Sight Reading: Beginners

Improve your confidence and independence as a performer with this step-by-step approach. Basic music reading skills required.

Who is this course for

This course is intended for all those (including instrumentalists) who wish to improve their ability to sight-sing. It is appropriate for both solo singers and those who sing in a choir, and for those who have to sight-sing as part of an audition process. It will additionally benefit all those who wish to improve their musicianship skills (such as counting and pitching intervals). It will assist those preparing for the aural component of music exams where sight-singing is a required component.
Please note: this is not a theory class and the principles of music notation will not be taught per se. (those wishing to learn how to read music are referred to Read Music: Theory I Course 981). However, the tutor may refer to aspects of music theory and you may find that your knowledge of theory benefits.

What does this course cover

We will start with simple exercises which will increase in complexity as the course progresses. It will make reference to tonic sol-fa and will introduce the tone-set in the order which is common in Kodály musicianship (i.e. so, mi, la, do, re, fa, ti). The hand-signs will also be taught as an aid to embodying pitch. The course will present these elements both in stick-notation, and on the stave and in a number of different keys.
The rhythmic elements will also increase in complexity, and will cover crotchets, quavers and crotchet-beat rests at the very least. There will be both pitch and rhythm exercises, as well as combinations of the two. Reference will also be made to intervals as a tool for effective sight-singing, and exercises given to help the student recognise these.
Some exercises will be taken from 333 Reading Exercises by Zoltán Kodály and from The Folk Song Sight Singing Series (OUP).

What will it be like

This is a hands-on, practical class and, apart from brief explanations from the tutor, there will be many practical exercises. The idea is to develop your ability to apply your skill in different contexts. The exercises will be both for the group and for individuals, and individual participation in these will be encouraged. Each session will begin with a brief warm-up (vocal exercises, stretches etc) to encourage physical confidence and vocal ease.

What else do you need to buy or do

Materials will be supplied by the tutor, though some students may wish to purchase their own copies of the books referred to above. You should be prepared to prepare some of the exercises at home as a way of consolidating your knowledge.

What this course could lead to

By the end of this course you should feel more confident in approaching sight-singing from a number of different angles, e.g. tonic sol-fa, keys, intervals.
After this course you may like to enrol for the Improvers Course. You should feel more confident tackling aural tests, and singing in a choir where reading notation is expected.

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I've been to many Centres to study in London and the Mary Ward Centre is one of the nicest I've studied in.

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Got a Question about this Course?

Contact The Departmental Administrator.

Why come to Mary Ward Centre?

Mary Ward Centre is the adult education centre with a difference. We provide a wide range of subjects for people at all levels and run courses during the day, evening or weekend to suit your timetable.

Get inspired and enjoy excellent teaching in an environment where each individual’s learning experience is valued. That’s what makes Mary Ward Centre ‘the friendly place to learn.’