Beginner: How to Practice (Sight Reading)

In this video, I will show you exactly what I want you to do with every single sight-reading lesson. 
Step 1 – Play and say the names of the notes – Right Hand (0:08)
Don’t worry about the rhythm. Just focus on saying and playing the right notes.
Step 2 – Play and say the names of the notes – Left Hand (1:19)
Step 3 – Play and count aloud ( 1:57)
Play slowly and evenly.
Step 4 – Focus Point (3:05)
  1. Locate and isolate the most difficult part of the lesson.
  2. Take the bar that is causing you trouble, and play the first four notes. Play those four notes four times. 
  3. If, and only if, you got it right all four times, add the next bar and play 4-5 times correctly in a row (3:22)
Step 5 – Play the whole exercise 3 times in a row correctly (3:50)
Step 6 – Focus on musicality and expression (4:49)
If you manage to get through Step 5, that’s very impressive. Also, that means that you are ready to open up your ears a bit more to see and hear what is really happening. What do I mean by that? Well, listen to the sound you are creating. Many of my beginner students are so focused on playing the right notes, they don’t notice how hard they bang the piano. And that makes the piece sound awful, even though the notes and rhythm are correct. 
Level 1: Try to play softly and quietly.
Level 2: Play quietly and slow down the ending.
Level 3: Create dynamic contrast. Start quiet, then bring up the volume, and finish the piece softly again. 
Level 4 (Optional): Add sustain pedal. (Change the pedal after every bar)
Level 5 (Optional): Play with your right hand a bit louder than with your left hand.
Step 7 – Playing with a backing track or metronome (5:25)
Practicing with a backing track or metronome is essential because it forces you to listen. Some lessons come along with a backing track; others don’t. If there is no backing track included to the lesson, always use a metronome to complete Step 7.
And that’s it, my friend. If you completed all seven steps, you are ready for the next lesson. 
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