How to become a fluent sightreader on piano

Wouldn’t it be great to become a fluent sightreader on piano? You’d be able to look at sheet music of your favorite songs and instantly play them, easily and without effort. Do you want to spend a nice hour playing classical music? No problem. Just get some Bach, Mozart or Beethoven and let’s go! It’s fun!

The big question is: How you you get to this point? Does it seem like it takes you forever to learn a new piece of music? Is reading music a struggle every step of the way? Do you ever want to give up and forget the whole thing?

If any of the above above applies to you, don’t worry. It’s not that difficult to become a fluent sightreader. You just need a new way to go about it. A new tactic; a new strategy.

The way to become a fluent sightreader is actually very easy. So easy, in fact, that almost nobody thinks of it by themselves. The secret is to play music that is much easier than you’re currently learning. Yes, much easier!

Let’s say you’re working on Beatle’s songs. If you want to become a better sightreader, just open your Beatles songbook and play the melody of the first song. Not the bass line, and not the whole piano part. Just the melody. Play it for 5 -10 minutes and close the book. Tomorrow, play it again, and then go on to the next song for a few minutes. Read simple melodies, which will over time become extremely easy to play at first sight. After treble clef melodies become effortless, maybe try simple left hand parts. You could even practice from a beginning cello book for this. Any music will do fine, as long as it’s very easy. If you have to think very much, it’s too difficult. Easy, easy, easy, until it gets effortless.

Do this for a month and see how it goes. The good news is that sightreading gets easier over time, not harder. Have fun!

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