There’s a new feature on Sight Reading Factory. It is a game-changer. I can’t wait to share it with you. When I shared this with my students, they were truly SHOOK!
How it all began
My relationship with Sight Reading Factory began more than 5 years ago after hearing about it on Ryan Guth’s “Find Your Forte” podcast. I bought a discounted teacher subscription (10% off ) on a whim and couldn’t believe how easy to use it was. I instantly realized how the product would eliminate my prep time and would allow 3 to 4 times more sight-reading in the same amount of rehearsal time.
I then purchased student subscriptions (they cost between $2-$5 per student depending on the size of your program). With the student subscriptions, I was able to group my singers by sight-reading ability level and give customized weekly homework assignments. Between the daily in-class sight-singing on the board and the weekly homework assignments, Sight Reading Factory was already a game-changer in my program. But there’s something BRAND NEW that has taken my choir members’ experience to an even higher level.
Sight Reading Factory’s GAME-CHANGING new feature
For several months, Sight Reading Factory gave me (and a small number of choral directors) beta access to a feature that has NOW been released to the public. It’s called “LIVE” SIGHT-READING.
What is “LIVE” SIGHT-READING, you ask?
Well……let me explain
During rehearsal, my students are asked to take out their personal devices (chromebooks, macbooks, iphones, etc.) and log onto Sight Reading Factory. I then click on my chorus class (Mixed, Treble, etc), and hit the “PRACTICE” button.
Next, I decide the level of difficulty, key signature and time signature, and click “LIVE” and………….
I’ve instantly sent all of my students a brand new 8 measure exercise that is specific for their individual vocal section. These individual parts make up a 4-part chorale. As the teacher, I have the entire chorale on my screen. I also know exactly who is logged on. Next, I count them off and they sing the 8 measure exercise in 4-part harmony. Students have the ability to click on their starting pitch, or any specific pitch on their screen. When completed, I then click “NEXT” and a brand new chorale parts appear instantly for all students. There are unlimited exercises.
I’m going to say something that I hate admitting, but it is the truth. In my school district, all students are provided with chromebooks, although some choose to bring in their own macbook. With that said, I believe the absolute best way for students to view Sight Reading Factory is………their phone. All they need to do is turn their phone sideways (landscape view) to get the full example. This allows for great posture as the phone is way lighter than any tablet or computer.
Why is the “Live” practice mind-blowing?
There are 3 reasons why I believe Sight Reading Factory’s “Live” feature is mind-blowing:
- First of all, single-lined parts is what instrumentalists are used to experiencing in ensembles. In class, with the exception of the typical one-line sight-singing on the board, choir members are always seeing entire scores. Here, they are reading a customized example for them but their part happens to intertwine with the rest of the choir.
- Accidentals become far more accessible and relevant than a typical 8 measure solo exercise. Since my state’s sight reading only requires diatonic singing, non-diatonic pitches have always been a struggle to my singers; this is because many accidentals don’t recognizably function in an isolated 8-measure exercise. Within these choral examples, raised and lowered scale-tone pitches have function in relation to the entire choral sound. As a result, most of my singers have truly grasped all of the 12 tones through this “LIVE” feature.
Here is the most important reason Sight Reading Factory’s latest feature is mind-blowing:
My choir members absolutely LOVE it; in fact, they are obsessed with it!
Prior to using this feature, students understood the need for sight-singing. They actively worked to improve their reading and become quite competent. But now, they are excited to sight-sing in class. They beg for more exercises and to attempt more challenging levels.
Star-Spangled Arrangement – Easy to learn, patriotic, a-cappella. Available in SAB and SSA – choral tracks available!
These customized and randomized examples are musical and sound like real pieces of music. As a result of this new “LIVE” feature, singers feel more connected with their section, as they are trying to be collectively successful as a unit. The accidentals beginning in SRF’s level 6 (of 8 levels), create a newfound excitement for my singers.
The growth over the past two months has been exponential. In my two choirs we have moved from a Level 4 baseline (what they could successfully complete regularly) to a Level 6 baseline. We regularly complete Level 7. Sometimes we give it 2 tries or isolate a section that is struggling.
The end result
If you currently have Sight Reading Factory, you MUST give this “LIVE” feature a try. Click on “LIVE” for the first time and watch your singers’ eyes light up!.
If you do not have Sight Reading Factory, it is incredibly reasonable to purchase. It is roughly $35 for a teacher subscription and if you have 50 students, it’s under $4 per student. The cost per student decreases down to $2 per student with more students. Use my discount code: choralclarity to receive 10% off your entire order. This code works for both teacher and student subscriptions.
Note: This feature only works if your students have a subscription. I can assure you, between the homework assignments and the LIVE feature, this is a solid investment in the growth of your program. You will maximize your time and productivity while your students will LOVE the “LIVE” feature.