Sight reading – an essential skill

A message from Andy Jackson about the study day on Saturday 10th August in Billingham:

 

It is incomprehensible that anything as complex as the orchestral repertoire could have developed without the invention of notation and the ability of a small percentage of people able to make sense of all the dots, lines, symbols, and words in any number of languages.
I guess that most people reading this are already in that small and (nowadays) self-selecting percentage, but how many of you have ever actually been taught you to do this? Most players are just expected to pick it up as part of the process of learning to play an instrument, and their ability to read is often limited to their own instrument.
How many of you feel so competent that you could play absolutely anything put in front of you that you wouldn’t benefit from some time devoted to honing your sight-reading skills?
What I’m really saying is that this study day is for absolutely everyone from beginner to people who have played in orchestras and ensembles their whole lives. As well as exploring techniques to aid efficient sight reading, you will play a vast and varied repertoire in a huge range of styles. I have raided the Cobweb Library and will come with boxes full of pieces from baroque to contemporary with a smattering of pop, jazz, folk and film music to keep you engaged.
Here’s what satisfied customers to previous Cobweb Sight Reading Days have had to say:
“How do you react when a new piece of music appears on your stand?  Are you excited or anxious?  Do you worry about getting lost, or missing a key change? On Andy Jackson’s sight-reading day you will thoroughly enjoy learning the tricks of the trade:
•    what to look for when that new piece lands
•    how to use effectively the little time you have before playing
•    how you need to watch the conductor, and what to look for when you do.
We often remind each other of the many practical tips we gleaned, which made such an impact on our playing.”
(Bronwen and Tim – ‘Cello section, Tyneside Group)
“In January 2016 I heard about a Cobweb study day at Newbiggin on Lune, run by Andy Jackson about sight reading music. Not having attended a study day before, I ventured there with trepidation. I need not have worried as learning new techniques among a group of friendly musicians was both challenging and fun. It inspired me to do more study days and residentials and attempt to put into practice what I had learnt. So don’t miss out – Give it a go !” 

(Ron – Trumpet, Dalston Group)

Posted by Tracy Reed