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Super Sight-Reading Secrets: An Innovative, Step-By-Step Program for Musical Keyboard Players of All Levels [Paperback]

Howard Richman
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 1986
The Super Sight-Reading Secrets book has provided the answers to sight-reading problems for thousands of pianists and keyboardists! This self-study method teaches sight-readers how to increase their visual perception, and keyboard orientation. Specifically, the drills and exercises teach how to look ahead and to play any note on the keyboard without looking at their hands.

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A pianist's main asset is to be a good reader. This book will be an invaluable asset toward that goal. -- Delores Stevens, Pianist/Artist-Teacher

All pianists can benefit and some will experience the transformation into 1st-class sight-readers - something they may have thought was an impossibility. -- Leonid Hambro, Concert Pianist/Teacher, New York

His ingenious exercises cannot fail to help people become better sight-readers. -- The California Music Teacher, Vol 10, Number 2

I've used it in the studio, on tour, and in playing classical music. -- Vonda Shepard, Recording Artist for Reprise Records

It is elegantly simple yet comprehensive. -- Todd Winkler, Professor of Music Theory and Solfege, California Institute of the Arts

It present a series of progressive drills that help all keyboard musicians overcome their weaknesses and develop into better sight-readers. -- Piano Guild Notes, Vol 36, Number 2

Richman has gone a long way toward de-mythologizing the process of sight-reading. Highly recommended. -- American Music Teacher Magazine, September/October, 1988

Thank you for providing piano educators with a most useful tool. -- Jeanine M. Jacobson, Assistant Professor, Piano proficiency class for piano majors, California State University, Northridge

The drills and lessons are well thought out, and sincere application of the material he presents will improve a pianist's sight-reading ability. ...his enthusiastic encouragment to all struggling sight-readers keep this method from being dry and tedious. -- Clavier Magazine, July/August 1989

From the Publisher

Most sight-reading books simply offer sheet music to sight-read. Instead, this is a text that explains actual drills to do that will give you the results you want.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Definitely helpful Oct. 22 2003
I used to play piano for a choir, and bought this book to improve my sight reading.

The method here uses a simplified counting method which breaks the music down to its essence and gives me a lot more confidence in playing trickier pieces with syncopated rhythms etc. It certainly makes it possible to pick up the piece a lot more quickly, and does improve the speed and accuracy of my reading. So, I find it to be a very good book.

It is a short book which I think is good, the drills are short and easy to run through, especially with practice. Some of the later references in the book are a little confusing, and the book could be better organized.

This book does not have all the answers, which is why I do not give it the full 5 stars. It is good value for money. Most people should be able to improve their sight reading using this book.

It is well worth the small amount of money I paid for it here on Amazon.

I also have Music Reading For Keyboard: The Complete Method (Musicians Institute Essential Concepts) book which is more about the theory of sight reading, and does have some examples in different styles of music and rhythms to work on. If you are looking for a definitive sight reading book the Steelman book is better. Yet this book has insights and techniques which are very useful. I would not be without this book.

If you are looking to decide between this book and Steelman I think most people will prefer the Steelman book. Hope this was helpful.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Don't buy!! June 27 2004
By A Customer
Don't buy this book. The book simply teaches you some basic thoery.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Examine Before You Buy! April 6 2004
I am embarrassed that I actually bought this book of 48 pages without first examining it. I found no "super sight-reading secrets." In fact, I found nothing about reading music that I had not already learned from grade school music classes.
I did not find the following sort of advice especially useful:
"Get a book of all major and minor scales. Begin practicing all 24 major and minor keys."
"Play every note of the Bach Chorales hands alone, without looking, one octave displaced."
I was able to follow much of Richman's text only because I recognized what he was trying to say. I found little clarity in his writing and I was annoyed by his many ungrammatical sentences.
My advice is to buy an old standby such as "Learn to Read Music" by Howard Shanet.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Super Sightreading Secrets by Howard B. Richman Dec 28 2003
By A Customer
I found this book to be long in title (and promises) and very short on delivery. There is so little information to guide the student and so many assumptions made by the author that a student would be better off approaching the piano using a seeing eye dog! If the piano student knew all the information that the author assumed the student to already know, believe me, he or she would not need to investigate or acquire this book.
I definitely do not recommend the serious piano student invest money or time with this one.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not a bad book....... Sept. 7 2003
This book has its good points and bad. The first part of the book is redundant for intermediate and up pianists, and the latter part will be inaccessible to beginners, so you probably won't use the whole book no matter who you are. But, for the average pianist, there are some good exercises to jump-start your reading. The author bases his exercises on two important premises, which he calls "Keyboard Orientation" and "Visual Perception" drills. They are designed to help develop familiarity with the keyboard, which is essential to good reading. The drills devised by Richman can be an effective tool, but despite the snappy title, they are no magic scroll. If you do not put in the time and effort to follow the drills regularly, this book will be useless. But for those who really have the desire to better their playing, this book might be what your looking for. Besides, it's pretty cheap!
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4.0 out of 5 stars All the right things, just not very neat June 18 2003
By A Customer
The exercises are indeed step-by-step and progress simply and effectively. I think they represent the "right" way to learn sight reading. However, as a book, it's somewhat lacking: the organization, as other reveiwers have noted, could be clearer, there are typos, and there's not a lot of prose. Think of it as a book of progressive exercises, and you won't be disappointed. It also includes a lot of basics like music notation, which probably could be gained elsewhere; but it does mean that it should work for any level.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Do not buy the book because of the title May 17 2003
By A Customer
I reserved my detailed comments on the book. I should not have bought the book because of the attractive title. There is really no better way of achieving good sight reading by repeat practice using different pieces. Yes. Practice, practice and practice. There is no shortcut.
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