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Beyond Urtext Editions sheet music

Question: Hello Albert,

I read with great interest your articles about Urtext Editions and Music Notation. I’ve been playing the piano for most of my life and am pursuing an interest in the various editions of piano literature. You have obviously done quite a bit of research on this topic....

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Reading Piano Music reading music

For most piano students, reading piano music is one of the biggest hurdles in learning to play the piano. I’ve therefore assembled a series of practical, general tips that will help you read piano music with greater ease. (Be sure to subscribe to this site by entering your name and email...

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Writing in Fingerings reading music

Question: I am returning to playing the piano after 20 years. I took lessons from the age of 8 until I was 17. My problems are fingering, sight reading and arthritic fingers. It’s a real struggle. When I play a piece each time I use different fingers which really complicates the situation....

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Training the Eyes reading music

Question: I have a few students who have great difficulty reading the notes on the staff. It has been brought to my attention that it may be due to a tracking problem which falls into the category of perhaps visual problems. Do you have any suggestions to help with this struggle or have...

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Synchronizing the Hands reading music

Question: Is there any “rule of thumb” regarding playing notes in both clefs, at the same time? In other words, do the stems need to line up or do the notes need to be directly over each other? In classical music, this is pretty straightforward. However, in contemporary music, I run...

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Solfège Note Names reading music

Question: Hello, I am a beginner at playing the keyboard and I have just been learning to read notes.

My teacher has given me notes to practice – like quarter notes, half notes, and whole notes.

I am not sure where my fingers go, and he hasn’t told me C, D, A, F, etc. He has taught...

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Sight Reading and Training the Eye reading music

Question: I have a question about sight reading and how it relates to piano theory. I can sight read a normal piece pretty well, but only at a slow tempo.

I read somewhere that it was due to short term memory. My eyes cannot not move far ahead of my fingers. Even if my eyes get ahead of tempo,...

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Sight Reading and Timing reading music

Question: Hello,

I have been playing with the piano now for four years. The first two years I have been teaching myself while my daughter was taking lessons. Now as of November of this year it will be two years that I have been taking lessons with a teacher, my daughter has discontinued lessons....

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Reading Sheet Music reading music

In my experience, reading sheet music is usually the biggest challenge for most piano students. The difficulties can be mitigated some by understanding that reading music is not a single skill but rather a set of skills, and by working on each of them individually before attempting to do all...

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Reading Piano Notes reading music

Question: I just had my piano lesson yesterday and my teacher asked me to play this song and I did, and he realised that I was reading the numbers above the notes. He asked me to try play it without reading the numbers, and I had a bit of trouble.

Now for my homework he said I have to learn a...

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Reading Notes reading music

Which Note Is Which?

Question: My main problem is identifying and remembering which note is which.

Is there any special way I could train my mind and brain to recognize the notes correctly, and to remember them all?

– Abigail (Portland, Oregon, USA)

Albert’s reply: Absolutely!...

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Reading Music reading music

How to Read Sheet Music course available now!

Reading music is one of the essential musical skills you’ll need to make the most of your musical ability. The entire history of Western music is available to those who have mastered this skill. Yet for so many, reading music remains the single...

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