P3 - D5

Read and play at sight a variety of short, straightforward pieces at a regular pulse, using an increasing rhythmic, melodic and tonal range

Develop sight-reading skills by regularly asking learners to play at sight music that is well within their technical range and in familiar keys or modes.

Extend the structured approach outlined in Programme of Study 2. Thus, before playing through pieces for the first time, help learners to hear in their heads the overall sound of the music by asking them to:

  • identify important notational features of the music, e.g. tempo, time signature, key signature, accidentals
  • note articulation, phrasing and dynamics
  • clap or tap rhythmic patterns, perhaps including syncopated patterns
  • tap the pulse while other learners tap the rhythm, and vice versa (and extend by challenging learners to tap the pulse with one hand and the rhythm with the other)
  • notice the shape of the melody and the melodic range
  • identify, from the notation, a range of intervals
  • sing/hum a variety of intervals taken from the melodic line
  • sing/hum the melodic line of appropriate phrases

There are many online tools for practising interval recognition, such as Teoria.

Ask learners to sight-read in small groups, each learner maintaining a separate part individually (the parts possibly having differentiated levels of difficulty). Emphasise the importance of keeping going and maintaining a regular pulse.

Sight-reading can always be connected to learning repertoire because the skills are applied when reading pieces for the first time. Promote enjoyment and confidence by using metaphors to describe phrases and discussing the character of the music and the intended effect.