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Sightreading ability

Discussion in 'Technique' started by pianoman342, May 17, 2014.

  1. pianoman342

    pianoman342 Member Piano Society Artist

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    I was reading a post on another forum the other day that was kind of pessimistic, but there was an interesting question posed. There was a organist on the Hauptwerk forum who more or less said some people are born with keyboard playing ability and the rest... aren't. Here's a clip from it:

    The thread in its entirety here:

    http://forum.hauptwerk.com/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=12393

    Any thoughts here? I wish this lad by the name of cdekter would cite the scientific research. But I have to wonder why it is some people can just look at sheet music and play it quite faithfully on the first reading. What I typically hear is that practice makes perfect, but to be perfectly honest, I don't see myself ever being a very good amateur. I just see myself as being average and though I don't like making excuses I think the "bio-architecture" of my brain or whatever it is so called is to blame.

    Sorry if this is dismal talk. This is the kind of pitiful mood I get into because I sold my piano. :x
     
  2. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Oh, you sold your piano? I hope you can get another one soon! Or else find a church or piano store or something that let's you practice on one of theirs.

    Regarding the ability to sight-read...I think it's mostly that the more you do it, the better you become.

    (Sorry for the short answer...really I think that's all there is to it!)
     
  3. pianoman342

    pianoman342 Member Piano Society Artist

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    That's an idea, there are a few pianos at the church I go to now, i'll have to look into it. I wish I could see your performance on Weds. But I will be working then :evil: . I wish one of our forum members could tape it.
     
  4. andrew

    andrew Member Piano Society Artist

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    I'm pretty sure sight-reading ability is (Liszt and John Ogdon notwithstanding) not particularly correlated to being a great pianist. Some concert pianists are lousy sight-readers! I'm a pretty good sightreader, though obviously not to the above level. I find it's largely a matter of familiarity with standard patterns and the ability to very rapidly crossreference them against what's in a score.
     
  5. StuKautsch

    StuKautsch Member Piano Society Artist

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    I agree with Andrew. Much of my living when I was young was from sight-reading, and this came simply from constant use - I started professional accompanying when I was 15 and was at it without much interruption for about 18 years.

    But my progress as a pianist was totally separate and came one exercise, scale and arpeggio at a time. Which is probably why my technique was never very stellar! Sight-reading allows one instant gratification (and a paycheck!) while technique requires constant work and sacrifice. I did not have that type of focus, and admire those who do.
     
  6. pianoman342

    pianoman342 Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks for your input Monica, Andrew and Stu.

    I definitely agree it's about being able to cross-reference the score with standard patterns. And that's why those darn atonal pieces are so difficult--there's nothing to latch onto. Or I should say, very little.
     

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