Every piece of music you work on will have distinct musical elements that require distinct interpretation.
However, accomplished musicians develop a set of “Factory Defaults” for musicality that enable them to play or sing with musicality, even when sight reading.
As music educators, we can instill these Factory Defaults in our students – liken them to the default background/apps/ringtone on an iPhone – you may change them later, but every phone comes with some things installed.
Encourage students to read every musical phrase with their Factory Defaults installed – from the start of the year, everything you read includes them.
My own Factory Defaults include
- Four bar phrases that have an arc
- Grow on notes longer that a quarter note
- Slight emphasis on moving lines
Just a few simple rules like these, installed onto your sight reading “operating system” as defaults, will help your students read musically from the very beginning.