Tarik Rahman

Sight-reading Classical Piano Music

Tarik Rahman
Sight-reading Classical Piano Music

Developing and improving your sight-reading ability on the piano can help you learn new piano music faster, and can provide opportunities for collaborating with other classical musicians and vocalists.

Sight-reading is a practical and useful skill for any musician to have, and our classical piano teachers have some of the best methods for teaching you to sight-read classical piano music accurately and efficiently.

Some of the benefits of learning to sight-read classical piano music:

  • Before you can learn any new piece of music, you must read the score. A good sight-reading ability can help you learn pieces faster.

  • Activities such as accompanying choirs or vocalists and playing for church services require excellent sight-reading skills.

  • A good sight-reading ability allows you to develop a large repertoire of easy pieces in a short period of time. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to quickly prepare a concert of holiday music for Christmas, or a selection of a loved one’s favourite songs for their birthday?

Piano students often get frustrated with sight-reading piano music, thinking that they are somehow inherently unable to do it well. In fact, anyone can learn to sight-read well, when guided through an efficient method by an excellent classical piano teacher.

Sight-reading classical piano music is much more of a science than an art. It requires the careful and precise matching of visual symbols to hand movements.

There are really only three ways we can affect the sound of the piano:

  • Pitch: There are different keys we can press, resulting in different pitches, from low to high.

  • Timing: We can press these keys together or separately, fast in succession or slowly, and at any speed in between.

  • Volume: We can play these keys softly or loudly, and with any volume in between.

Sight-reading requires us to identify the pitch indicated and its corresponding key on the piano, the correct time to press this key, and the correct volume for sounding this key. That’s it!

We need only take the time to read the set of instructions that the piano score offers us, and take the time for our brain to process this information and determine which finger should go where, at what time, and with what velocity, to play any piece perfectly on the first read. It requires focus, patience, and practise, and with a little work, our classical piano teachers can get you there!


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