How to become a good sight reader (and not wait for your neighbor to sing first)

Hi singers!

I want to tell you how sight reading changed my life….because it can change yours

In 2005… I first joined a collegiate level choir, it became painfully obvious that I needed to learn more about sight reading (even though I could already play piano!).

Every rehearsal we would be looking at some brand new music and  I was the guy that would wait for the singers around me to “get the right note”, and then I WOULD SING A SPLIT SECOND LATER.  yikes.

I was really embarrassed and had many thoughts…

  • Is there something wrong with me?
  • Why can’t I figure out the pitches like everyone else even though I can ‘read music’?

These are questions that bothered me all the time…

After every rehearsal, I would go home and listen to our music OVER and OVER until it finally stuck in my head.

I finally had ENOUGH, and I started talking with the student singers

They all told me about how they had taken ear training courses which fixed their sight reading skills.

So, I started to look at new pieces ever day to practice sight reading….but….I wasn’t getting any better and my discomfort continued...

I didn’t know HOW to learn and practice Sight Reading…I didn’t know what to practice, where to look…

So, I started taking sight reading classes at college!

That was the Fall of 2005…

Fast forward 15 years to now. 

Nowadays, I can open just about any piece of music and sing any voice part… I can’t tell you how relieved this makes me feel!

After learning to sight read, it’s like everyone else is lagging behind!  What a difference from 2005…

It’s super clear now that sight reading is the only way to be a comfortably competent singer

Learning to sight read boosted my confidence in the choir.  It also lets me focus on other things…like expressing the music and mastering my vocal technique

So how did I learn to sight read and more importantly, how can you learn sight reading?

I learned by paying thousands of dollars to attend college and take sight reading courses…haha.

Someone who gives specific but hard-to-follow advice might say:

  • Learn basic music notation: staff, note head/stem, clefs, note duration, pitch, intervals… or even YouTube could be a great resource
  • Be sure to study rhythm so that you are comfortable with whole notes through eighth notes AND dotted rhythms
  • Learn a system of sight reading such as solfege... the "do re mi" syllables are easy to learn, but take time to implement
  • With any new piece, check out the key signature, time signature and any other relevant markings
  • Establish the key, or tonic, for yourself.  You can do this by singing "do mi so mi do" or even "do ti do, do re do, do mi so mi do"
  • Determine which solfege syllable the piece starts on
  • Consider looking over the notes and in some cases, writing the solfege syllables out (if you really need)
  • Practice sight reading on a daily basis

I believe anyone CAN learn sight reading on their own by following the steps above, but it can be challenging.

And you might be thinking: HEY MIKE…that sounds difficult…and you would be right. 

If I could just offer you an easier method, it would be the following.

I've taught sight reading to adults and middle schoolers for nearly a decade, I decided to put all of my knowledge, techniques and skills into ONE PROGRAM that will teach you the art of Sight Reading.

It is called “How to Read Music” and teaches you everything you need to know about picking up a new piece of music and reading it at sight!

I've loaded the program with "tricks of the trade" that singers use on a daily basis to read down pieces of new music.

My program is geared towards beginner sight readers and will help you get ahead of the game so you can focus on expressing the music and even enjoying the process!

I just launched the program this week, so you can find a very special offer on my website.  I like to say it’s a Spooktacular offer because it’s ending on Halloween night at 11:59pm!


Click the link below and see my Spooktacular Offer!

Mike from Music Ministry 101


Here's what a few people said about "How to Read Music"

Your program has changed my life…and the life of my children” – Debby

“I would definitely recommend this for anyone wanting to learn to read music at sight!” – Melissa

“I found the course to be very informative and extremely easy to follow.” – Tony

CHOIR DIRECTORS: I created another special deal for you if you want to gift my program to your entire choir.  Check out the FAQ section at the link above!


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