So, let me apologize, once again, for being a failure at fulfilling things that I say I want to do. Sorry, life is crazy and I wish I had more free time.
With that being said, I know that there probably aren't that many more auditions going on this time of year, but here is how to prepare for sightreading!
STEP 1: PRACTICE SIGHT READING! Mindblow right? There are many different ways to do this. Lots of times your director/private teacher/parent/figure responsible for your music education will have exercises to practice sight reading with. If you are looking for a good, infinite sight reading source Sight Reading Factory [link] is a pretty good place to go. It's online and free (No, they didn't pay me to say this ). Practicing is really one of the only ways to get better at sight reading, just like it's the only way to learn a solo and memorize scales. It's weird to practice a skill you feel like you can't master, and in a way you can't. However, if you can get yourself acclimated to the challenge of seeing and playing spontaneously, then you'll be better of in the long run!
STEP 2: So you've gotten your sight reading piece, now what? CHECKLIST! There are things that you should immediately look for once given a sight reading piece: KEY SIGNATURE, TIME SIGNATURE, DYNAMICS. Those are the big three that you should immediately look for. No exceptions. You better know that key sig and time sig before you do anything else! Dynamics are always the kicker though. They're often obvious, but if you can execute them then the judges will know that you were really paying attention. The next things you should immediately look for are TEMPO, STYLE MARKINGS, ACCIDENTALS, COMPLICATED RHYTHMS. Tempo usually isn't that big of a deal. That doesn't mean completely disregard it, but don't sweat it too much if you're a little fast or slow-nobody's perfect. Accidentals are quite important! DO. NOT. MISS. THE. ACCIDENTALS. That's all I have to say about that. Please finger/tizzle/recognize/ look over complicated rhythms. You really won't regret the extra practice when it comes down to it. Play the style markings if you can. If I had to rank things you should pay attention to in order it would be this:
1. Key Sig
2. Time Sig.
4. Complicated Rhythms
6. Style Markings
Truthfully I would probably focus on rhythms before dynamics, but I know that, from personal error, I always overlook dynamics-make sure you don't do that. Ultimately you have to decide what is right for you and that will come with experience playing and making mistakes. The generic advice I give for sight reading is this: don't overlook the basics, but don't set your aims too low! Don't get nervous-no one else has seen this piece either! You're on the same playing field with everyone else when it comes to sight reading, so if you can do little things to get yourself ahead, the it'll be more than a lot of people will do.
Ok so I hope this helps at least somewhat!
If I missed something let me know!
Sorry this took so long, but better late then never!