Piano Forum

The World of Piano Competitions – issue 1 2024
The World of Piano Competitions is a magazine initiated by PIANIST Magazine (Netherlands and Germany) and its Editor-in-Chief Eric Schoones. Here we get a rich insight into the world of international piano competitions through the eyes of its producers and participants. Read more >>

Topic: Sight reading question  (Read 812 times)

Offline roblewis

  • PS Silver Member
  • Newbie
  • ***
  • Posts: 1
Sight reading question
on: February 03, 2021, 01:23:06 PM
I have a question on sight reading for times when you are not at the piano , Can just reading sheet music books without playing improve your sight reading .

Offline pianowhisper

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 52
Re: Sight reading question
Reply #1 on: February 03, 2021, 04:04:29 PM
I believe so, but the level of this improvement depends on what "reading" means for you.
If you try to visualize the keyboard in your mind and picture your hands "playing" (more or less) what's written, then this process becomes considerably more solid when it comes to sight-reading purposes. Think of that as the "best" way to approach the issue.

However, with that being said, I would still say that even without all that effort/attention put into it, reading sheet music away from the piano will help. After all, you're basically practicing / training your brain to recognize the patterns that appear when you sight-read. Bringing metaphors/analogies up, it is like how in school we go through dictation sessions: the more you do general reading in your spare time, the easier time you'll have when being expected to correctly write down words on the spot. I know this is an almost absurd comparison but I hope it makes sense. ;D


Offline j_tour

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3931
Re: Sight reading question
Reply #2 on: February 03, 2021, 10:27:31 PM
I only have my own experience to go on, but I always have a score of some kind with me for reading, during a down period at work, during breaks, in a waiting room at a car mechanic or a dentist and all that.

I don't see any way it can possibly hurt.

Added benefit:  I like to try to work out solfège for things or intervals I can't quite immediately hear, and I can easily pencil in fingerings, or make reminders for rhythmically complex passages. 

The only disadvantage, for me, is that I sometimes get tired of beyond so familiar with a piece by reading away from the keyboard that I'm not always inspired to follow through with actually playing a piece or a section at the keyboard.  That's just laziness, though, or lack of energy,

For me it does help with memorizing, though, even if I can't always fully hear more complex harmonies or contrapuntal voices at once away from an instrument.

It's kind of like "muscle memory," but without actually using the muscles:  just vividly imagining the way a piece should feel, especially after I've figured out the "secret code" for playing a piece or fragment.

Certainly "brain memory," though.

I take it you're not happy the answers you got in June from some child's forum in June of last year?  I don't blame you.  If you want good answers, you should come to a board oriented towards adults.  So, I applaud your decision to come to an actual forum. 
My name is Nellie, and I take pride in helping protect the children of my community through active leadership roles in my local church and in the Boy Scouts of America.  Bad word make me sad.

Offline perfect_pitch

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 8739
Re: Sight reading question
Reply #3 on: February 04, 2021, 01:22:37 AM
OP has just copy and pasted a question from 6 months ago - most likely in an attempt to paste a hyperlink later. Do not interact with OP.


Marked as Spam.
For more information about this topic, click search below!

Logo light pianostreet.com - the website for classical pianists, piano teachers, students and piano music enthusiasts.

Subscribe for unlimited access

Sign up

Follow us

Piano Street Digicert