The Musikpak Sight Reading Method
Over the years I’ve taught many private lessons. No matter the students age or instrument, I found that most people are overwhelmed when starting on that long uphill battle of learning to read music. Not only do they need to know how to physically make the instrument produce sound, but then they also need to identify what they see on paper – the letter names of the note on the staff, as well as the rhythmic duration each note should be held! In my experience, the student either got the note right and the rhythm wrong, or the right rhythm but the wrong note! In lessons, I tried pointing at the note on the page, singing the note, playing the note, whistling the note, counting the beats… It usually was just too confusing and quickly became frustrating for both the student and myself.
Then I had an idea. I decided to create simple exercises that taught only one musical concept at a time! First we worked on really understanding rhythm. Rhythm books are nothing new but the ones that I was familiar with were too advanced for beginners or had all kinds of hypothetical rhythms that no one ever sees in real music. So I created three books that completely and most importantly, GRADUALLY drill all of the practical rhythms found in music. Amazingly, when presented in this manner, it actually made sense and my students began to really make progress.
Next was the challenge of getting them to play the right notes. Quick story – when I was first learning to sight read piano music, my teacher told me to play the chords at any tempo and not to worry about the rhythm… mind blown – end of story. Based on that approach, I began writing exercises consisting completely of quarter notes, allowing the student the necessary brain power to understand how the fingers on his/her instrument relate to the notes on the page – WITHOUT having to worry about playing the right rhythm. This could be played at any tempo (or free for that matter) and truly was miraculous as noticeable improvement could be seen even at the end of just one lesson.
That being said, I’ve uploaded all my material which is now professionally bound, published and available for purchase on Amazon.com. The books serve as a teaching aide and will dramatically speed up the learning process making ALL music more fun and understandable.
Whether you’re just starting out or have been playing music by ear for years, I’m positive that the Musikpak Method will increase your musical confidence in a dramatic and lasting way!