you want to improve your sight-reading, don't do what she's doing in the video.
Or one could say her poor sight reading is causing hesitation, tension, etc. Or tension could just be poor technique.


Sure, but that wouldn't be quite as useful. What I'm offering is a practical way to improve sight-reading.
If the poor sight reading is causing her hesitation, for example, then it's illogical to suggest not hesitating will improve her sight reading.


1. Hesitation is part of what it means to have poor sight-reading.
2. It's not illogical, since they reinforce each other: Less hesitation ---> More fluidity ---> More pleasure ---> More practice ---> Better sight-reading ---> More confidence ---> Less hesitation.

Re: It's time to talk about sight reading.........again [Re: MichaelJK] #2948670 02/18/20 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by MichaelJK
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by MichaelJK
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Or one could say her poor sight reading is causing hesitation, tension, etc. Or tension could just be poor technique.


Sure, but that wouldn't be quite as useful. What I'm offering is a practical way to improve sight-reading.
If the poor sight reading is causing her hesitation, for example, then it's illogical to suggest not hesitating will improve her sight reading.


1. Hesitation is part of what it means to have poor sight-reading.
2. It's not illogical, since they reinforce each other: Less hesitation ---> More fluidity ---> More pleasure ---> More practice ---> Better sight-reading ---> More confidence ---> Less hesitation.
Still sounds illogical to me. You begin with less hesitation which is what the person cannot do without playing wrong notes. Kind of like saying a person overeats and is overweight. Solution:don't be overweight,

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