Exploring advanced piano students' approaches to sight-reading

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The ability to read music fluently is fundamental for undergraduate music study yet the training of sight-reading is often neglected. This study compares approaches to sight-reading and accompanying by students with extensive sight-reading experience to those with limited experience, and evaluates the importance of this skill to advanced pianists and the type of strategies they use when sight-reading. Analysis of 74 survey-interviews highlights the importance of sight-reading, and indicates underdeveloped sight-reading skills and a substantial lack of experience in sight-reading and accompanying in advanced pianists. Significant differences in accompanying practice emerged between the groups with no/little and extensive sight-reading experience. The analysis of a number and the type of strategies used during sight-reading suggests individual approaches and distinct paths in the development of the skill. The findings emphasise the need for a new approach in the development of sight-reading curricula for higher education.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)487-498
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Music Education
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Accompanying
  • Piano sight-reading
  • Sight-reading strategies
  • Survey-interviews

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