We begin to teach sight reading – the ability to look at sheet music and immediately play it on the instrument – as soon as the student is ready. Readiness depends on both the student’s age and ability to play the instrument correctly.
Sight reading is essential for both amateur and professional musicians. Whether or not an amateur musician continues playing and enjoying an instrument depends upon sight reading ability. Adults often do not have much time to practice and the ability to sight read allows them to enjoy the instrument without spending too much time rehearsing. Professional musicians need to sight read since they often have little time to prepare a large amount of music.