Hi One Minute Music Lesson fans, Having a great sight reading program is a wonderful tool for the student musician. There are a lot of poorly designed programs available and finding the right one for you can be tough.
In my last post I talked about my top 4 picks for the best sight reading software programs available.
In this post I want to dive deeper into my number 1 pick with a review of SightReadingMastery.com.
What To Look For In A Sight Reading Software Program
I look for four things when I evaluate sight reading software. These four things are:
- The ability to print the examples
- The variety of examples
- The types of analytical data the program gives you and ...
- The overall usability of the program.
How Does It Measure Up
Here are my ratings of these four categories for SightReadingMastery.com
OVERALL RATING: 82%
BREAKDOWN: Printing 7 | Variety 8 | Analytics 8 | Usability 10
SightReadingMastery.com is an online tool that uses traditionally composed musical examples from real composers, as opposed to computer generated musical examples.
I think this is a huge plus for the program because computer generated examples are almost never musical. They generally feel square and often lack the emotional character that traditionally composed music has.
The examples on SightReadingMastery.com are musical and well written for the purpose of sight reading.
Category 1 - Printing
My first and most important category is printing. If a program cannot print its examples I do not personally find it to be very useful for practicing sight reading.
SightReadingMastery.com does not natively support printing but you can print directly from the internet browser. The printout from the program looks the best in landscape orientation.
What this means for you is that you can print, but the page may look a little bit funky, but it is still completely readable and not a pain to print out.
Here is an example of an actual printout (the print quality is much better than my photo):
Category 2 - Variety
SightReadingMastery.com is designed specifically for piano players. This does not mean you must play piano to use it, but the examples are always for treble and bass clef together and often require that you play both clefs simultaneously to hear the melody.
With that said, it is an excellent tool for piano and keyboard players. The program is designed for three progressively difficult skill levels.
- Level 1 is for beginning sight reading: It has hands playing separately and requires both clefs to play the melody.
- Level 2 is a bit harder: Both hands play together and the left hand is usually easier.
- Level 3 is for intermediate sight readers: The examples are bit a longer and have more challenging key signatures.
The program has as much variety as you want to pay for. You can choose the level of variety that suits your needs the best. The current monthly plans are:
- 35 sight reading examples for $19 a month
- 100 sight reading examples for $29 a month
- 300 sight reading examples for $79 a month
For most people the 35 example plan would be sufficient to provide you will one example to sight-read per day.
Category 3 - Analytics
The analytics for this program are for tracking completion purposes only. The program will track what day and time you read an example and which example and skill level it was.
Because the program is not interactive it will not track how well you played it. I would not be too concerned about the lack of this feature. There are very few programs that can accurately "listen" as you play and tell if you are playing it correctly. Often the computer algorithms used to "listen" are poorly executed and give bad feedback to students.
Category 4 - Usability
I would rate this program as very usable. It has a simple interface that does exactly what you want it to do.
SightReadingMastery.com provides you with:
- An example to sight-read at the appropriate skill level.
- It allows you to listen to the example, often with a real audio recording of the example.
- It contains dynamics and expression markings in the music which many programs lack.
- Since it is designed for pianist it includes fingering written in many of the examples.
Give It A Try For Free
Visit SightReadingMastery.com and sign up for the 7 day free trail to get a feel for the program. This test drive is fully functional and gives you a good idea of how the program will work with your learning and practicing style.
That's it for my review. Let me know in the comments below what think about the program and how you would incorporate it into your sight reading practice regimen. To get more tips on sight reading visit the sight reading forum page to ask your questions and get feedback from the One Minute Music Lesson community.
Thanks following the One Minute Music Lesson,
Until Next Time ... Practice Smart, Not Hard.
Leon Harrell (about)
OneMinuteMusicLesson.com is dedicated to teaching the fundamentals of music to beginning musicians who want to grow their talents as quickly as possible with effective lessons and time management tips for practicing.
Leon Harrell's goal is to teach you musicianship by using highly targeted concept lessons that build progressively to teach you music theory, ear training and composition.