Sight Reading:Improvers

Develop your confidence and ability to hold your own line in a variety of keys and with more complex rhythms.

Who is this course for

This course is intended for all those (including instrumentalists) who have some ability to sight-sing and who wish to improve their ability in this area. 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 Courses 982-987 and to enrol at the appropriate level). However, the tutor may refer to aspects of music theory, and you may find that your knowledge of theory benefits as a result of doing this course.

What does this course cover

Depending on the initial level of course entrants, we will start with exercises which include all the degrees of the diatonic major scale, and then proceed to the diatonic minor (thus making use of chromatically altered notes.) In this course we will make reference to tonic sol-fa, though those with no prior knowledge of this should not be discouraged from enrolling. The hand-signs will also be used as an aid to embodying pitch and intervals.
The rhythmic elements will also increase in complexity, and (again depending on the level of the group) will include tied and dotted notes in addition to crotchets, quavers, minims. There will be both pitch and rhythm exercises, as well as combinations of the two, and a variety of different key-signatures will be used. 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)
The final achievement of the course will depend on the progress of the class.

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 musical 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 go over 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. You should feel more confident pitching, tackling aural tests for the higher ABRSM grades, and singing in a choir where reading more difficult 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.

MWC student

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.’