Sight-reading success with Paul Harris & Faber Music

During November, Faber Music are hosting a fabulous Piano Month, and are celebrating with a new piano resource magazine; The Faber Music Piano Catalogue.  Featuring all Faber’s piano publications, you can browse the magazine online for free by clicking here. As well as copious information about each publication, the new magazine also includes articles from some of their well-known piano writers and composers such as Pamela Wedgwood, Anthony Williams, Karen Marshall and Paul Harris.

My guest post today has been written by Paul Harris. Paul is a best-selling, renowned writer, composer, arranger, and author who has penned over 600 publications. His series, Improve your Sight-reading! is a stable resource in many a music teacher’s library (including mine!). A passionate advocate of sight-reading, the following article, which features in the Faber Piano Catalogue,  encapsulates Paul’s formula for sight-reading success.


Do I have to Sight-read?

This is a question many teachers may hear from their students. And for those who can play well from memory or by ear, why would they need to? The greatest gift we can give our pupils is musical independence, no longer needing a teacher to show them how it goes. If they can read, the whole wonderful world of music is open for them to explore and enjoy without restriction. Pianists can learn music to their hearts’ content, play duets, accompany friends and take part in all manner of ensemble playing with the confidence that their reading skills will allow them complete and unhindered understanding. And they’ll get high marks in exams!

The Improve your sight-reading! Teacher’s book for piano completes the process of learning to sight-read. If some lessons, or parts of lessons are given to teaching sight-reading skills (set out comprehensively in the Teacher’s book) and the pupil then goes home to practise (using the Improve your sight-reading! workbooks), the teacher will now find plentiful material to use to complete and polish the process.

Sight-reading can be taught. And all pupils can learn to sight-read accurately, fluently and confidently if they are taught in a systematic manner. The Improve your sight-reading! series, now complete with the addition of this teacher’s book will, through its methodical approach, allow all to achieve this essential core skill. Because each step forward is sequential and logical, progress will be continually evident and the whole experience will be fulfilling and fun!

Faber are offering a 10% discount on many selected publications in November and December this year, and you can find out more here.

www.fabermusic.com


My publications:

For much more information about how to practice piano repertoire, take a look at my two-book piano course, Play it again: PIANO (Schott). Covering a huge array of styles and genres, 49 progressive pieces from approximately Grade 1 – 8 level are featured, with at least two pages of practice tips for every piece. A convenient and beneficial course for students of any age, with or without a teacher, and it can also be used alongside piano examination syllabuses too.

You can find out more about my other piano publications and compositions here.


 

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Weekend Competition; the winner….

Many thanks to all who took part in my weekend competition, which was to win a copy of the new Improve your sight-reading! Teacher’s book written by Paul Harris and published by Faber Music.

The winner is…

TAMARA BARSCHAK

CONGRATULATIONS! Please send your address via my contact page.

For more information on this book, please click here.


My publications:

For much more information about how to practice piano repertoire, take a look at my two-book piano course, Play it again: PIANO (Schott). Covering a huge array of styles and genres, 49 progressive pieces from approximately Grade 1 – 8 level are featured, with at least two pages of practice tips for every piece. A convenient and beneficial course for students of any age, with or without a teacher, and it can also be used alongside piano examination syllabuses too.

You can find out more about my other piano publications and compositions here.


 

Weekend competition and review: Improve your sight-reading! Teacher’s book

Educationalist Paul Harris has written countless publications (over 500), and many have graced my music desk, both for my students (Improve your sight-reading! series, Improve your aural! series), and for my own reading (Simultaneous Learning, The Virtuoso Teacher).

This new volume (published by Faber Music) is intended to help teachers teach their students to sight-read. So just how important is a book like this? Very! I frequently run courses and workshops about sight-reading, such is the demand for finding the optimum way to improve what is essentially a demanding skill.

In this helpful publication, Paul has taken his own formulae, and carefully dissected it, step by step, running through the most important aspects, helping teachers to grasp a clearer understanding of how to ‘put it across’ easily to their pupils in lessons (always a challenge).

The book opens with much written information covering what must be considered before playing a note (I’m very keen on this; good sight-reading begins with sound preparation). Teachers are then guided through the most vital steps. After a note on how to use the book (and the Improve your sight-reading! series), everything is examined from developing musicality, to multitasking (which runs through the basics, such as rhythm, note and melodic patterns, verbalising, reading ahead, remembering the key, fingering) and the crucial Super Golden Rules. Handy sight-reading warm-up tips appear, before moving to the main body of the volume, which works through copious musical examples (in a similar manner to the Improve your sight-reading! series, but with more practice tips to implement in piano lessons).

Based on the Grade 1 – Grade 5 (ABRSM) piano exams, there are several stages of learning for each grade; each one focuses on a particular element (stage 1 in Grade 1 highlights the time signature 4/4, the crotchet beat and rest, and the key of C major, for example). These stages are clearly set out at the beginning of the chapter (for every grade), alongside an Activities notice board which seeks to explain various activities to be introduced to students whilst working through the corresponding chapters. Once the various stages have been worked through (with a page of musical tests for each one), we move onto Grade 2.

This book succinctly explains how to address the sight-reading factor, and teachers will no doubt find it a practical, convenient volume to keep at the side of the piano.

I have one copy to give away in my Weekend Competition, so please leave your name and comment in the comment box at the end of this post, and I’ll announce the winner on Monday evening. Good Luck!

You can find out more about this publication here.


My publications:

For much more information about how to practice piano repertoire, take a look at my two-book piano course, Play it again: PIANO (Schott). Covering a huge array of styles and genres, 49 progressive pieces from approximately Grade 1 – 8 level are featured, with at least two pages of practice tips for every piece. A convenient and beneficial course for students of any age, with or without a teacher, and it can also be used alongside piano examination syllabuses too.

You can find out more about my other piano publications and compositions here.


 

Weekend competition; the winner…

Many thanks to all those who took part in my weekend competition. The prize is a copy of the latest Faber Music publication from renowned music educationalist, Paul Harris. A piece a week Grade 3 continues the series, and can be used alongside Paul’s ever popular Improve your sight-reading! volumes. Containing 27 short pieces, this book will surely inspire pupils to gain more confidence when sight-reading and learning new repertoire.

The winner is…

Juan C.

Congratulations! Please send your address via my contact page on this blog, and your book will be on its way.

You can find out more and purchase A piece a week here.


My publications:

For much more information about how to practice piano repertoire, take a look at my two-book piano course, Play it again: PIANO (Schott). Covering a huge array of styles and genres, 49 progressive pieces from approximately Grade 1 – 8 level are featured, with at least two pages of practice tips for every piece. A convenient and beneficial course for students of any age, with or without a teacher, and it can also be used alongside piano examination syllabuses too.

You can find out more about my other piano publications and compositions here.


 

Weekend Competition and Review: A piece a week

This new volume continues the highly beneficial series from Paul Harris, published by Faber Music. Anyone familiar with music education will surely know how Paul has played an important role in helping to transform music teaching, particularly instrumental instruction. I’ve enjoyed using Paul’s popular Improve Your Sight-Reading! publications with pupils, as well as The Virtuoso Teacher and Simultaneous Learning, which are intended for teachers.

The ability to sight-read is a crucial skill in music making, assisting quick learning, thereby eventually affording more opportunities for students to work with other musicians.

A piece a week can be used alongside the renowned Improve your sight-reading! series, encouraging students to learn and assimilate quickly, spending a short time swiftly reading and attaining note and rhythmic security, learning each piece fluently, before moving onto the next one.

Grade 3 focuses on mostly one page pieces (of which there are 27), all with colourful titles such as Ants and aardvarks, Bagpipes at breakfast, and Ghosts in a hurry, and beautifully set with illustrations (which should appeal to younger learners particularly). An introduction contains much useful information about such topics as fingering, pulse, practice and style, expression and character. As Paul says, ‘A new piece each week for 27 weeks before an exam will make a huge difference.’ Absolutely! This series should certainly inspire confidence and creativity.

I have one copy of this new volume to giveaway. Please leave your comment in the comment box at the end of this blog post, and I will announce the winner on Sunday evening (British time). Good luck!


My publications:

For much more information about how to practice piano repertoire, take a look at my two-book piano course, Play it again: PIANO (Schott). Covering a huge array of styles and genres, 49 progressive pieces from approximately Grade 1 – 8 level are featured, with at least two pages of practice tips for every piece. A convenient and beneficial course for students of any age, with or without a teacher, and it can also be used alongside piano examination syllabuses too.

You can find out more about my other piano publications and compositions here.


 

You Can Read Music; the winner is…

You can read musicMany thanks to all those who took part in my weekend competition to win Paul Harris’ book, You Can Read Music. I have just one book to giveaway, and the lucky winner is:

Lavinia Livingston

Congratulations! Please send your address via the contact page on my blog, and your copy will be on its way.

Watch out for next weekend’s competition, which will consist of two exciting prizes.

If you wish to purchase a copy of You Can Read Music, click here.


My Publications:

For much more information about how to practice piano repertoire, take a look at my two-book piano course, Play it again: PIANO (Schott). Covering a huge array of styles and genres, 49 progressive pieces from approximately Grade 1 – 8 level are featured, with at least two pages of practice tips for every piece. A convenient and beneficial course for students of any age, with or without a teacher, and it can also be used alongside piano examination syllabuses too.

You can find out more about my other piano publications and compositions here.


 

Weekend Competition! You can read music by Paul Harris

You can read musicToday’s weekend competition offers a chance to win a copy of Paul Harris’ extremely useful guide entitled You Can Read Music. This practical little book, published by Faber Music, is part of the very popular Simultaneous Learning series, and aims to teach students to read music without an instrument.  A very beneficial publication for anyone wanting to learn from scratch or for those wanting to brush up their reading skills. The book also contains an audio CD.

I have a copy to giveaway, so please leave your comment in the comment box at the end of this post, and I will announce the winner on Sunday evening (British time). Good luck!

If you wish to purchase this book, you can do so here.


My Publications:

For much more information about how to practice piano repertoire, take a look at my two-book piano course, Play it again: PIANO (Schott). Covering a huge array of styles and genres, 49 progressive pieces from approximately Grade 1 – 8 level are featured, with at least two pages of practice tips for every piece. A convenient and beneficial course for students of any age, with or without a teacher, and it can also be used alongside piano examination syllabuses too.

You can find out more about my other piano publications and compositions here.


 

A piece a week: the winners….

congratulationsMany thanks to all for taking part in my New Year competition. With over 60 entries, the A piece a week series, written by Paul Harris and published by Faber Music, will surely prove to be a very popular one.

Karen Newby wins A piece a week Grade 1, and Lynne Hall wins A piece a week Grade 2. Congratulations! Please send your address via my contact page and I will send the books tomorrow.

There will be many more competitions and giveaways on my blog soon, so stay tuned!

You can find out more about this series, and purchase the books by clicking here.

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My Publications:

For much more information about how to practice piano repertoire, take a look at my two-book piano course, Play it again: PIANO (Schott). Covering a huge array of styles and genres, 49 progressive pieces from approximately Grade 1 – 8 level are featured, with at least two pages of practice tips for every piece. A convenient and beneficial course for students of any age, with or without a teacher, and it can also be used alongside piano examination syllabuses too.

You can find out more about my other piano publications and compositions here.


 

The Winners: Improve Your Theory! Grades 3, 4 & 5

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A big thank you to all who took part in this weekend’s competition. With over 50 comments, I think it’s fair to say there are many Improve Your Theory! fans out there!

The winners are: Vera, who wins Improve Your Theory! Grade 3, mfrgolfgti wins Grade 4, and Vicki Spooner wins Grade 5. Many congratulations! Please send me your addresses via my contact page here on the blog, and I will pop the books in the post tomorrow.

For those who haven’t won, there will be  many more competitions here on my blog over the coming weeks, so stay tuned….

www.fabermusic.com

Image link


My publications:

For much more information about how to practice piano repertoire, take a look at my two-book piano course, Play it again: PIANO (Schott). Covering a huge array of styles and genres, 49 progressive pieces from approximately Grade 1 – 8 level are featured, with at least two pages of practice tips for every piece. A convenient and beneficial course for students of any age, with or without a teacher, and it can also be used alongside piano examination syllabuses too.

You can find out more about my other piano publications and compositions here.


 

Friday Competition: Improve Your Theory! Grades 3, 4, & 5

20150705_083625This is the second competition featuring Faber Music’s Improve Your Theory! books, written by expert educator Paul Harris. I know many of you enjoy these competitions, and If you recently entered for the Grades 1 & 2 competition, you’ll be pleased to hear this weekend you have a chance to win Grades 3, 4 & 5; three books for three lucky winners!

These volumes are designed to prepare students for theory exams (such as those by the ABRSM) and provide a wealth of information on all aspects of theory. They are useful additions to any music library.

To take part, just leave a suitable comment in the comment box at the end of this post and I will select the winners on Sunday evening (British time). Good luck!

faberlogo copyImage link


My publications:

For much more information about how to practice piano repertoire, take a look at my two-book piano course, Play it again: PIANO (Schott). Covering a huge array of styles and genres, 49 progressive pieces from approximately Grade 1 – 8 level are featured, with at least two pages of practice tips for every piece. A convenient and beneficial course for students of any age, with or without a teacher, and it can also be used alongside piano examination syllabuses too.

You can find out more about my other piano publications and compositions here.