How to Reuse the Same Pieces for Sight-Reading  

Wish you could reuse the same pieces to practise sight-reading? In this article, I show you how. 


reusing pieces for sight-reading


The issue with sight-reading is that we always run out of music because once we sight-read a piece, that’s it. If we sight-read it again then it’s technically no longer sight-reading. Does this mean there’s nothing more to gain from the pieces we’ve sight-read? Does this mean we can only ever use a piece of music once, like a disposal camera? 


In this article, I’m going to give you 5 ways to still benefit from pieces you’ve sight-read before so that you can reuse the same pieces and not always run out of music.


If you prefer, you can watch the Youtube video: 


At a different speed 

You could try sight-reading the same piece again at a different speed. Either you took it too fast and you didn’t sight-read very well in which case you could try again slower and you’ll have more time to process everything on the page. Or if you were a bit cautious and you sight-read it quite slowly, you could try again at a faster speed that way you’re forced to process information faster.  


As musically as possible 

You could also try again by playing the music as musically as possible. Often, when we sight-read, we’re so focused on the notes and the rhythm that we actually forget to make it sound musical so try again and see if you can observe the dynamics, the articulation, the tempo markings etc. and see if you can listen to what sounds you’re making. Try to enjoy it because after all, isn’t that the goal of sight-reading? 


Without looking down 

You could also try to look down as little as possible. Have another go but this time, see if you can keep your eyes on the music for the whole piece. Remember that while you’re trying not to look down, you can still use your peripheral vision. Use that to your advantage. 


LEARN MORE >> How to Play Without Looking at the Keys


Reading further ahead 

You could also try again but by reading further ahead. Reading ahead is a skill that you can develop with pieces that are both familiar and unfamiliar. If you’re used to reading 1 beat ahead, try to read 2 beats ahead. Or if you’re used to only reading one note ahead, try reading two notes ahead. 


LEARN MORE >> How to Look Ahead when Sight-Reading


With a better fingering 

Lastly, you could try again but with a better fingering. When we sight-read, we often get our fingers all tangled up because we’re not really seeing what’s coming up and as you know, the best fingering always takes into account what’s coming up. So why not try again but this time see if you can come up with a better fingering.  


LEARN MORE >> How to Work out Piano Fingering when Sight-Reading


Those are some of the ways you can still benefit from pieces you’ve sight-read in the past. What other ways can you think of? Share in the comments below. 


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  • Roger Dalton says:

    I’m finding that if I’m sight reading exercises and not familiar songs, they always look new to me and I benefit from sight reading them several times through, especially when I space them a few days apart. I have no memory of them since they have no recognizable melody.

  • 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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