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EpISODE 48 SIGHT READING

HOSTS- Jeremy Burns, Matthew Scott Phillips

 

TYPE- Special Topics

 

DURATION- 76:28

 

BUMPER MUSIC- "Borrowed Groove" (Area 47 Music)

ANNOUNCER- Mike Cunliffe

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DESCRIPTION

What exactly is sight reading? What is the difference between reading music and sight reading music? What are some factors that contribute to good sight reading? How can I improve my sight reading skills? Good questions, all! We shall address them in this episode!

KEY WORDS

READING MUSIC- The act of translating and reproducing musical ideas from printed notation.

 

SIGHT READING MUSIC- The act of translating and reproducing musical ideas from printed notation upon first examination.

EXAMPLES  READING VS SIGHT READING

A part of being a musician is learning to read music  and translate it to your instrument, be it through playing or singing. When this skill is sharpened it can contribute to one's ability to sight read. A truly accomplished sight reader can transpose the music they read, to any key, on the fly!

FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE ONE'S SIGHT READING ABILITIES

An article in Bulletproofmusician.com, by Noa Kageyama, PhD, points out a study that examines different factors that can influence sight reading expertise.

This meta analysis, by Jennifer Mishra, has grouped 154 of these factors down to 17 main categories:

 1-Music aptitude

 2-Music study

 3-Music knowledge

 4-Academic achievement (SAT scores, GPA)

 5-Ear-training ability

 6-IQ

 7-Perception

 8-Psychomotor (reaction time)

 9-Sight-reading experience

 10-Personality

 11-General practice

 12-Technical ability

 13-Age

 14-Attitude (level of interest in music)

 15-Early exposure

 16-Memorization ability

 17-Improvisation skills

The findings suggest that one’s musicality, or music experience, is more strongly related to one’s sight reading skill level. The strongest factors were found to be:

 

-Improvisation skills

-Ear training ability

-Technical ability

-Music knowledge

 

The less influencing factors include things like:

 

-Attitude

-Personality

-Early exposure

-Memorization skills

-Perceptive ability

SIGHT READING AIDS

Before you even play (or sing) the first note, try to give the entire piece of music a quick scan.

Keep the following things in mind while you do so:

 1. Analyze the tune in it's entirety. Notice the scale, the key signature and the meter.

 

 2. Orient to the key. Sing, or play, up and down the scale, along with arpeggios. Try to imagine the line,

     or space that the tonic is on as "bigger" than all the others. Sing up and down the scale, using

     numbers or solfége.

 

 3. Try to identify phrases, contour and recurring motives. Find the end of phrases and try to make and

     educated guess on what the cadences might be.

 

 4. Sing the notes, in your head, to yourself.

 

 5. Go for it! Try it and the mentally go over your performance and note things that could be better.

LINKS

-"Are Great Sight Readers Born or Made?":

For a breakdown of the study on factors that influence one's sight reading abilities, check out Noa Kageyama's article, on www.bulletproofmusician.com, here.

 

-The study (mentioned above) was a meta analysis, conducted by Jennifer Mishra (Associate Prof. University of Missouri). You can find the full study, "Factors Related To Sight-Reading Accuracy", at sagejournals.com.

 

-For more great tips on sight reading, check out the following blog, by Brian Jenkins, on yourmusiclessons.com:

"How To Become A Phenomenal Sight Reader"

 

-You can find (and contribute) random melodies, of all levels, for sight reading practice at thesightreadingproject.com

 

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