Those who are starting their music journey usually consider sight reading as a challenging aspect. But, sight reading will not be much of a challenge if you consider some tips from music educators who specialize in sight reading music as they will help you make it less scary. Here are some tips and tricks you can apply to improve your sight reading skills:
Be Familiar with a Variety of Rhythms
Depending on whether you are a vocalist or instrument, sight reading can look different. However, rhythm is one thing common in both groups. You must familiarize yourself with various rhythms to help you prepare for any situation.
Memorize Important Signatures
If you are an instrumentalist, you will need to memorize key signatures since you must be aware of the number of flats or sharps that will come up in your upcoming sight-reading exercise. For vocalists, memorizing key signatures can help them if they are timbre and more comfortable with some key signatures. Although this can take time, it will make reading sheet music, practicing, and performing easier over time.
Know your Scales
Instrumentalists must know their scales to help them memorize their key signatures. Also, this will create muscle memory for hand and finger placements for every signature. Thus, as they start to sight-read their hands will do what they are used to doing.
Scales have a different purpose for vocalists. A lot of singers use scales through an exercise for sight-reading vocal music where a coordinating syllable is assigned to every scale degree. The exercise helps vocalists in memorizing intervals, making it easier for them to identify pitches, no matter which key they are in.
Consider Various Kinds of Music
When you practice sight-reading, do it using different kinds of music. Keep in mind that in terms of sight-reading, you will not know what you will get. You could b presented with a slow jazz ballad or a lively tango. As a vocalist, you might be presented with various languages. Thus, familiarize yourself with various styles of music, rhythms, and scores to void sheer panic. Whatever piece of music you are presented with, you can always relax.
Examine Each Piece
Before you start playing or singing, spend time mentally digesting the music first. Tap out the rhythm, follow the song’s structure, and read through the notes. It is also important to take time identifying any spots or page turns that may lead to trouble.