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Learn to Read Music - Gain Sight-Reading Skill

Reading music requires mastery of several skills. Music reading can be very difficult when some skills are weak or missing. Learn skills one at a time. Start with rhythm and learn notes values and timing. Then learn pitches on the staff and on your instrument. Learning music theory with scales, intervals, chords, and ear training builds sight-reading skill.


Skills for Reading Music:

Learn Instrument Note Names - Besides learning the names of the notes on the instrument, the objective is to develop a mental image of the instrument. Having a clear picture of the instrument in mind will eliminate the need to look at it when reading music. Practice finding notes without looking at your instrument.


Instrument Staff Reading - The two ways of reading pitch are 1) vertical reading by note identification, and 2) horizontal reading by interval and direction. Both are needed. MusicGoals provides step by step drills that cover all portions of the instrument and staff. The object is to develop a mental image of the instrument that connects to the placement of the staff.


Learn to build and play scales - Starting with half steps, whole steps, and tetrachords; the object is to learn scales on the instrument. Knowledge of scales greatly simplifies the process of reading music.


Learn to identify Diatonic Intervals - The object is to learn to see distance and direction in the lines and spaces of the staff. This simple drill isolates the most important mechanism for reading music across the page, horizontally. Intervals show how to find the next note.


Name Intervals on Instrument - The object is to identify intervals, the distance between notes. This is a complex skill that involves knowledge of scales and interval names. Knowledge of intervals not only improves music reading, it is essential for developing the ear.


Play Intervals on Instrument - Once you can identify intervals, the next step is to be able to play them on your instrument. If you know the interval either by seeing it on the page or by recognizing it by ear, you still need to be able to play it. This is a complex skill. MusicGoals activities drill both reading by eye and hearing by ear.


Name Intervals on the Staff - The object is to name the interval that you see in staff notation. This skill ensures mastery of interval reading.


Build Chords on Instrument - The object is to learn and to play chords on your instrument. As you learn to read music, knowing chords makes the process easier. Instead of reading one note at a time, recognizing a chord or chord inversion allows you to read groups of notes. Just like we see letters and read words, chords are patterns of notes that we recognize in combination. MusicGoals drills all chords in all keys on the instrument by eye and by ear.


Name Chords on Staff - The object is to name the chord that you see in staff notation. This skill ensures mastery of chord reading.


Buy MusicGoals now to read and play music with ease. Starting at the very beginning level work in a step by step manner well into college level. MusicGoals gives you a way to learn, practice, and test each skill. It will reveal weaknesses and focus energy where needed. The results are amazing because the skills compliment one another and multiply the effect.


Techniques for Reading Music:

Use MusicGoals Rhythm to work on rhythm away from pitch.


Use MusicGoals Eye and Ear to:

  1. Form a mental image of your instrument to keep eyes on music when reading music.
  2. Learn distance and direction on the staff apart from note identification and train your eye to read horizontally.
  3. Practice connecting the notes on the staff in all registers with the notes on your instrument.
  4. Learn music theory including scales, intervals, and chords with equal emphasis in all keys.

Then practice reading music with a strict tempo at an easier level than you normally play. Force yourself to go slow and do not allow yourself to look at your instrument. Take whatever time you need and find notes without looking.

MusicGoals will make you a better musician by building the skills you must have to read music well. It gives you a path to become an outstanding musician. It gives you a tried and true routine of practice that yields huge results. Buy MusicGoals now to get started and see the results.

Shape Note Option shows notes before drill begins.

Shape notes show scale position on keyboard and staff.

Learn note positions by playing the instrument before the drill begins. Shape notes show scale position on keyboard (above) or guitar (below) and on staff. Starting with just a few notes, drills cover the entire instruments and all keys.


Shape notes show scale position on guitar and staff.

Other options include standard notation or colored dots and notes. When started, the drills only use standard notation.