When students immediately try to play their reading pieces using their ear or their memory, lots of a mistakes tend to creep in. They think that this is easier than reading, so we need to show them it isn’t.
Easy As Pie assignments are not only easy to read, they’re also more difficult to play by ear. This new category of assignments will cure your student’s Instant Memorisation for good.
Find a book for your student which is at least a few levels below her current assignments. Don’t use a book that has familiar melodies or catchy tunes.
Assign a few of the Easy As Pie assignments each week.
The following week, listen to the Easy As Pie pieces once, talk about any improvements that could be made, and then assign new ones. Do not have her practice these for more than one week.
Using these extended sightreading style assignments, your student’s reading will improve and she won’t need to memorise instantly any more.
Instant Memorisation: Score Spruce-up
Getting your student’s observation and reading skills up will mean that she doesn’t need to rely on her memory to get through, reading becomes the easier option.
Photocopy some pieces that you’re planning on assigning your student soon.
Write questions and instructions for the Score Spruce-up. For example:
Circle all the C chords in green.
Draw blue boxes around any scale passages.
Draw red lines between any intervals of more thana third.
Write the key signature at the top of the page.
Translate the dynamics at the bottom of the page.
Give your student 3-4 of these score studies for homework.
Next week take these score studies back and give her new ones. Mix new pieces with some of the same pieces as last week (with different questions).
Continue this each week, and when she has encountered the same piece several times, give her back all the different decorated photocopies. Discuss with her the patterns she found and questions she answered about the piece and then ask her to play it.
Over time using these score studies, her reading will improve, and memorising will no longer seem like the easy way out.