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I've tried the "read lots" approach, and it has definitely worked for me.

I likened it to learning to read text. When we started we had to sound out syllables, but now we can decipher text even if the letters are jumbled up - yuo're prbbly abel t raed tihs. We got there through practice, and learning what to expect next.

Last year I decided to do the same with music. I read through music for pleasure, regularly. But the two things that were most effective were:
a) learning lots of pieces of different styles and periods. I did the 40-pieces-a-year challenge, so most were pieces I could master in just a week, with 3-4 more challenging ones which took a couple of months.
b) sight-reading 1-2 pages every day. I would read through once, and then practice any spots I found challenging, the idea being that I learned that pattern, and got to the stage when I played the piece fluently. The next day, I would play that same piece again. If it was fluent, I would then drop it; otherwise I would spend a few minutes on it, and return to it the following day. As well as reviewing the previous day(s) pieces, I would always read new pages. To answer your question about ease: these were mainly pieces that I could master in around 15 minutes.

Today I've spent the whole afternoon reading through music. I've found that I'm noticeably more fluent, musical and accurate than I was a year ago.

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Originally Posted by Monviso
I've tried the "read lots" approach, and it has definitely worked for me.

I likened it to learning to read text. When we started we had to sound out syllables, but now we can decipher text even if the letters are jumbled up - yuo're prbbly abel t raed tihs. We got there through practice, and learning what to expect next.

Last year I decided to do the same with music. I read through music for pleasure, regularly. But the two things that were most effective were:
a) learning lots of pieces of different styles and periods. I did the 40-pieces-a-year challenge, so most were pieces I could master in just a week, with 3-4 more challenging ones which took a couple of months.
b) sight-reading 1-2 pages every day. I would read through once, and then practice any spots I found challenging, the idea being that I learned that pattern, and got to the stage when I played the piece fluently. The next day, I would play that same piece again. If it was fluent, I would then drop it; otherwise I would spend a few minutes on it, and return to it the following day. As well as reviewing the previous day(s) pieces, I would always read new pages. To answer your question about ease: these were mainly pieces that I could master in around 15 minutes.

Today I've spent the whole afternoon reading through music. I've found that I'm noticeably more fluent, musical and accurate than I was a year ago.

Your approach confirms what is slowly dawning on me. I have started to figure out that “reading lots” of scores with different musical styles, and not following the rule I keep seeing in this forum, which can be summed up as this - “read through a piece once, keep going, and don’t correct mistakes”. I find my ability to read music increases if I play a piece several times over the course of 1 or 2 weeks. I feel like this produces a better result than reading through a piece once, and only once.

Some would say that playing without correcting mistakes gets you in habit of performing, when you have to keep going no matter what, short of a complete breakdown. You can develop that skill by playing duets, or any ensemble playing where you learn quickly that there is no slowing down, or stopping, unless everyone needs to restart.

Isn’t musical note-reading fluency the goal that most of us are pursuing? So why not try to learn the correct notes and rhythm with as many pieces as possible. These pieces don’t need to be taken to the next level unless you decide you want to study them in more depth.



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Originally Posted by PianogrlNW
I have started to figure out that “reading lots” of scores with different musical styles, and not following the rule I keep seeing in this forum, which can be summed up as this - “read through a piece once, keep going, and don’t correct mistakes”. I find my ability to read music increases if I play a piece several times over the course of 1 or 2 weeks. I feel like this produces a better result than reading through a piece once, and only once.
I don't see any conflict.

All students benefit from learning to sight-read without stopping to correct mistakes and keeping the beat going regardless (whether or not they do exams, whether or not they ever play with others, or accompany), but when learning new pieces, of course they would correct their mistakes - as I mentioned earlier about how I get all my students to sight-read their new pieces in front of me without stopping, then play through again, but stopping to correct every mistake.

Which, incidentally, was how all my four teachers taught, all the way from beginner to advanced.

Quote
Some would say that playing without correcting mistakes gets you in habit of performing, when you have to keep going no matter what, short of a complete breakdown. You can develop that skill by playing duets, or any ensemble playing where you learn quickly that there is no slowing down, or stopping, unless everyone needs to restart.
Actually, not many students get an opportunity to play in ensemble. How many adult students know a fellow pianist who wants to play duets with them? Or would their teachers want to spend valuable lesson time doing that?

But they might well be asked at some stage, when they are more experienced - for instance, a distant relative might visit next Christmas, and, knowing that you have been learning piano for five years, bring Silent Night in an easy arrangement and ask you to accompany everyone at the party.

They would be very disappointed if you can't sight-read without stop-starting with mistakes, losing your rhythm, throwing everyone off course.....
Quote
Isn’t musical note-reading fluency the goal that most of us are pursuing? So why not try to learn the correct notes and rhythm with as many pieces as possible. These pieces don’t need to be taken to the next level unless you decide you want to study them in more depth.
Exactly.


"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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