Different Methods

Posted on June 1st, 2018

Different Method

A recent student in class pointed out a different way of approaching key signatures. She was a little hesitant to say anything due to the fact that I was teaching it completely opposite from the way she learned. We discussed her method and learned some really neat new ways to think about it. I’m totally open to whatever works. And I find that the more tools you have in your box, the better. Some of us learned Solfege, some numbers but in the end, if you can sightread the music, then whatever works is awesome.

Be open to different routes to the same destination. Open your ears and try something new. You will then fill your box with amazing tools to assist this sometimes difficult process!

Ask Questions

Posted on February 2nd, 2018

Ask Questions

I was standing next to a friend of mine the other day who is probably one of the best sight readers in town. I noticed how he hums a few notes before each entrance during a rehearsal. I figured since he was excellent at what he does, I would ask him a few questions.

During our break, I asked him why he hums before each take. He went on to explain how getting his cords ready, in position so to speak, makes the entrance much cleaner and allows him to focus more on performance when executing the piece. This way he is not searching for notes when trying to sing the next phrase.

I understand that this may seem like it would bring a lot of chaos if everyone did it but the humming is so minimal that mainly only he hears it.

This is only one occasion where I’ve tried to figure out what makes reading easy for others. Now, I always ask questions. Sometimes one little piece of advice will bring a huge revelation to your understanding and bump your sight reading up a notch.

New Goals

Posted on December 31st, 2017

New Goals

Here we are again at the start of a new year….2018! Many of us make new years resolutions and try to reset for what’s in store. If learning to sightread is your goal, then as with anything else, it takes much discipline.

This past year I went on a journey of health. After years of trying to skate around reality, I finally decided that to be healthy, both in mind and body, I had to incorporate serious discipline and sacrifice into my daily schedule. No quick diets, or fancy home gym gadgets were going to do the trick. It was time to buckle down and get to work. It’s hasn’t been easy at all. In fact, I realized that I let many years pass by without sticking to a regimen and to have to reverse all of that is brutal……but definitely doable.

It takes time, going when you don’t want to go, working when you don’t want to work, eating right when you would love to have that pizza. But in the end, it has been life changing.

I heard a quote early in my life that said, “anything worth having in life, takes sacrifice.” Sacrifice is giving up one thing for the sake of a better cause. Good ole fashioned discipline is crucial.

So if you want to sightread, take the time. Make the sacrifice to gain this incredible skill. A little bit everyday goes a long way.

Happy New Year!!!

An “Ah Ha” Moment

Posted on October 3rd, 2017

An “Ah Ha” Moment

Do you need an Ah Ha moment? It’s the most exciting thing to see as a teacher? When I see that “the light went on” and the student bursts out in the middle of someone else’s conversation or in the middle of class and says, “I got it” then it makes my day.

These are happening more often than not. Why, because people are starting to understand that sightreading is very simple. It just takes consistency and practice.

The great thing about being in a class is the interaction that takes place. Bouncing ideas back and forth and realizing there are many ways to the destination just accelerates the progress.
Be open to new ideas and find a class where you can join in and learn how to sightread.

 

Be Open To All Viewpoints

Posted on August 1st, 2017

When a student comes to me and says that their way is the only way, I quickly know that the road to there destination is a very long one. Everyone comes from a different background and different training. We all have methods that have been taught to us and work for us well. We also should be aware that there are many methods which have been used over the years to accomplish the same task.

As mentioned before, I think of it as a toolbox. The more tools, the more prepared you will be to accomplish whatever it is you want.
In this case with sight reading, the more tools you have, the better off you will be. In every circumstance there are opportunities to utilize more than one method and create a situation of success.

Be open to all opinions and ways toward advancement. You’ll find that others may have a nice little trick that works for them and will work for you too.

What Sightsinging Does For Me

Posted on June 5th, 2017

I recently was called for a live performance. There was no music ahead of time and only a few run-throughs before the show which was to take place in front of an audience of 10,000 people. It was a thrill and honor to be able to be called for this but more than anything, it made me realize how many more opportunities I gain by being able to read music quickly. The end result was to be able to sing with an amazing group of 24 singers and experience an exciting live performance.
There was no teaching of parts. Just a count off and “BAM” we were off and running.

Take A Snapshot

Posted on May 1st, 2017

Take A Snapshot

My college professor used to make me take small snapshots of measures and then cover them up so that as I was playing the measure covered up, I was reading ahead to the next measure at the same time. This is great practice.

For example, you look at measure one and memorize quickly. Then cover it up with a piece of paper. While playing/singing measure one, you are making a mental note of measure two. Then cover up measure two and sing that measure while taking mental note of measure three. And so on………….

A sight readers, we are always looking ahead to see what the next bit of music is. This keeps us on our toes and prepared for what is coming next.

Be Open To Learning New Methods

Posted on February 28th, 2017

A recent student in class pointed out a different way of approaching key signatures. She was a little hesitant to say anything due to the fact that I was teaching it completely opposite from the way she learned. We discussed her method and learned some really neat new ways to think about it. I’m totally open to whatever works. And I find that the more tools you have in your box, the better. Some of us learned Solfege, some numbers but in the end, if you can sightread the music, then whatever works is awesome.

Be open to different routes to the same destination. Open your ears and try something new. You will then fill your box with amazing tools to assist this sometimes difficult process!

Teaching The Godfather How To Sing

Posted on November 14th, 2016

I wanted to share this article that was posted this week. Wes Moore has been instrumental in providing a video service for this site that works tremendously. Take a look and share!

Teaching the Godfather How to Sing

Looking Ahead

Posted on April 30th, 2016

Look Ahead For Possible “Crash & Burn” places. Take a few minutes before every piece and see what is ahead. It’s like some learn in Boy Scouts, “Always Be Prepared.” Look for possible key changes, tricky intervals, page turns with many notes during the turn, words which may be hard to pronounce or appear as tongue twisters. These are just a few but as long as you know what is coming up, it makes reading much easier. Often times you’ll have more than a few minutes to even practice some of the harder parts and be ready when you get to those parts to sing. – See more at: https://www.lasightsinger.com/member-welcome#sthash.TCr6aKJo.dpuf