In the Spotlight

Sight Reading Effectiveness

By Wesley Schaum

As experienced musicians, we acquire many insights that become effective sight reading habits. We are probably not even conscious of the thought processes involved in our music reading. These skills become automatic over the years.

I have tried to identify the numerous skill sets used in my own music reading. These insights have been gained over time from playing “any hymn in the hymnal” at religious services, reading a piece of pop sheet music brought in by a student, reading a new manuscript submitted by a composer and reading audience-selected pieces at a sing-along. Many years as a choral accompanist have also contributed to my sight reading skills.


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