P2 - D5

Read and play at sight short, easy pieces at a regular pulse, beginning to hear some of the elements internally and attending to expressive details, including articulation and dynamics

Encourage learners to read short, simple passages/pieces at sight (mostly avoiding changes of hand position or hands-together reading), making sure that they are well within their technical range.

Before playing through passages/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. time signature, key signature, accidentals, dynamics
  • clap or tap rhythmic patterns
  • tap the pulse while other learners tap the rhythm, and vice versa
  • note the shape of the melody and the melodic range
  • identify, from the notation, intervals larger than a second
  • sing/hum the larger intervals, having given them one of the two pitches.

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

Emphasise the importance of steady, fluent reading, i.e. maintaining a regular pulse, and of allowing mistakes to pass without hesitating.

Ask learners to sight-read in small groups (in unison) or in parts, perhaps with simplified filler lines.

Point out to learners that when first playing a piece of music from notation, they are always ‘sight-reading’ it. Sight-reading, therefore, should not be regarded as a separate activity, but rather as an integral part of learning new music.