Welcome to Read Ahead; the sight-reading app for piano that offers the most comprehensive method for learning to sight-read. Learning good sight-reading habits can be a complex and time-consuming process, but we make it easy by providing carefully graded short daily lessons. By practicing these 5-10 minute lessons or “Days” 3-4 times a week your sight-reading should improve rapidly.
Currently, there are 4 levels available. Each Level is divided into 3 sections A-C. Each section has 12 days of practice, A complete level has 36 days with 108 pieces, 5-10 variations, and approximately 50 accompanying warm-up exercises. You can purchase sections individually by clicking on any locked day, but the first 2 days of every section are unlocked so you can try out any section you want for free and find the right starting point.
Each day in Read Ahead consists of one or two warm-up exercises, two Read Ahead exercises and a sight-reading exercise.
Warm-up exercises prepare students for the challenges presented that day and help them practice memorization, pattern recognition, and keyboard geography skills.
Read Ahead exercises are at the core of the Read Ahead curriculum. These exercises teach students to quickly scan a piece before playing to get the lay of the land, and to keep their eyes on the score and look ahead of where they are playing to improve their fluidity.
Watch Stephanie of Peabody Prep demonstrate a Read Ahead Exercise:
Not all Read Ahead exercises follow the same format; some have screen tapping games instead of previews beforehand, others include quizzes and/or variations at the end.
Sight-reading the final piece, a fixed score, allows students to practice all of their sight-reading skills without guidance.
Experiment with the settings on the memory and Read Ahead exercises to adjust the difficulty to give you the right level of challenge. As you progress through Read Ahead, we strongly recommend you read the directions for each exercises and implement deliberate practice techniques. Take advantage of the Recording feature to record and evaluate your practice on the Read Ahead exercises. Play the variations when presented for added practice. You can read more about using Read Ahead below, but we recommend jumping in and trying a day or two. Choose a level, select a section and tap on an unlocked day to get started.
Achieving Success With The Read Ahead Curriculum:
A typical student will advance one level per year of practice. We recommend practicing 3-4 days a week until a section is complete. Depending on a student’s success, it can be beneficial to take a break for a few weeks to a month and then retry the level (with faster tempo settings) or advance to the next section or level if ready. Students who only practice Read Ahead during their lessons tend to progress very slowly and may get frustrated or lose interest. This is why we recommend that each student practice Read Ahead 3-4 times a week. Students without iPads can still achieve a high level of success using the Read Ahead books at home and the iPad at their lessons. The key is to keep students reading ahead whether they are using an app or a printed score.
The books available are available for purchase on Amazon and can be used with the free smartphone app. Get them on Amazon or visit our website to find out about our teacher’s discount.
If you are interested in reading articles on the techniques good sight-readers employ, check out our blog posts.
Teachers who are interested in tracking their students’ progress automatically can sign up for a free Teacher Portal account (still in beta). To learn more, click here.