June 2016

Hi. I’m Julian Wright and I originated and developed the Music Reading Trainer.

I started to learn to read music when I was twenty-one. From age fifteen till then I played pop, folk and hill-billy guitar and didn’t need to read.

But then I fell in love with Spanish guitar, all written down in conventional musical notation, and I realised I had a mountain to climb.

I struggled through piece after piece, trying to decipher the peppering of symbols, working out what each of them meant. And in the process I discovered the three basic principles of sight-reading – what all good sight readers actually do:

Don’t name the notes as you play them.
Read ahead.
Keep your eyes on the music, not your hands.

I thought, maybe, that other guitarists like me who hadn’t had the advantage of music lessons from an early age, would fancy learning to read music if the right training method was available.

But how could I put these principles into practice in a training course? It seemed to need a slide-show of bars, so how could I display them?

Clockwork? Don’t laugh. We’re going back nearly fifty years. A lot of wristwatches were clockwork then and so were all metronomes.

The decades passed. I explored the possibility of video. This might have worked but it was very laborious artwork-wise.

Then, just a few years ago I was listening to the radio and heard a feature about the latest fad: apps. This was it! I had found the way forward!

I wrote the course. I wrote the spec. I asked for an estimate from a certain centre of software programming. Yes, they could do it. For a thousand pounds… (well…) a day. (definitely not!)

I realised that only one option was open to me. I would have to learn to program and do it myself. Another mountain. I must like climbing.

I bought (and read!) several books for dummies covering Java and C++. I nearly understood some of it, which was encouraging.

Then I enrolled in a night-school class and did six all-too-brief sessions learning about a language called Lua.

That was fifteen months ago and now I have a prototype and I’m close to completing the finished first marketable version.

It’s been a great journey, full of hope, despair, elation and upward slog. I’m loving every minute of it.

Some wonderful people are helping me over the line. I’ll tell you about them soon. Keep visiting!

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