The music reading level is one factor that helps us to place the student in groups, orchestras and ensembles, and allows us to select music at an appropriate level. Please select the reading level with the descriptor that most closely describes to reading experience of this student.
Level 1 – This student may have had some introduction to the staff and rhythmical figures
Level 2 – This student can read comfortably up to 3 sharps, mostly in quarter, half and whole notes and Twinkle rhythm patterns; has not used a lot of accidentals; and reads most comfortably on the upper strings in first position.
Level 3 – This student reads well in keys up to 4 sharps or 3 flats; reads dotted figures, compound rhythms (6/8, 9/8 etc); is familiar with reading and playing slurs; and reads comfortably on all strings in first position and has done some reading in other positions.
Level 4 – This student is comfortable playing and reading in most keys; reads rhythms in all basic subdivisions and dotted rhythms; has been introduced to trills, slurs and ties; and reads comfortably in the lower positions (through 3rd) with accidentals on all strings.
Level 5 – This student participates regularly in an ensemble where reading is a normal part of their musical experience; reads and plays comfortably though their entire playing range (up to at least 5th position); reads complex rhythm patterns with tuplets; is able to quickly find a place in the score from a rehearsal letter or measure number; and has experience reading while following a conductor or leader and listening to coordinate with other parts.
We realize that most students will fall somewhere between these descriptors. Please err on the side of a slightly lower reading level so the student is not overwhelmed by the problem of reading the music and can enjoy the experience of making music at a high level in a relatively short period of time.