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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 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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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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5.0 out of 5 stars A special Book indeed Feb. 27 2002
By A Customer
This book has helped me (and continually does) with sightreading. I have a rock/jazz background - with little classical training unfortunately. Although he is a classical pianist and teacher, his exercises are just as effective for contemporary music. One small gripe I have is with the layout of the book - a little disjointed I thought - but it's not enough of a problem to detract from the full 5 stars. The exercises are very direct and one is inclined to keep at it as they don't take up hours on end. Just make sure you practise regularly - like anything of course. The exercises do work. I can read a lot better than I have ever done. Another good book for rock/pop players is Larry Steelman's 'Music Reading for Keyboard'.
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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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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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5.0 out of 5 stars From the perspective of a novice Sept. 7 2001
The best thing about the book that I found is that it presents the ideas and drills in bite-sized chunks. The general idea is "just do it and see" rather than long-winded abstract statements which leave one feeling that one needs to be a genius in order to sight-read. Unlike some other books with titles involving "super secrets", this book never presumes to show a "short-cut to success" that needs no practice. But, rather, it teaches a very efficient way to practice.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good Exercise - Poor Layout Oct. 23 2001
The exercises in this book are very good, I find them very helpful, my sight reading has improved since I started using the book.Unfortunately the layout of the book is poor,it is necessary to go back and forth between different pages plus it is not easy to understand which exercises go with some of the music shown in the book.
I would still recommend the book but advise the user to read through the book carefully and tie together the instructions,exercises and music. Good Luck!
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