Studio Idea: have a sight reading competition!

I hope everyone is having a great weekend, and for those in the U.S., I hope you do lots of fun fireworks or something to celebrate the 4th! I myself am having a grand time visiting my in-laws in Eastern Oregon – I sneakily (or not so sneakily) wrote this post a few days ago and post-dated it. I love technology 🙂

Here’s a little idea I have (but have not tried yet) – why not have a sight reading competition in your studio?

You could challenge each student to keep track of their sight reading – either by how much time they have spent or how many lines or pieces they have sight read each week. Keep track on a big, colorful chart in your studio and at the end of the month (or however long you decide the competition will run), the winner gets a prize. If you teach a lot of advanced students, you could challenge them to sight read pieces from the piano literature of the great composers (and maybe get in on the fun yourself!)

I think this would be a wonderful way to motivate your students to sight read, and to get them to make sight reading a habit.

Jennifer Boster

3 Responses to “Studio Idea: have a sight reading competition!

  • I'm actually hosting a studio "Summer Sightreading Challenge right now." I made a poster to keep track of the kids points. They get 1-2 points each week in each of these categories: Practice, Theory Homework, and Lesson Activities. Of course, the homework and activities have to related to sightreading. If a student gets 50 points by the end of August he gets a free piece of fun sheet music at the kick off party for the school year.

    Besides sightreading pieces, I'm also working on notespelling, intervals, and recognizing rhythm, chord, and scale patterns. Mastery of these concepts results in better sightreading.

  • In my studio we are doing "snailpace sightreading" as one of the piano summer olympics events. To compete students play a sightreading passage along with me that I have selected on their level. They compete to see who can sightread the most measures in a row without any errors. I've found that since I've started playing along with them this year, they feel more compelled to just keep on going even when they make a mistake – just like they would have to do when accompanying.

  • Ana and Heidi – thanks for the great comments! Sounds like wonderful summer activities – I love the piano olympics idea!