Read, read, read!
The best way to improve your music reading skills is to read music that is fairly easy for you to play, but keep a steady beat and keep right on going even if you make a mistake.
Some people can look at a page of sheet music and play it almost perfectly on their first try.
Some can hear a piece of music and play it almost perfectly on their first try.*
Most students eventually learn to read music well enough to decipher how to practice it so that they can play it after several tries!
*Students who can easily play by ear find music reading especially cumbersome, and aren’t as motivated to fully understand the symbols of notation. After all, they hear it once and remember it so why bother reading it? These students benefit from reading a few lines of music a day and supervised reading practice during their lessons.
Favorite Method Books for Note Reading
For students ages 6, 7 or 8 we may start with The Music Tree: Time to Begin by Frances Clark.
After that we move to the Mayron Cole Piano Method. I can’t say enough good things about this method. The progression of reading concepts are logically presented and each of the songs has theory sheets and note spellers (called “Fun Sheets” and “Mystery Messages”) to go along with them. The music is so interesting and challenging, even beginning adult students enjoy learning from these books.