Best resource to learn to read music, for violin

Edited: August 22, 2018, 1:41 PM · I'm wanting to possibly hedge my bets a little to augment my Suzuki book. I can read music a little right now, having taken introductory piano for a semester.

On Amazon I see:

I Can Read Music

and

Improve Your Sight Reading

Any pointers?

Replies (9)

August 22, 2018, 1:37 PM · Practise.
August 22, 2018, 1:40 PM · Yes, and practice also with something that is meant to focus on reading, which introductory Suzuki is not.
Edited: August 22, 2018, 2:43 PM · I would recommend the First etude album by Whistler and Hummel. It's worked great for me as a teacher.

What I do is circle the first few instances of notes that students should be focusing on for each particular set. For instance: the first set is on C major so I circle the low one on E and the high 2 on G for extra attention.

Then in the second set (G major) I'll circle a few F#s: normal one on E and high 2 on D. And so on, and so on.

By the end of the book students generally have a decent idea of reading music in 1st position, up to 3 sharps and 3 flats.

August 22, 2018, 2:58 PM · Thanks Ryan.
August 22, 2018, 4:02 PM · Violin sight reading by John Kember.

Adventures in music reading for violin by William Starr.

Edited: August 22, 2018, 4:07 PM · I Can Read doesn't really help you connect the notes to the finger position on the violin. It's just drilling notes on a staff, and there's no musicality to it. Improve your sight reading is a bit better, but not much. It's really boring and not musical. The point is to frustrate your ear so you have to rely on what's written. It sounds weird and isn't fun. 'Torture' is the word my students use for it (we do warm ups with it during audition season).

Essential Elements or All for Strings are good for this. You can learn the notes, but also learn a few songs. It's not dull, gets progressively but slowly more difficult, plus you also get the benefit of learning some music theory and technique.

Edited: August 22, 2018, 10:02 PM · Here's the thing: It doesn't really matter. You can learn to read with Winnie the Pooh or with Brothers Karamazov. Once you know the letters (notes), what makes you a good reader is the habit of reading. So if you want to improve your reading, just pick any work in keys you are familiar and play with metronome random bars in it 20 minutes a day.

I have used "300 Progressive Sight Reading Exercises for Violin" by Robert Anthony, and it was fine for a primer. What made an edge, though, was drilling the Wohlfahrt with a metronome, combined with taking any work and trying to play, for example, bars 15-25.
My point is that as long as you dedicate 20' every day to just sight reading anything (isolated to the music you practice, or to other exercises), you will be further ahead than to look for a better program aiming for results in shorter time.

This 20' daily rule works with almost any skill acquired by practice.

August 22, 2018, 10:30 PM · Thanks Carlos, and others.
August 23, 2018, 1:02 PM · I think at the end it is quite simple: You learn to sight-read by sight-reading. Try pieces that pose no serious technical problems for you--I don't know, Telemann for example (not the solo pieces!). Begin with slow movements. Forgive yourself the errors you make and keep going.

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