Do students need to practise Sight Reading before their piano exam?
Here is what AMEB examiners said about three different Grade Three piano students who had been using Sight Reading Secrets Book Three in the year leading up to their examination:
- Dec 2008, Grade Three Piano For Leisure: Sight Reading = Excellent (A)
- August 2009, Grade Three Piano: Your sight reading was outstanding. (A+)
- October 2011, Grade Three Piano: Sight Reading = Fluent, accurate and expressive. Impressive Sight Reading! (A+)
And of course, I have had students who didn’t practise the way I ask them to, and who were not using their Sight Reading Secrets books at home regularly throughout the year:
- June 2010, Grade Two Piano for Leisure: Sight Reading = A good attempt. Keep practising to gain still greater fluency. (B+)
This examiner even specified “keep practising” regarding sight reading, so although my student had not been listening to my sight reading instructions, he has changed his ways and includes sight reading in his practise. I believe that the sight reading component of his exam influenced his result, and that he would have received an “A” if it were not for his sight reading habits!