I chose a few pieces for my next piano exam (RCM), but they seemed too difficult for me to sight read–so I’ve been practicing with pieces from some of the lower levels, which proved to be challenging for me to sight read.
I understand everything on the music scores but I can’t read and play at the same time– I have to keep looking at my hands to find the correct notes. Three weeks later, I am still below par. Why isn’t my sight reading improving?
— Suzanne T.
You’re not alone!
Sight reading is typically a challenge for pianists.
Read on to see why you’re not improving.
It takes time for your brain to learn how to quickly turn the notes on paper into movements on the piano.
Your eyes need to concentrate on the score– your fingers play the piano– only allow fleeting glances away from the music so that your playing is fluent and you don’t lose your spot in the music.
If keeping your eyes on the music while your fingers are playing is very hard, then practice piano in the dark with pieces that you know– your fingers will learn the feel of the keys and become independant from your eyes.
Above all, try these quick fixes to improve sight reading for common mistakes you might be making.
A quick note: RCM examinations test your sight reading for pieces two levels below your actual level– to prepare for the sight reading portion in RCM exams, practice sight reading with material one or two levels below.