Sight-Reading : LUSENET : Everything About Teaching and Learning the Piano : One Thread

I plan to take the Grade 7th ABRSM exam next year, and there's a sight-reading test :( Can you suggest me some method to improve my sight-reading skills? I'm really so worried about the exam.

-- Angel (, May 08, 2001


My suggestions for sight-reading improvement:

1) Practice it everyday. The more you read, the better you get at it. There are lots of graded sight-reading books eg "Specimen sight- reading tests" by ABRSM Publishing, "Improve Your Sight-reading" and "Perfect Your Sight-reading" by Paul Harris, and many others. If Gd 7 is difficult, try lower grade tests first slowly working up to Gd 7.

2) Imagine yourself in the exam as you practice it i.e. 30 seconds only to skim through the piece. 2 important rules also: ALWAYS COUNT and KEEP GOING ON IGNORING SLIPS.

3) Know what to look out for in the 30 sec. Time-signature, Key- signature must be taken note of, then scan the piece quickly. Try out the opening bar and final bar. Also try out the most difficult looking part (either in terms of notes or rhythm) of the piece. (You're allowed to play during the 30 sec)

(For practice but not during exam, play the scale and arpeggio of the key that the sight-reading piece is in. Have the key in mind as you play the piece. By doing this regularly, you should gradually be able to think in keys as a matter of course)

4) Set a regular pulse BEFORE starting to play. Don't play too fast. Instead set a speed at which you'll be able to handle the most difficult part.

5) Try to look ahead of the music (even if it's just a couple of notes) as you play.


Review your efforts after that.

Suggestion for exam: Relax and enjoy yourself. You'll be fine.

Hope I've helped a little.

-- Winnie (, May 21, 2001.

Winnie, Thank you so much for explaining the technique preparing the Sight- Reading Test. It really helps :) I've already started practise one piece per day, hopefully, I'll get better to it later on.

-- Angel (, May 24, 2001.

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