46

You added a different flavor of this question in the comments: i think the spirit of my question was, has anyone found that using newer styles or technology for reading music advanced their students own their own learning for the piano[?] My answer is yes, but perhaps in a different way from what you are thinking. I took piano lessons back in the early ...


43

Being able to sight-read even very difficult pieces is certainly a great skill to have. But there's a lot more to any piece of music than just the dots. There's interpretation - which may consist of the player's way of bringing it to life, rather than merely playing the right notes at the right time - dynamics, mainly - or being guided by a conductor, who ...


42

It is related to "chunking", once you are used to keys, it is easier to quickly understand the single chunk "This piece is in G major" instead of having to see and interpret each of the individual sharp signs. This aids sight reading. With the way keys are conventionally notated, the presence of accidentals is actually informative: it tells you when the ...


35

Yes it is really important to practise sightreading. Being able to sightread well makes it much quicker to learn new pieces and eventually possible to play pieces reasonably well without having practised them at all. Sightreading does improve simply by learning repertoire, but not that quickly. This is because you are only truly sightreading a piece the ...


33

I endorse Aaron's and Richard's answers, regarding what staccato means conceptually. This answer is mostly to provide some examples and details as to how staccato will typically come out in the case of a string quartet (or, strings in general). As I already commented, I strongly disagree with the people saying a staccato note should “in theory” be the same ...


30

The "C" after the clef in place of the time signature stands for "Common Time," and it is shorthand for 4/4 time. If you see a "C" with a vertical line through it, that stands for "Cut Time," and it is shorthand for 2/2 time.


30

The advice about starting slow and gradually increasing is certainly not wrong, but I'd consider adding another "mode" of practicing especially when it comes to sight reading. So the default mode is to focus on being correct rather than fast. When you want to learn the piece or when dealing with a method book that is teaching things in addition to just ...


29

Very simply, playing a song from memory is one very useful skill, whilst being able to sight read is another very useful skill. It sounds like you have a wise teacher who is giving you a balanced curriculum! It may be that as you progress, you find yourself favoring activities where one or the other is clearly more useful. In some situations (e.g. playing ...


27

Using sheet music is like reading Latin, converting it to English in your head, then playing English on the piano. Well, you probably never really translated Latin, at least not in a good way. Despite its naming, music notation is not just about notes. As much as writing is not just about words. I was able to memorize and learn the proper fingering for ...


26

Many different ways! Some players who are extremely good readers will simply look at the dots and their fingers will automatically land on the correct keys. Others, like myself, will be expecting a choice of maybe 3 or 4 chords in a sequence, so will second guess what they will be.Then looking at the lowest note, working out rapidly what the inversion is, or ...


25

I'm in a high school choir and we just got a new teacher. He is adamant that we don't listen to rehearsal tracks or recordings, because "real musicians don't." Is there merit to this? It's certainly not true that real musicians don't listen to tracks or recordings... As Mafii says, many excellent musicians don't actually use scores at all. However, it ...


23

It wouldn't be easier to read. Firstly, most instruments are not tied into any particular key signature. A simple sequence like someone singing/playing a scale in E major and someone else singing a third above feels very natural but actually is a complex walk resulting in an unregular sequence of major and minor thirds. This makes sense and can be done in ...


23

We ALL found that hard at one point: counting up from the F and down from the G. You need another reference-point, and there IS one. The note on the second leger line above the treble clef is a C and the note on the second leger line below the bass clef is ALSO a C. Familiarize yourself with those by writing them down, perhaps using a variety of long and ...


21

It's a tremolo. There are two types of tremolos. One between two different notes like in your example above and a second with the bars going though the stem of the note. In your case, it is like a trill where you go back and forth pattern them in that patter at at a speed related to the bars connecting the two notes. So the two bars in the first measure ...


21

I cannot find any research on the topic, only various anecdotes from different teachers. There are some common threads: A downside reported by some teachers is that the labels can become a crutch that students have a hard time learning to play without. Actual letter-name labels (e.g., "A", "B", etc.) are not widely believed (by teachers) to help in learning ...


19

The core difference is that eighth notes/rests and quarter notes/rests (etc.) are durations; whereas, staccato marks are articulations. While it's true that staccato affects the duration of the note, there is an important interpretive meaning either way. The version including notes and rests is giving a precise indication of how long each note and rest ...


18

I understand that anxiety can cause a kid to freak out a little and start "flopping" the fingers, but I won't allow it to continue. I stop them and maybe do one measure at a time, or even one note to the next note. I will ask them again to tell me the note names and the fingering if applicable, and have them play one note at a time. If they had been ...


18

Certainly not the first. The second is unobjectionable. But why not the third? It's the standard notation, and is just fine.


18

We get to a point where we do NOT look at a dot, think 'that's a D', then find it on the instrument. And it could be any instrument. We often see how many lines or spaces (or combinations thereof) separate notes, and play accordingly. Sometimes we even second guess where we think the tune may go, and stab at that note. There are many tricks we use, and ...


16

This is tremolo notation. The beams indicate the speed of the tremolo. In the first bar, you should alternate between the D-F# chord and the A in 16th notes. In the second bar, you should alternate between the two sets of notes in 32nd notes technically, or "as fast as possible" if 32nds are infeasible.


16

"real musicians don't." Is there merit to this? As you have stated it, so bluntly, this assertion has no 'merit'. Countless great musicians - including jazz folks, not just rockers - have learned to play from scratch by listening to recordings. Virtually every musician, in every genre, listens to and learns from recordings by great artists, and goes to ...


16

I'm struggling with the idea that you are considering taking grade 8 when you still have trouble recognizing notes on a stave. If that really is the case I think you may need to step back and put in some serious practice time playing everything that you can find for a few months to really firm up your reading ability. Talk to your teacher. You have ...


15

The notes happen simultaneously, but it’s notated this way to indicate that two independent lines are happening. The A E F G moving line should sound distinct from the octave-doubled line. This will be subtle, but there are ways to have more or less weight in some fingers in order to get enough dynamic difference to distinguish the two voices. I’m guessing ...


15

Every musician knows that sheet music can be frustrating at first, but almost everyone has spent quite some time learning it. I've met literally dozens of people (students, fellow musicians etc) that have asked the exact same question: "Why isn't there a simpler way of notating music? Ableton's piano roll works for me! Synthesia works for me!" ...


15

There isn't any rhythm in that tab. In the absence of any rhythm, and with the numbers written with even spacing which provides no visual hints at rhythm, I would just play even values per bar. In this example it's mostly four notes per bar. I would treat it as 4/4 meter and play it as all quarter notes. In the bars with two notes play it as two half notes. ...


13

In piano, the staffs usually signifies what hand plays what note where the lower staff would be your left hand and the upper staff would be your right hand. While the clefs are important, you may see the same two clefs on a grand staff. In Imagine you can see there are two bass clefs because the piano part is low. It is kind of an unwritten rule of thumb in ...


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