I LOVE the Sight Reading section of Piano Marvel! It’s perfect to practice sight reading for piano. The tool is called the SASR (Standard Assessment for Sight Reading).
The SASR is for you to see what level in piano you’re at, and it can also be used to practice your daily sight reading. A teacher who recently performed a study on her students found that students who took the SASR test regularly increased their sight reading scores by over 50% in only six weeks.
So you start out by choosing which level you’re at: Beginning, Intermediate, or Advanced. Then it takes you to the regular piano music screen, with a song you (hopefully) haven’t played before.
A countdown timer gives you 20 seconds before it will start the song automatically (or you can press the space bar to start it without waiting). You’re supposed to use that time to look at the key signature, time signature, any unusual notes, rhythm, or fingering. You can play through it without actually pressing down the notes to get a feel for it. But wait until the song starts to actually play, or it won’t be true sight reading.
After you play the selection, you’ll be given a score as usual. If you get below an 80 you get an X, if you get three X’s you’re out and done with the SASR. Then you’ll receive your final SASR score, along with a graph chart with all your previous SASR results.
It’s motivating for my kids to try and get a high score and not get an X. And they’re motivated to get higher than their previous score. My girls were SO excited at their last lessons, because both of them greatly improved their SASR scores! SASR is a great tool for piano students to use regularly to improve sightreading and to see the progress they’re making.
They can also see what level they’re at after they receive the SASR score. I’m proud to say I’ve made it to Professional Accompanist status!
There are over 2,000 new sight reading exercises, which means that when you do the SASR you will most likely get songs that you’ve never played before (which is the whole idea).
I would recommend taking the test at least once a week. In your daily practice you could also play one or two of the songs without going through the entire test to improve your sight reading. Sight reading is such a great skill to learn, one that has helped me many times in my accompanying experience.
Check out how taking on the 30-Day SASR Challenge got me to the Prodigy Sight Reader Level!
Give Piano Marvel a try with a free account. You’ll also get access to the SASR for the first 30 days. If you choose to get a monthly premium account, receive 20% off the $15.99 monthly fee with my Piano Marvel promo code KATE. I receive a small commission if you sign up using my promo code.