"This is a gem of an app. It takes some of the dreariness out of sight and appeals immediately to our students who are in the video gaming generation. The ten levels move very slowly and evenly, with the highest-level using eighth-note rhythms, hands alone, so this is perfect for elementary and early intermediate level students. For my money, it’s well worth the investment in time and cost. Now, my only problem is to make a final decision as to where to store this app so that I can find it easily… in folders marked for sight reading or rhythm. It really helps with both!" Click Here for Full Review
Penny Lazarus, NCTM
Contributing Writer, Clavier Companion
"This may be the very best sight reading app on the market for beginners -- plus it's fun!" Kathleen Theisen
"Once introduced to the app, I witnessed youngsters (ages 7+) manage this app with expertise and were extremely eager to master the next level. I have had to push students (of all ages) after lessons. The fact that I can see scores and results so easily for each student with a tap makes this app worth its weight in gold." Leila Viss
"I have a few sight-reading books in my studio that I use with students on occasion. When I ask students to sight-read during the lesson, they often stop when they make a mistake — even when I had asked them to keep going no matter what happens. However, when I used SightReadPlus with my students, I observed that my students did not stop when they made a mistake — because they wanted to stay with the metronome and score well at the end of the exercise. This was a great benefit that I had not anticipated. What a great tool to help how to become good sight-readers!" Joy Morin
"SightRead Plus is a winner in my book and an app I will be frequently using in my studio with my students. At $7.99, it may be a little more then your standard music apps, but well worth it." Jennifer Foxx
"This is high-quality, worth the price if your child will use it. Plays fireworks for you when you sight-read a line correctly. The iPad actually listens to you sight-read on your acoustic piano and gives you feedback ."
"I LOVE that there are 40 exercises in each level and when a student struggles with an exercise they are automatically required to do further practice before moving on. This shows the student that it takes a LOT of practice to develop sight-reading skill. According to one of my 11-year-old students, 'It makes you want to get it right because you don’t want to redo the exercise!'" Dana Rice
"These apps offer a fun, "gamified" approach to building confident readers, something for you and your students to celebrate!" - Review by Leila Viss in Clavier Companion, May/June 2014
SightReadPlus Review by Penny Lazarus, NCTM, Contributing Writer, Clavier Companion
I had been debating about purchasing an iPad until I attended the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy this summer in Chicago. The first evening of sessions covered using an iPad for piano teaching and I was sold immediately. There are so many apps that would work better on the larger screen of the iPad than on a smartphone. And apps, even music apps, are inexpensive to download. No sooner was the packaging off of my new tablet than I started searching for music apps to enhance my piano teaching with a full studio of 45 students. One teacher on the Piano Teacher’s Facebook page mentioned that her students loved the new app by developer Cape Cod Music Apps called SightReadPlus.
It’s amazing, the only app I know of at the moment that tunes to your piano and hears and scores your students’ sight reading. SightReadPlus provides immediate feedback without external microphones, wires, interface modems or extra speakers. You just set the iPad on the fallboard, enter a username, choose a level and students are ready to play away in short 4 to 8-measure length sight reading exercises.
My only dilemma is where to put SightReadPlus among my multiple virtual folders for storing all of my newfound teaching apps! Yes, it should go into my folder for “sight reading” apps, but this teaching tool is equally strong in strengthening students’ rhythm.
As teachers, we can enter all of our student names for regular warm up sight reading exercises during each lesson. But at $7.99 at the iTunes Store, students can also afford to purchase the app for home use in daily practicing. There are plenty of levels..10.. with 40 exercises per level, which can also be repeated for the right and left hand, so there are plenty of samples to work through. And there is also the SightReadMinor key app as well. I know as a teacher I do not drill in minor key sight-reading or rhythm exercises nearly as much as I should. So these two apps together solve that problem easily.
Using these apps with my students, I watch them immediately go into video game playing mode and they love to work each sample until they achieve a perfect score. This app scores note reading and rhythm separately so you can see exactly where the weakness is. It’s tough on rhythm; the student really needs to pay attention and play with energy at the front of each beat in order to achieve 100% in counting. But even weak or young students will play these short samples again and again, improving their score each time, until perfect. A variety of bells, whistles, floating hands and balloons and sounds of applause or fireworks greet student’s successes.
I’ve found that with a little creativity, this app has enormous flexibility for reinforcing a steady beat. Because it employs both visual and aural metronome cues… a dot moves from beat to beat and across the page simultaneously with the pleasant sound of a metronome… both visual and aural learners can achieve success. But then this is where the real teaching starts! I’ll have my visual learners quickly memorize the short sight reading segments and then play with only the sound of the metronome from the iPad held in my lap. Then… and this is really helpful… I’ll leave the iPad on the fallboard but turn off the sound and ask my many aurally gifted students to read the exercise with only visual clues to guide their beat.
This is a gem of an app. It takes some of the dreariness out of sight reading practice and appeals immediately to our students who are in the video gaming generation. The ten levels move very slowly and evenly, with the highest-level using eighth-note rhythms, hands alone, so this is perfect for elementary and early intermediate level students. Some of my advanced high school gaming students tell me that the GUI or Graphical User Interface could be souped up even more, that this GUI doesn’t yet match the sophistication of gaming GUI’s, but that could be built upon in later updates.
There is a page for notes for each student user and the app saves your student’s scores and levels from one use to the next. For my money, it’s well worth the investment in time and cost. Your students will think you are “cool” using the latest and greatest of music apps. It will add energy to the lesson as students try to better their own score. Now, my only problem is to make a final decision as to where to store this app so that I can find it easily… in folders marked for sight reading or rhythm. It really helps with both!
"... It comes with 20 built-in exercises from Hanon Book 1 which students can practice in any major or minor key. Each one is listed by the fingers it aims to strengthen. It’s fully interactive and customizable, and suitable for beginners through to more advanced players." Melanie Spanswick, British Blogger/Pianist/Teacher