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Originally Posted by wouter79
I can just read a few of the actual notes, usually the melody note, but not the other notes, at performance speed. Alternatively I can read the first chord of the measure but not the rest.

I suppose that holds for almost everyone. If you can read this at speed right away, I would not even have to practice and could go straight to performance I guess ?

Aren't you just fooling yourself when you think you read all the notes?
If you're sight-reading at performance speed, that's exactly what you're doing. It's not that remarkable a skill to have: I've been doing it regularly since I was a student, including in a live concert while accompanying singers. Obviously, that's only possible if the music is well within your technical level (so you don't need to practise any tricky bits) and your sight-reading ability is up to it. For example, most advanced pianists would be able to easily sight-read a Clementi sonatina accurately at tempo, and with musicality, even if they've never heard the music before.

Lots of classical musicians have to sight-read fairly advanced stuff daily for their living - and all the required nuances etc are present & correct during their sight-reading.

It stands to reason, therefore, that they can easily read all the notes that they've already practiced, while playing at performance speed during performance:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-PAFzEnJ6NU


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Originally Posted by bennevis
It's not that remarkable a skill to have: I've been doing it regularly since I was a student, including in a live concert while accompanying singers.

What is and isn't remarkable would seem to be relative. I find how well you play to be remarkable and the way the accompanist in your attached video to be reading and playing almost beyond remarkable. Don't underrate yourself. You have developed a skill that people like me can only dream of achieving.

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Originally Posted by wouter79
That's not what SoundThumb is saying, he says he can't read it *fast enough*. For me it's similar, I can just read a few of the actual notes, usually the melody note, but not the other notes, at performance speed. Alternatively I can read the first chord of the measure but not the rest.

I suppose that holds for almost everyone. If you can read this at speed right away, I would not even have to practice and could go straight to performance I guess ?

Aren't you just fooling yourself when you think you read all the notes? If your friend would alter a few notes in your piece that you already know, would you then play these wrong notes?
Your missing the point by focusing on "fast enough". If you cannot do what I described it's very important to practice to improve your reading skill. If one has played a piece many one should be able to read it fast enough to use the score while playing the piece. Of course, one is not necessarily reading every note because one has played the piece many times but one is still using the score.

In your last paragraph you're talking about sight reading a score which is a different although related skill vs. using the score after one has learned the notes. If you continue to memorize a piece as you are learning the notes and don't practice your reading, you will not improve in this vital area. Unless one is blind and has no other choice than to memorize everything one plays, the inability to play from the score(not meaning sight read at speed perfectly) will be a huge impediment to playing piano. You should practice using the score but playing more slowly than performance speed or using the score but playing easier pieces.

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Originally Posted by SoundThumb
I wish it were that simple. No I had the music in front of me, but I can't read fast enough to play smoothly. I have to memorize anything that I want to try to play for someone else. So why do I even attempt the recitals? Well, I am stubborn, but also sitting in the recital room waiting my turn, I find myself identifying with the kids, not the parents and grandparents. It makes me feel 60 years younger. There is nothing else quite like it.

I think that anyway the issue is not whether you can sight read fast enough. For some people, even if you did have the ability ro read the score, the problem would still be there in another form. The root cause is the paralysing stress that one needs to be able to control.

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I am not going to give any advice here, I almost never perform in public. Last time I couldnt even find middle C, just because the keys had a little bit of a different yellowish color (you see I exactly know what the problem was). When I am drunk I am less nervous, but then I cant find the keys either. Anyway, there is great advice in this thread.

But Julian Bream speaks about it in this documentary; I think it is rather funny:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MUdunh_wMCI

Starts at about 17:50. As a kid he was not bothered at all by these silly nerves. For him, his first ever performance was about as difficult as drinking a cup of Tea.

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by wouter79
That's not what SoundThumb is saying, he says he can't read it *fast enough*. For me it's similar, I can just read a few of the actual notes, usually the melody note, but not the other notes, at performance speed. Alternatively I can read the first chord of the measure but not the rest.

I suppose that holds for almost everyone. If you can read this at speed right away, I would not even have to practice and could go straight to performance I guess ?

Aren't you just fooling yourself when you think you read all the notes? If your friend would alter a few notes in your piece that you already know, would you then play these wrong notes?


Your missing the point by focusing on "fast enough". If you cannot do what I described it's very important to practice to improve your reading skill. If one has played a piece many one should be able to read it fast enough to use the score while playing the piece. Of course, one is not necessarily reading every note because one has played the piece many times but one is still using the score.

In your last paragraph you're talking about sight reading a score which is a different although related skill vs. using the score after one has learned the notes. If you continue to memorize a piece as you are learning the notes and don't practice your reading, you will not improve in this vital area. Unless one is blind and has no other choice than to memorize everything one plays, the inability to play from the score(not meaning sight read at speed perfectly) will be a huge impediment to playing piano. You should practice using the score but playing more slowly than performance speed or using the score but playing easier pieces.


>Of course, one is not necessarily reading every note because one has played the piece many times but one is still using the score.

You say "of course" but this is very different from what you said before. This is not sight reading. Only using strategically chosen key features from the score while glossing over the rest that you have memorized anyway. This is exactly what I said how I use the score

Seems then that we agree on this after all on this point.

>Unless one is blind and has no other choice than to memorize everything one plays, the inability to play from the score(not meaning sight read at speed perfectly) will be a huge impediment to playing piano

I don't agree. Different people have different learning rates for reading. If bringing up your reading speed from 1 note per second to 2 notes per second would take you 20 years, while memorizing a piece takes you a day and will take you half a day next year, then I say it's a waste of time to even try reading faster and better focus your time on memorization. I'm of course exaggerating but you get the point.


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Originally Posted by wouter79
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by wouter79
That's not what SoundThumb is saying, he says he can't read it *fast enough*. For me it's similar, I can just read a few of the actual notes, usually the melody note, but not the other notes, at performance speed. Alternatively I can read the first chord of the measure but not the rest.

I suppose that holds for almost everyone. If you can read this at speed right away, I would not even have to practice and could go straight to performance I guess ?

Aren't you just fooling yourself when you think you read all the notes? If your friend would alter a few notes in your piece that you already know, would you then play these wrong notes?


Your missing the point by focusing on "fast enough". If you cannot do what I described it's very important to practice to improve your reading skill. If one has played a piece many one should be able to read it fast enough to use the score while playing the piece. Of course, one is not necessarily reading every note because one has played the piece many times but one is still using the score.

In your last paragraph you're talking about sight reading a score which is a different although related skill vs. using the score after one has learned the notes. If you continue to memorize a piece as you are learning the notes and don't practice your reading, you will not improve in this vital area. Unless one is blind and has no other choice than to memorize everything one plays, the inability to play from the score(not meaning sight read at speed perfectly) will be a huge impediment to playing piano. You should practice using the score but playing more slowly than performance speed or using the score but playing easier pieces.


>Of course, one is not necessarily reading every note because one has played the piece many times but one is still using the score.


You say "of course" but this is very different from what you said before. This is not sight reading. Only using strategically chosen key features from the score while glossing over the rest that you have memorized anyway. This is exactly what I said how I use the score

Seems then that we agree on this after all on this point. {/quote]Not really. I never said what I described was sight reading(which means reading the score for the first time). In fact, I specifically said it wasn't sight reading. And what I said isn't necessarily "glossing over the score" either. If one is playing the piece for say the tenth time, one could be reading most of the notes but it just becomes easier(or should become easier) to read the score the tenth time. What Soundcloud described was his lack of improvement in reading the score. This was to such a degree that the score couldn't be used during a performance.

Originally Posted by wouter79
>Unless one is blind and has no other choice than to memorize everything one plays, the inability to play from the score(not meaning sight read at speed perfectly) will be a huge impediment to playing piano

I don't agree. Different people have different learning rates for reading. If bringing up your reading speed from 1 note per second to 2 notes per second would take you 20 years, while memorizing a piece takes you a day and will take you half a day next year, then I say it's a waste of time to even try reading faster and better focus your time on memorization. I'm of course exaggerating but you get the point.
Your exaggeration is so extreme as to be meaningless. Most people can improve their reading ability with proper and enough practice.

More importantly, you seem to miss the point of why it's so important to be able to use the score after practicing a piece. It's so much more than comparing the time it takes to learn a piece. If one cannot use the score while playing, the only pieces ones can play are what one has memorized. That, for most people, would be an incredibly small amount of music. If one is cannot use the score while playing, one is a poor reader and it will generally take that person much longer to learn the notes of a piece even if the goal is to memorize while learning the notes.

Finally, there is so much more marked in the score than just the notes. My guess is that most people who try to immediately memorize the score don't memorize a lot of the markings in the score besides the notes.

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