Quick Piano Tip #3

Improving Your Sight Reading

If I’ve learned one thing teaching piano for the past 25 years, then it’s this: “Every student is different”.

  • Some students are good sight readers and some are not.

What is sight reading? It’s the ability to play through a song at a fairly competent level on the first try.

Now, if sight reading is not your strength, then a good technique to improve your sight reading skills is to play through a new song one hand at a time.

  • If you want to learn how to swim, it’s a good idea to avoid the deep end of the pool for a while. The same is true with sight reading sheet music.

Playing the right hand part of a song by itself a few times and then the left hand by itself a few times will help you familiarize yourself with the song before attempting to play it with both hands together.

Even when you do put both hands together, it may be slow going for a while.

  • My teacher would tell me the same thing every time I started working on a new song — “The slower you go, the faster you’ll progress.”

It was good advice. Of course, I would always rush the learning process and just end up frustrated. However, when I followed my teacher’s advice by playing slower, I always progressed at a much faster pace.

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