Sight Reading for Children

Sight reading music for the first time? Well, this is the page for you. I'm sure that if you have tried this or had a child or student that has gone through lessons in an instrument, you or the student have ran out of the room practically screaming that you can't do it! You can't read music! Well, hold the phone! Help is here.

On this page, I will talk about some of the methods I use to sight read music and how it could help young children and beginners learn to read music.

Methods I Use For Sight Reading

Here are some of the common musical methods that are usually taught by music teachers and possibly enforced by the parents of the student.

Chord By Chord

This first method is what I'd like to call the chord-by-chord method. This is where the student will take a piece of music literally note by note or chord by chord. The student or you would take the piece at a really slow tempo so that not a chord is missed. If the student needs help with sight reading, click the link.

You would play the first marked chord, and then move on. Note, this method isn't perfect the first few times around. You will miss a few notes in the chord by hitting a few wrong keys. The important lesson here is to keep going on to the next chord or note without stopping and getting stuck. This is the first and most rote method of learning how to sight read.


A common technique of remembering information in the mind (psychology) is also common in music. This process involves the student sight reading a certain number of measures of music that the teacher would specialize. After they're done, they stop for 30 seconds to a minute.

After a period of rest, the student is to read the next two to four measures. Mistakes are fine. The goal with this method is to familiarize the student's eyes with what each note looks like. After a while, they will pick up what each note is and will gradually get faster at it.

Play With Sound

One way I "cheated" in this process was to listen to similar pieces to the one I was playing for at least thirty minutes. Then, I would go to the piano having familiarized myself with pitches, and play the piece that was in front of me. There would be some mistakes along the way, but my sight reading did improve.

Another method I would use would be this: I would assign each note a color to each note and every time I would hear particular notes, particular colors would come to mind. If I were to play a wrong note in the passage, a weird color mixture would come into my mind blurring together.

To help you or your student get better, have a slow recording of the piece playing somehow with your child and his or her playing. Playing the piece with your students to help them catch mistakes by sound will blur their notes with yours and while they may not get a bizarre mix of colors in their head, the sounds will clash, making it apparent what needs to be fixed. But wait, below there's more!

A Fellow Musician's Method

I often have had trouble with sight reading in the past. I remember sitting at the keyboard waiting for the sound to somehow magically appear in front of me. I even have wanted to hope that the musical skill would some how come into my hands from the air and I would become this master sight reader over night… Not so.

Instead, from the start we are forced to sit behind our pianos nervously learning to read complicated notes,rhythms, melody and chords, much of this study taking years of hard study that can be more trying than fun.

This process can be especially hard for beginners and children. For most beginners, music is thought as of as supposed to being fun. The hard-core repetition of trying to read music is not something that is fun. The author of Reading Music Notes with Ease agrees by saying that most children and beginners drop out of lessons after the first few months of grueling repetition.

As music teachers, we are in need of a new way to teach kids and beginners how to read music. That's where Reading Music Notes with Ease comes in.

Children love cartoons. So, the author uses comical characters on a lively and colorful staff and as each note is learned, a character is formed. With this project, kids not only get comical character flashcards, but there are funny voices associated with the characters and each time a child clicks on them, memorable short music themes come from each character, keeping the young child contained with learning music.

A Ha! For the kids, problem solved! Plus, there are many great puzzles and games, mazes that the characters go through, while teaching the child how learn music simultaneously.

I would strongly recommend this product those teachers and parents whose students are struggling. This product really brings sight reading down to their level with characters and scenarios that kids love! Go and check it out for yourself and see what others have to say.

Click Here!

If you are looking for more help, click the following link to get more tips on sight reading.

Click this link if you are interested in programs that can help you sight read better faster.

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