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Joined: May 2021
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harkld Offline OP
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Hi,

I am looking for

1) music to practice sight reading

(UPDATE I found "Sight Reading Exercises Op.45 Arnoldo Sartorio" https://www.free-scores.com/sheetmusic?p=aEMMXFaADn#https://www.free-scores.com/sheetmusic?p=aEMMXFaADn# )

and also

2) a series of pieces of increasing difficulty

In both cases I am interested in a series of increasing difficulty from beginner to more advanced.

I am a beginner at piano but not a beginner to music so I don't really need method books that explain notation, theory, etc. I just need music to practice to gain facility with the piano keyboard. But if there's a method book that has what I am looking for that would be okay.

Anything in the public domain (free to download) would be great but I can purchase it if there isn't anything for free.


Thanks in advance.

Last edited by harkld; 09/16/21 02:54 AM.
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Originally Posted by harkld
Hi,

I am looking for [...] a series of pieces of increasing difficulty

Most method books consist basically of a series of pieces of increasing difficulty. You can just skip the parts that explain notation, theory, etc.
Once you have chosen one series of method books, you can use the easier books from another series for sight reading.


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PS Some method series also have a Performance series, or Recital series (names can differ) that can be used as complementary material to the lesson books. Maybe those would be perfect for you! cool


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You can sight read any music that is at your level. There is no particular category or exercices needed for that. I dont know what is your level, so the simpliest is to look at the RCM piano syllabus. For each level you will find plenty of pieces. You can sight read and practice any of those.

You will find almost any score on imslp.

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If you are willing to invest the time:

The grade level for exam pieces can be found through board syllibi fir RCM snd ABRSM online. You can view each particular level online.

Find a particular interesting piece snd want to know the grade level? Pianosyllabus.com lets you search,

IMSLP.org lets you download an enormous percentage of classical piano music, out of copyright, for free


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
"I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

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Where and how will you learn technique?

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Originally Posted by Sundew
Where and how will you learn technique?

Good question Sunny! smile


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You can often find tutorial videos for aspiring pianists. I love it.


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To work on sightreading you just need LOTS of music of any kind to read. Once you read something more than once or twice you're not sightreading any more. When I was in music school they would say do crazy things to get more sight reading materials like turn the music upside down and reading it. It will sound weird, but your have something new to sightread. Also to work on training your eyes on the page read patterns of measures like first line measure 1 then second line measure 2, and so on. Remember this isn't about being musical it's about getting new music to sightread. Sightreading is like learning to read as a kid and training your eyes to see rhythms, scale fragments, arp's. chords, etc and just know them like the words you reading right now. Sightreading practice is building your written musical vocabulary

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Hmmm, if you get a monthly subscription on piano marvel, there are actual Sight Reading syllabuses available. One very extensive one is called SightReadingNinja or something. It has TONS of pieces and it is extreamly progressive in complexity.


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Try Bach's Two-Part Invention.

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Originally Posted by scientistplayspian
Try Bach's Two-Part Invention.

For a beginner to sightread? You're joking, right?


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Originally Posted by scientistplayspian
Try Bach's Two-Part Invention.
Just LOL. You so funny.

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Originally Posted by harkld
I am a beginner at piano
Then you should not be spending your time on sight-reading.
Start, follow and complete a decent course like the Alfred book series from book one all the way to the end of book three.
For a guy like you, sounds like it shouldn't take too long.
Add some scales for desert.
And your sight-reading will take care of itself.
There's no short-cut, regardless of how many other instruments you have some proficiency at.

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99% of this post is downright silly

Originally Posted by JohnnyIssieBangie
Originally Posted by harkld
I am a beginner at piano
Then you should not be spending your time on sight-reading.
Start, follow and complete a decent course like the Alfred book series from book one all the way to the end of book three.

Anyone genuinely interested in sight reading proficiency could start with very simple sight reading practice by the middle of Alfred level 1. Either a graded sight reading series, a nice thick practice book like Hannah Smith, or one of the Robert Anthony books available free on Kindle Unlimited.

Originally Posted by JohnnyIssieBangie
And your sight-reading will take care of itself.
It would be nice if this were true but it rarely does. See below

Originally Posted by JohnnyIssieBangie
There's no short-cut, regardless of how many other instruments you have some proficiency at.

This part is mostly true. There are ways to accelerate your progress, but focused work is necessary unless you’re lucky enough to be drawn into recreational sight reading on your own.


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Want to be drawn into recreational sightreading? I bet what you do when you see an unfamiliar score is run to YouTube or a streaming service to see how it sounds. Start running to your piano instead and play it to hear how it sounds.

I wonder if I would have started playing in the days of the internet if I ever would have learned to sightread. It’s just so easy now to hear new music. Back in the dark ages, I needed to play it if I wanted to hear it. Think about skipping the ‘audio-first’ route and see what happens.


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
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It's one of life's paradoxes - on a par with dark matter, black holes, neutrinos, and the behaviour of blobs (slime-molds) - that in our age, it's never been so easy to get hold of free music (five centuries' worth of it, from IMSLP and elsewhere) for recreational sight-reading, yet at the same time, fewer and fewer students are doing it.

Probably because evolution by natural selection has selected humans who know how to get the most bang for their buck, i.e. getting the quickest instant gratification for the least expenditure of mental and physical energy. We see the consequences of that every day. (Hmmm, I'm sure someone has written a treatise on this, otherwise I might write one myself......but then, I'd be expending a lot of mental & physical energy for long-delayed gratification, or possibly none at all cry).

How does one become fluent in a foreign language? The quickest and most efficient way is by immersing oneself in it 24/7, hence all those language schools in the countries that use the language. One is forced to speak, read and write that language 24/7, for everything from food to foot(ball). It's amazing how quickly one becomes fluent.

Failing that, use that language at every opportunity. I started learning the Western alphabet at nine (- my first three languages don't use anything resembling the alphabet), and when I discovered the treasure trove of all those children's books (Enid Blyton), adventure books (Willard Price, Cpt. W.E.Johns etc) and detective novels (Agatha Christie etc) in the library - most of them in English - I couldn't stop reading. For months, I was reading one book a day (more at weekends), with a dictionary by my side - reading till I fell asleep most nights. Which was why, when I moved to a boarding school in the West a few years later, I was able to read complex high-brow literature like Lady Chatterley's Lover wink without needing a dictionary, as well as communicate with everyone in English. I was already dreaming, as well as thinking, in English by then. Such is the power of recreational reading. Reading for fun, not as a chore or "duty".

That was exactly what I did with music too (when I moved to that new high school and had unlimited access to its music library), which was why I was soon able to sight-read piano music that was actually technically too difficult for me to be able to play properly.

So - to everyone who enjoys exploring music (which hopefully is everyone in PW) - explore by sight-reading/reading it, not by clicking on 'play' or asking Ms Alexa (whoever she is). Within a few short years, you'll be able to sight-read anything at the drop of a hat (if anyone wears a hat these days)........


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Assuming that you're indeed a piano beginner, I recommend Czerny 100 Progressive Recreations. Other than designed with increasing difficulties, these include arrangements of famous tunes such as national anthems, opera arias, themes from symphonies etc. Quite wonderful actually, exercises that allow a beginning piano student to appreciate wonderful music.

https://imslp.org/wiki/Erster_Clavier-Unterricht_in_100_Erholungen_(Czerny%2C_Carl)

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I’ve been sight reading most days for a year or so now. Progress is slow for me. Most of my efforts go into trying to play the correct notes.

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Originally Posted by Wayne2467
I’ve been sight reading most days for a year or so now. Progress is slow for me.
A year is hardly anything in the grand scheme of things when it comes to learning piano. That's why everyone should find sight-reading enjoyable and fun, not something you have to 'practise' - in other words, find appealing music (not computer-generated rubbish from a website or "sight-reading book") to play for fun.

This is what would be expected of an average student after one year:


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
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