What should I aim for when practising sight-reading?

As a beginner, aim to play the notes and the rhythm accurately. Play the whole piece at the same tempo by starting at a tempo that will enable you to play the notes and the rhythm accurately without having to slow down. Go as slowly as you need to and keep your eyes on the music so that you can always read ahead.


As a more advanced sight-reader, aim to also play musically by following all the dynamics and expressive markings.

General Questions on Sight-Reading

When sight-reading, try to look at least one beat ahead which can mean looking several notes ahead, depending on the piece. To do this effectively, learn how to read groups of notes.


FOR MORE INFO >> How to Look Ahead when Sight-Reading

If you’ve been playing piano for a while and you still can’t sight-read music, it could be due to several reasons:

  • you don’t practise sight-reading on a regular basis
  • you memorise the moment you learn a new piece and don’t use the score
  • you always learn pieces hands separately
  • you lack music theory knowledge
  • you lack technical skills


FOR MORE INFO >> 10 Habits to Avoid When Reading Music & How to Break Them

Questions on Sight-Reading Resources

The best sight-reading books out there are Piano Sight-Reading: A Fresh Approach, Sight-Reading Exercises Op.45, Improve Your Sight-Reading and How to Blitz Sight Reading.


FOR MORE INFO >> The Best Sight-Reading Books for Piano – Review & Buying Guide

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    Emmanuelle Fonsny

    Emmanuelle Fonsny

    Emmanuelle Fonsny, or Manu, is a piano and violin teacher, composer and accompanist based in Sydney, Australia. She is passionate about sharing her love of music and her sight-reading and practice tips to help other pianists become more confident sight-readers.



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