Sight Reading Spin the Bottle

Sight Reading Spin the Bottle

Sight reading is such a valuable skill. It’s a shame most students find it so boring. Here’s my latest attempt to make it something other than torture.

What You Need:

  • A bottle to spin
  • 8 index cards or pieces of paper
    • 6 of them should say “Sight Reading”
    • 2 of them should have something more fun. Mine said “Review Song (your choice)” and “Drumming”

Setup:

  • Arrange the cards in a circle on the floor with the bottle in the middle.

How to Play:

  • The student spins the bottle. We do whatever is on the closest card it points to.
  • Obviously, it will usually fall on sight reading. Here are the cardinal rules of sight reading.
    • Choose music that is otherwise too easy for the student. I generally go about one full level behind wherever they are.
    • Remind them to look all the way through the passage before starting.
    • Choose a slow tempo.
    • Don’t stop.
  • If the bottle pointed to drumming, we alternated making up rhythms and playing them back on the drums.
  • If the bottle pointed to review song, they picked and played whatever previous song they wanted.
  • Spin again for the next round.

Modifications:

  • If they get frustrated, remove some of the sight reading cards to give them a better chance of getting the fun cards.

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