Learn How to Read Music in 2023

Is 2023 the year you’re finally going to learn how to read music and take your sight-reading to the next level?


It’s the new year which is the perfect time to reflect on the previous year and make new goals for the year ahead.


When it comes to sight-reading, you have one of two choices:




You keep doing the things you’ve always been doing, whether it’s learning piano pieces with video tutorials, learning piano pieces one bar at a time and committing them to muscle memory, or learning by ear by listening to the pieces over and over.


And there’s nothing wrong with that other than the fact that if you keep doing the things you’ve always done, nothing will change.
Your sight-reading ability won’t change – in fact, it may even get worse – and that’s because you can’t keep doing the same things and expect different results.


It’s like baking a cake from a recipe and expecting the cake to turn out differently each time. If you follow the recipe, you should get the same results, right?




You change the recipe because if you want to get better at sight-reading and learn pieces faster, you’re going to have to modify how you do things, how you approach pieces, how you learn pieces.


And if you’re still unsure how to read music, or if you’re still struggling to recognise notes, then now is the perfect time to change that. Because if not now, when? It’s only going to get harder so why wait? You’re going to get older no matter what.


Either you stay on the path you’ve set out for yourself, whether it’s a path you’ve taken intentionally or by accident OR you take a different path, a path that will actually get you where you want to be and where you’ll get different results.


Ask yourself this: “What results do I want and what do I need to do every day to get those results?” And then follow through and do those daily actions.


Sounds simple, doesn’t it? So why haven’t you done it? Why don’t we do the things that are simple to do?


That’s because simple doesn’t mean easy.


Most people, when given a choice, will choose the easier option, the option that requires the least amount of effort. We all do this.

Would you rather walk up 10 flights of stairs or take the elevator?


learn how to read music
Given a choice, we’ll take the elevator, which is by far the easier option. The danger is when taking the easier route actually takes you further away from your goal.


Coming back to the elevator, if your only chance of getting exercise every day is by walking up those 10 flights of stairs but you choose to take the elevator instead, how much closer will you get to your fitness goals? How much fitter will you have become?


The thing is, you might not realise on a day-to-day basis what you’re doing but if we were to fast-forward into the future, you would see that you aren’t where you want to be. Which means that when making a decision, always keep in mind your long-term goals and whether the decision you take is aligned with that big goal or not. Because it’s those micro decisions you take each and every day that determine whether you succeed in reaching your goals, not the once-in-a-lifetime decisions.


The same goes for reading music. If you choose the easier option which is to use video tutorials, learn by rote or play by ear (or worst, write down the note names under each note in your score!), how much better will your sight-reading get?


So, which path are YOU going to take in 2023?


If you’re ready to change your trajectory and reach your goals, then sign up to the Note Reading Challenge! t’s a FREE 5-day email challenge to help you master your note reading and take your sight-reading to the next level. >> Sign up here!


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    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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