A Sight Studying Tour

On this week’s put up, On-line Academy co-founder, Ryan Morison, offers an account of his early encounters with sight studying as a music scholar. Ryan additionally introduces a collection of movies through which he shares his first-hand expertise utilizing our Superior Sight Studying Curriculum in a later try to enhance his abilities!


Sight studying was positively the weakest hyperlink for me as a younger musician. With the primary focus of lesson and observe time being studying new repertoire and enhancing approach, creating sight studying abilities was largely uncared for. I recall in my Grade 8 examination I misplaced nearly as many  marks on the sight-reading exams than the 4 ready repertoire items mixed!

You Have It or You Don’t?

By the point I used to be at college finding out music, I used to be nicely conscious of my deficiencies having encountered many musicians who had been unimaginable sight readers. Considered one of them was a professor who might actually play absolutely anything put in entrance of him at sight. I requested him how one goes about creating this capability and his reply was, “You both have it otherwise you don’t!”.

Much less defeatist was one other lecturer who stated it simply takes numerous observe and in addition suggested performing some accompanying. The latter is a superb method to enhance, however requires a sure base degree of capability as a way to keep away from making a idiot of oneself. I merely wasn’t ok to make this a viable path to enchancment and to be truthful, many different instrumentalists had been blissfully unaware of how troublesome the piano elements for his or her repertoire typically had been!

Realising that this was holding me again, I did strive incorporate sight studying into my day by day observe for a number of months. Nevertheless, with no systematic method, this yielded little progress and was rapidly dropped in favour of different actions prone to yield extra rapid outcomes corresponding to refining repertoire for a efficiency and studying new items.

A Structured Method to Sight Studying

I used to be delighted when a few years later I used to be approached in my capability as an internet writer by two professors Peabody Institute, Travis Hardaway and Ken Johansen. They had been creating an app known as Learn Forward which aimed to make it simpler to include sight studying into classes and day by day practising.

After including a choice of content material from the Learn Forward curriculum to the On-line Academy, we then went on to publish a curriculum for the superior degree primarily based on the supplies Ken makes use of to show the topic to piano majors on the Peabody. Given my failed makes an attempt to handle my deficiencies, the Superior Sight Studying Curriculum was of non-public curiosity because it represented a way more structured, methodical method than merely practising and hoping for an enchancment.

A structured approach to sight reading

Unfinished Enterprise with Sight Studying

Though I’ve no intention on signing up for any piano exams, being adept at sight studying provides many advantages. Along with being uncovered to a higher number of repertoire, it additionally permits one to be taught new items quicker and opens up extra alternatives for making music with others.

Earlier this 12 months I embarked upon a venture to broaden my lively repertoire. Engaged on this new curriculum represented a incredible alternative to revisit my unfinished enterprise with sight studying whereas additionally supporting the ambitions of my repertoire venture. Subsequently I made a decision to offer it a strive for myself and share my experiences in utilizing it.

A Guided Tour

On this introductory video I share a bit extra background concerning my sight studying experiences and provides a short overview of the curriculum:

Following on from the above video, I might be publishing a collection of movies providing a guided tour of the curriculum, module by module. In every of those movies I’ll share what I learnt together with common suggestions and concepts for practising sight studying which can hopefully be helpful no matter whether or not you give the curriculum a strive your self. I may even present a number of ideas on how the curriculum and a few of its concepts at a much less superior or intermediate degree.

These movies might be posted through  my web siteweblog and social accounts. You can even sign-up to my mailing record for notifications of latest movies right here.

Additional Sources & Hyperlinks

  • Superior Sight Studying Curriculum
  • Learn Forward – A curated assortment of rigorously ordered sight studying examples and workouts from the elementary to intermediate ranges. Click on on one of many following hyperlinks to view on the On-line Academy:
  • Instructing & Growing Sight Studying Abilities – A set of free articles by Learn Forward builders Travis Hardaway and Ken Johansen on the On-line Academy
  • Making ready for an Examination (Sight Studying) – In these new movies from our assortment of piano examination sources, Graham Fitch offers some suggestions and concepts for incorporating sight-reading into classes and day by day practising.
  • On-line Workshops – Our on-line occasions programme has additionally featured a number of sight-reading workshops. Entry to recordings, displays and different sources from these occasions is obtainable through the next hyperlinks: