5 Things About Sight Reading Music

Sight Reading Tips
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Monday Music Quote

  "Where words fail, music speaks." --  Hans Christian Anderson
Did you know that playing music can help children read better? Music participation has a positive impact on reading. Learning to read music enhances a student's ability to perform the skills necessary for reading, listening, anticipating, forecasting, memory training, recall skills, concentration techniques, and speed reading. 'Preschoolers tested received private piano and singing lessons or private computer lessons. Spatial-temporal ability testing followed. The music group performed 34% higher on the tests.' [ Source: Neurological Research February 28, 1997. ] Reprinted with permission from The Foundation for Music Literacy.

Sight Reading Tips


Sight reading means playing through a piece for the first time. Every time you are given a new piece of music and looking it over, you are sight-reading. It can be very frustrating at first when you miss notes and struggle to play it.

Did you know that you can practice sight-reading? Like scales or pieces, sight-reading gets easier the more you do it. Try to spend some time each day playing simple songs that you have never seen or heard before.

Here are some tips on how to practice sight-reading:

1. Start by looking through the music without playing.

2. Play slowly. You are not trying to play the piece at the correct tempo. Find the hardest place and play the piece at the tempo you can play that section.

3. Use a metronome to keep a steady beat. You can also count aloud.

4. Look at the music and not at your hands, unless you have a big jump to play.

5. The music for sight-reading should always be a bit easier than the pieces you are learning.

There are three reasons why you should practice sight-reading:

1. You will learn new pieces much more quickly.

2. It is fun to be able to sit down and play new music easily.

3. You can accompany other musicians and make money.

If you ever want to play for church or with an ensemble, it helps to be a good sight-reader. Learning to recognize intervals, whether by sound, on paper, or on an instrument, is extremely helpful for many reasons.

Among them are chord building, improvisation, sight singing, composition, understanding and remembering keys and their related accidentals, and figuring out music by ear playing. Sight-singing means singing a piece of music at first reading. If you are trying to play a melody that is in your head or on the radio, knowing your intervals eliminates most of the time spent searching for the right notes.

When reading a piece of music from left to right, you are training your eyes to see past the bar lines and rapidly viewing notes through the measures,of music, counting rhythm out loud and moving towards the double bar line. The overlapping information also includes reviewing of what your right hand is playing, when your left hand is playing lower notes and reaching for 2 black keys, for example.

I like to introduce flash cards for increasing sight-reading skills. Remember that the ultimate goal of the flash cards is speed. I believe flash cards should be quickly shown with increasing speed to accelerate the student's comprehension and response in identifying each card.
Flash cards can be used for a particular advantage in strengthening sight-reading skills. Students should use them for daily drills at home. You should immediately recognize white keys at a fleeting glance.

Along with sight-reading, it brings continual developing responses to fingering. Using fingering in new positions breaks the association of any finger number with any key.

The basics of recognizing the notes in the Treble and Bass Clefs and seeing whether those notes are repeated on the same line or space are all components to sight-reading training. Notes stepping down to the next line or space need to be instantly recognized as well.

You will have a successful time with improved sight-reading when you learn to recognize intervals by name and sound, and by their appearance on either staff. Have fun with these sight-reading tips.
For more new concepts on recognizing melodic and harmonic intervals visit my website. http://ladydpiano.com/

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Also, you may be interested in  Finding Key To Any Song: Audio

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 "Jazz washes away the dust of every day life." -- Art Blakey
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How To Play I'm Alive

I'm Alive (Celine Dion song)
I'm Alive (Celine Dion song) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Monday Music Quote

"I will perform My Heart Will Go On for the rest of my life and it will always remain a very emotional experience for me." -- Celine Dion


Chord Chart for My Heart Will Go On


Song: I'm Alive 
 
Words and Music: Kristian Lundin and Andreas Carlsson 
 
Artist: Celine Dion 
 
Album : Stuart Little 
Sound Track: A New Day Has Come

 Chord Chart for I'm Alive 

 Eb Cm Mmmm,  

       Ab(9)
I get wings to fly
Bb          
Oh, I'm alive 
 
* Chorus
 
         Eb
When you call on me
       Cm    
When I hear you breath
      Ab(9)   
I get wings to fly
  Bb             Eb     
I feel that I'm alive
                    
         Cm 
When you look at me
       Ab(9)  
I can touch the sky (2nd time to Coda)
  Bb            Eb 
I know that I'm alive 
 
Cm       Ab    Bb
Oh,      woh,  Oh 
 
         Eb 
When you bless the day
       Cm  
I just drift away
       Ab(9)
All my worries die
    Bb             Eb   
I'm glad that I'm alive
 
       Cm 
You've set my heart on fire
                Ab
Filled me with love
           Bb              Eb 
Made me a woman on clouds above, yeah

  Cm                    
I couldn't get much higher
                 Ab 
My spirit takes flight
            Bb 
'Cause I'm alive (Go back to chorus)
 
 Eb         Bb Fm            Fm7         Cm
God knows that I'll be the one standing by 
                          Bb
through good and through trying times 

Db             Fm            Eb                     Bb
And it's only begun I can't wait for the rest of my life.

Chorus

F 
(When you call on me)
When you call on me
          Dm  
(When you reach for me)
 When you reach for me
 
      Bb(9) 
I get wings to fly
  C             
I feel that... 
 

 
(When you bless the day)
When you bless the day
          Dm
 (I just drift away)
I just drift away
(All my worries die)
C               Dm
I know that I'm alive, yeah, yeah yeah.
       Bb(9) 
I get wings to fly, 
     C
 God knows that
          F 
That I'm alive.
            
 
Here's the chord breakdown for the piano.
 
Intro: 

 Eb/ BbEbG
C/GCG
Bb/FBbD

Chrous:

Eb/BbEbG
C/CEbG
Ab/CEbBb
Bb/BbDG
Eb/BbEbG
C/CEbG
Ab/CEbBb
Bb/BbDG
Eb/GBbEb
C/GEb
Ab/AbCEb
Bb/BbDF
Eb/BbEbG
C/CEbG
Ab/CEbBb
Bb/BbDG
Eb/GBbEb

Verse

C/GCEb
 Ab/AbEb
Bb/BbDG
Eb/GBbE
C/GCEb
Ab/GEbG
Bb/BbDF (D.S. al Coda)

Coda

Eb/BbEbG

Bridge

F/AbCF
F/CEbAb
C/GCEb
Bb/BbDF
Db/AbDbF
F/CFAb
Eb/BbEbG
Bb/DFBb

Chorus

F/CFA
 D/DFA
Bb/DFC
C/CEA
F/CFA
D/DFA
Bb/DFC
C/CEA
D/ADA
Bb/BbDF
C/CEA
F/ACA

Have fun with this song from a powerful female vocalist. Do you have another song of Celine's that you enjoy? Probably everyone's all-time favorite is My Heart Will Go On.

You may be interested in this music software from Hear and Play, Backpocket Band Software

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"Jazz washes away the dust of every day life." -- Art Blakey

Monday Music Quote: Taylor Swift

English: Taylor Swift at the 2010 Time 100.
English: Taylor Swift at the 2010 Time 100. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Monday Music Quote
Your feelings so are important to write down, to capture, and to remember because today you're heartbroken, but tomorrow you'll be in love again.
-- Taylor Swift

I'm very impressed with Taylor's song-writing skills. She has the ability to put her feelings into music and there's a large world audience who embraces those emotions expressed unanimously and completely! It seems this young artist is extremely popular with my high school girl students. I have posted many of Taylor Swift's songs on my other blog. If you have the time, come check out some these songs:

Should've Said No

Begin Again

Eyes Open

Fifteen

Teardrops On My Guitar  (2599 views)

Love Story (11379 views)


If you're not familiar with the song, here it is on YouTube.






Chords to Long Live
(Track #14 on the album Speak Now)

Intro:G,C,Em,D,C
                    G                        C
I say remember this moment In the back of my mind
                            Em
The time we stood with our shaking hands
     D                      C
The crowds in stands went wild 
                          G
We were the kings and the queens
                      C
And they read off our names 
                              Em
The night you danced like you knew our lives
       D              C
Would never be the same
                           Em                      C
You held your head like a hero On a history book page
                     Em   D                      C
It was the end of a decade But the start of an age 
 
Chorus
       G                          C
Long live the walls we crashed through
                         Em                   D
All the kingdom lights shined just for me and you
                        G                      C
I was screaming, "long live all the magic we made"
                         Em
And bring on all the pretenders
     C               G
One day we will be remembered

Verse 2
                      G                             C
I said remember this feeling I passed the pictures around
                          Em                 D
Of all the years that we stood there on the sidelines
           C
Wishing for right now
                          G                                          C
We are the kings and the queens You traded your baseball cap for a crown
                       Em              D                    C
When they gave us our trophies And we held them up for our town
                    Em                              C
And the cynics were outraged Screaming, "this is absurd"
                       Em
'Cause for a moment a band of thieves in 
D                        C
ripped up jeans got to rule the world

Chorus
       G                          C
Long live the walls we crashed through
                         Em                   D
All the kingdom lights shined just for me and you
                        G                      C
I was screaming, "long live all the magic we made"
                         Em                 D
And bring on all the pretenders I'm not afraid
      G                           C
Long live all the mountains we moved
                      Em
I had the time of my life
                       D
Fighting dragons with you
                        G                     C
I was screaming, "long live the look on your face"
                       Em
And bring on all the pretenders
     C                G
One day we will be remembered

Bridge
 
 C            Em
Hold on to spinning around
    C     Em
Confetti falls to the ground
          C
May these memories break our fall

Verse 3                 G
And you take a moment
            C
Promise me this:
                          Em
That you'll stand by me forever
        D                          C
But if God forbid fate should step in
                     G
And force us into a goodbye
                          C
If you have children someday
                        Em     D
When they point to the pictures
                     C
Please tell them my name
                    C
Tell them how the crowds went wild
                 D
Tell them how I hope they shine
 
Chorus
      G                            C
Long live the walls we crashed through
                      Em         D
I had the time of my life with you
           G                          C
Long,long live the walls we crashed through
                         Em                   D
All the kingdom lights shined just for me and you
                        G                      C
I was screaming, "long live all the magic we made"
                         Em                 D
And bring on all the pretenders I'm not afraid
      G                           C
Long live all the mountains we moved
                      Em
I had the time of my life
                       D
Fighting dragons with you
      G                     C
long live the look on your face
                       Em
And bring on all the pretenders
     C                G
One day we will be remembered
 
Because Taylor is a guitar player, many of her songs are in the Key of G. 
Probably to fit her voice, too. Do you have a favorite song of hers? 
 
Along with piano resources, Hear and Play offers guitar dvds, too. 
If this is your instrument besides the piano, check out this resource...

Advanced Guitar 301

*affiliate links in post*

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"Jazz washes away the dust of every day life." -- Art Blakey



How To Play Violet Hill

Piano Diana: Coldplay
English: Coldplay: Jonny Buckland, Will Champion, Chris Martin and Guy Berryman. BBC Television Centre, London (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It's been awhile since I posted Coldplay's Violet Hill. I originally got the chords online but as I played through it and listened to the song, I began to see that it was a bit off. Over the years, I've had high school students requesting Coldplay music because the kids like the modern music. This particular song was written in 2008 by Guy Berryman, Jon Buckland, Will Champion and Chris Martin. It's played in the Key of E with a 4/4 Time Signature (moody rock) Here are the correct chords to use.

Chord Chart

VERSE 1

C#m
Was a long and dark December
                                        B/C#
From the rooftops I remember
                  A  B/A         F#m  C#/E#  E
There was snow, white snow
 B/D#        C#m
Clearly I remember from the windows
                    B/C#                     A
They were watching while we froze
B/A        F#m  C#/E#  E
Down below

CHORUS:

B/D#             A
When the future's architecture d
              B                         C#m
By a carnival of idiots on show
                       B6
You better lie low
 G#m7  A E G#m E          C#m B C#m
If you love me, won’t you let me know?

VERSE 2:

C#m
Was a long and dark December
                                                 B/C#
When the banks became cathedrals
             A     B/A      F#m  C#/E#  E
And the fog became God
C#m
Priests clutched onto bibles
                                        B/C#
Hallowed out to fit their rifles
               A       B/A        F#m  C#/E#  E
And the cross was held aloft

CHORUS:

 B/D#      A
Bury me in honor…
                B
When I’m dead and hit the ground
                    C#m        B6
A love back home, unfolds
 G#m7         G#m   E         C#m B C#m
If you love me, won’t you let me know ?

SOLO:
C#m C#m A F#m x2

CHORUS:

B/D#             A
I don’t wanna to be a soldier
                 B
With a captain of some sinking ship
         C#m
With snow
        B6
Far below
G#m7      A G#m    E             C#m B  C#m
So, if you love me, won't you let me know?

OUTRO:

A/C#        C#m F#m7    E    C#m B6
I took my love down to Violet Hill
 A      B   C#m  G#m  A
There we sat in snow
       B   C#m F#m 7    E  C#m B6
All that time she was silent still
EG#          A    G#m E            C#m B6 A
So, if you love me, won’t you let me know?
E/G#   A     G#m  E           C#m B6 C#m
If you love me, won’t you let me know?





 Not familiar with the song? Here it is on YouTube.


 Chord Breakdown

Here are the slash chords used throughout the song.

L.H. / R.H.

C#m = C#/EG#C#

B/C# = G#/BD#G#

A = A/AC#F#

B/A = A/EAC#

F#m = F#/AC#F#

C#/E# = E#/G#C#E#

E = E/G#BE

B/D# = D#/F#BD#

C#m = C#/EG#C#

B/C# = G#/BD#G#

A = A/AC#F#

B/A = A/F#BD#

F#m = F#/AC#F#

C#/E#  = F#/AC#F# and E#/G#C#E#

E = E/G#BD#

B/D# = D#/F#BD#

A/EAC#

B = B/D#F#C#

C#m = C#/G#C#F#

B6 = B/G#BD#

G#m7 = G#/D#F#B

A = A/EAC#

G#m = G#/D#G#B

E = E/BEG#

C#m = C#/G#C#F#

B = B/F#B

C#m = C#/EG#C#

A/C# = C#/E#AC#

C#m = C#/C#EG#

F#m7 = F#/AC#E

E = E/G#BE

C#m = C#/G#C#E

B6 = B/G#BD#

A = A/G#AC#

B = B/D#F#B

C#m = C#/C#EG#

G#m = G#/G#BD#

A = A/G#AC#

B = B/BD#F#

C#m = C#/C#EG#

F#m7 = F#/AC#E

E = E/G#C#E

C#m = C#/G#C#E

B6 = B/G#BD#

E/G# = G#/BEB

A = A/EAC#

G#m = G# = D#G#B

E = E/BEG#

C#m = C#/G#C#F#

B6 = B/D#G#B

A = A/E#A#C#

E/G# = G#/BEB

A = A/EAC#

G#m = G#/D#G#B

E = E/BEG#

C#m = C#/G#C#F#

B6 = B/D#G#B

C#m = C#/E#G#C#

Enjoy the song. By the way, Jermaine Griggs is having a 60% off sale til Tues. midnight on pretty much all of his resources. If you want, check out 60% Off Holiday Sale

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"Jazz washes away the dust of every day life." -- Art Blakey

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