Let’s start Episode 113 of #AskVidasAndAusra podcast. And today’s question was sent by Martin. He writes:
I really enjoy your podcasts and postings. I have a question for you. Presently I have a new student (8th grade) who indicated an interest in playing the organ. He has a piano background, and when I asked him to show me some of the materials he is currently studying with another teacher on the piano, it appeared to be significantly less advanced than some of the pieces he played for me by memory. I gave him one selection to prepare for me with minimal pedal and asked him to prepare only the parts he would play on the manual.
When I listened to it this week, there were practically no difference in eighth notes and quarter notes. He told me that he that he felt he was a very poor sight-reader and learned by ear and by writing in the note names.
I'm wondering if he has actually learned to make a connection between what is written on the page and what he plays. I feel badly because he actually plays quite musically from memory, but it has to take him an inordinate amount of time. I asked his parents, and they feel his reading level in other material is good.
I assigned a c major scale and arpeggio in separate hands for next week and told him that we would start with some basic sight reading in that key for next week (treble clef only). This would include clapping of basic rhythms and then transferring to the keyboard.
Does this sound like a reasonable approach to lay the foundation for actual music reading? If you don't answer this, it is fine. I know you are both quite busy. Martin
Secrets of Organ Playing: http://www.organduo.lt