The ability to read music is an important skill for all musicians to have, and a deficiency in this aspect of music amongst guitarists is something that can severely limit their possibilities for the future. The use of a rationale will hold the guitar student’s attention temporarily, but there needs to be light at the end of the tunnel for the student, and if the process takes too long there is a strong possibility that the student may quit and return to the easier path of tablature. It is vitally important that the process of learning to read music is completed as quickly and efficiently as possible, which is why careful thought needs to be given when considering the best music reading methods and how best to implement them during lessons.
The conclusions drawn from this study are as follows:
Pitch and rhythm should be taught separately using different approaches.
Rhythm is an important foundation to reading music and should be taught first.
The use of tonal patterns when teaching pitch is beneficial.
Saying the note names as they are read and played reinforces the reading abilities.
Students should be taught to read ahead in the music.
The use of a carefully constructed rationale is essential.
Guitar lessons that are constructed around these principles and delivered in fun and engaging ways stand the best chance of success, and the introduction of good sight-reading techniques in the initial stages will lay a strong foundation for a musically literate future.
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