Some of my students were dismayed to learn that sight reading never ends. I still practice it regularly. Here’s one easy way to make it more fun for some students.
What You Need:
- Sight reading measure cards OR plenty of sight reading material at various levels
- Chips, tokens, marbles, coins, buttons, or whatever small thing you have a lot of and can be used as game tokens
- I used the flat glass marbles that are used for filling vases. They look sort of like gems, and a lot of my students enjoyed pretending they were rubies, sapphires, emeralds and diamonds. But anything will work.
- Give five marbles to the student and five to yourself. (We kept ours on our own side of the piano keyboard.)
How to Play:
- Display the first card in the deck (or select the first sight reading measure or phrase, if you are using a book for sight reading). Make sure it’s easy and short enough that the student should be able to do it perfectly.
- The student’s job is to take a close look and then play it perfectly. If he succeeds, the teacher owes him a token. If the teacher catches him in a mistake, he owes her a token.
- Display the next card in the deck.
- The teacher’s job is to play it with a deliberate mistake. If the student can pinpoint where the mistake occurred, the teacher owes him a token. If after two repetitions, the student cannot find the mistake, he owes the teacher a token.
- Repeat until someone runs out of tokens. Or if lesson time is up, count the tokens to see who has the most.
- To make it easier, use only the first set of cards in the deck (treble clef notes in C position with seconds as the only intervals). Or you could give them more than one chance to get it right.
- To make it harder, use the whole deck, so any interval is possible. Or flip two cards each time to make a two measure phrase. Or use harder sight reading material from a book. Or give the student only one chance to identify the mistake.
- To make it longer, rob the bank when someone runs out of tokens instead of ending the game.