Tuesday, December 11, 2007

2. Readers and Memorizers

In A Soprano on Her Head, the author notes that there are two kinds of musicians: Readers and memorizers.

Readers can sit down and sight-read a new piece well, but wish they were good at memorizing or at playing by ear.

Memorizers, who are often also good at playing by ear, can hardly avoid memorizing a piece of music that they play multiple times, but wish that they could sight-read better.

This makes sense, because if you're a memorizer, you get less sight-reading practice. That is, if you play a piece ten times, you're only sight-reading it once or twice. You may not memorize it completely after one time, but you get some benefit from your memory, and you generally remember what comes next. A reader, however, is (almost) sight-reading it each time, and thus getting 5-10 times more sight-reading practice!

That's my problem: I'm a memorizer. So, to solve this problem, I'll get my hands on tons of easy piano material so that I never have to play the same piece twice.


Anonymous said...

Maybe you should subscribe to a magazine like Sheet Music or Piano Today. They provide a steady stream of music in a variety of styles without having to shop for it.

Anonymous said...

i just came across your blog as I started picking up piano after over 25 years. I have always been a bad sight reader but I am not good at memorizing either. I have recently started thinking that maybe I should make an effort to improve my sight reading. Your blog is truly inspiring.