Why is sight-reading so important?
Sight-reading is an essential skill that all pianists should possess and excel at it.
If you are not familiar with this term, sight-reading is the art of being able to play a piano piece at first sight without any prior (or little) preparation.
It is an important skill to develop for the following reasons:
1. Reading a score easily at first sight will definitely help you learn a new piece of the repertoire much quicker and make the initial part of your practice much less laborious. It is a real shame to struggle with the learning of the notes and spend so much time on this initial step that you could end up losing interest at the moment when you are finally ready to work on the most interesting part, which is adding musicality and interpretation.
2. Being proficient at sight-reading is also wonderful as it allows you to have fun at the piano whenever you feel like it. Imagine the pleasure you would have if you could pick up any piano score and play your favourite songs or pieces at any given time. Just for fun, without practising it! I must assure you that it is greatly enjoyable when you want to relax and play the songs of your choice which are not part of your daily practice and homework.
3. As a pianist, it is fantastic to meet other musicians and enjoy playing together. If you are surrounded by friends who play a different instrument, it could often happen that one of them tell you for instance: “I have just purchased these Mozart’s sonatas for violin and piano, would you like to have go at it?” It would certainly be disappointing if you were totally unable to play it on the spot and have to go home first to spend hours practising it before enjoying this musical moment with your friend. On the other hand, being able to accompany him or her immediately would be extraordinary for both of you!