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#587433 - 07/12/07 03:29 PM Sight reading computer program. What is best?
kramer765 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/22/06
Posts: 112
I have been told that there are some computer programs that will help to learn sight reading. I have had no luck with books. What is out there and what works well? Thanks
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#587434 - 07/12/07 04:10 PM Re: Sight reading computer program. What is best?
8ude Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 2052
There may be programs out there that might help, but in my experience the best way is just to sight-read as much as you can. There's no magic bullet that makes you a better sight-reader, it's just good old fashioned hard work and practice, practice, practice.

I'd suggest getting some volumes of easy pieces and then sit down and sight-read one a day. Don't do them too much - if you do that you'll end up memorizing the piece and then you're not practicing reading anymore. Some examples of volumes to try might be Schumann's Album for the Young, Bartok's Mikrokosmos, Bach's little preludes, Bach Chorales, Gurlitt Albumleaves, etc...

When you sight read them, don't just plow into them. First look at the piece for a minute or two to learn as much as you can before touching the keys. Look for things like tempo, key signature, time signature, and the general melodic and harmonic ideas. Then try to play it. When you try to play from sight, go as slow as you need to hit the notes correctly, and do not stop to correct mistakes.

You don't need to do much of it at each practice session, but make sure you do a little as part of every practice session. I made sure to do at least 5 minutes a day of sight-reading, and it has worked wonders for me. As for the computer programs, they don't seem like they'd work (for me at least). Learning to sight-read is something you do at the piano, not in front of a computer screen. They may have some usefulness, but in my experience, there's no substitute for just rolling up your sleeves and doing it.
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What you are is an accident of birth. What I am, I am through my own efforts. There have been a thousand princes and there will be a thousand more. There is one Beethoven.

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#587435 - 07/12/07 04:21 PM Re: Sight reading computer program. What is best?
193866 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/02/06
Posts: 777
Loc: Manassas,Va
After years, 68 years old now. I am going back to classical piano after many, years away now. Retired and have the time. I do not know the computer method but what worked for me and works now too. Maybe this will help you when you decide what method to use. I devout at least 15 minutes a day or more to reading more and more difficult music. More is better with sight reading, the more you read the better you get. I was taught by my classical piano teachers, Master's in Music Ed both...to read a the music, start one measure at a time, then close my eyes and visualize that measure, continue this process and expanding as you proceed... you will become an outstanding reader of piano music. The brain is being told what is expected and will produce the desired results. Good Luck and I hope piano brings you the joy it continues to bring me every day... even as elder now. May you be blessed with your piano music reading ability. Sandy B
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Sandra M. Boletchek 08/02/06

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#587436 - 07/12/07 04:48 PM Re: Sight reading computer program. What is best?
Eternal Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/06
Posts: 1285
Loc: Posts: 80,372
The only sight reading training software that I could find was Etude:

http://www.etudesoftware.com/

As opposed to most other computer programs, where all you have to do is press the correct note, you actually get to play entire passages here, and the difficulty increases incrementaly.

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