I learned to play the piano and enjoy to relax by myself. But I never learn sight reading, which is the capability of playing the piano or some music instruments while you are seeing the score even if you have never played, in other words, not rely on your memory. What I did for each lesson, I memorize a melody for a new part of scores by listening to teacher's or public performance, and "read" the score piece by piece, make a sound, and adjust the sound by ear. This is far from ideal reading from sight reading perspective.
Today I found a good sight reading article talking about some tips for piano sight reading. That article also recommends practicing first sight reading in order to improve playing the piano in general. You could imagine that those who can start to play the piano on the fly from any page wherever they open with both hands can way more efficiently improve their capability than those who first need to remember (a part of) scores before playing. On the other hand, memorizing will not be our bottleneck for practice or performance.
Tips for sight reading
- Positions of hands and finger
- Do not read each note -> Recognize them as patterns or chunks
- Do not focus on one part -> Use peripheral vision
- Practice to follow the score according to actual performance
- Map notes to positions, not characters or strings e.g., CDE or Do Re Mi
From a computer science perspective, I found similar optimization to make sight-reading possibles by pattern recognition, which is more efficient data processing and not relying on the number of notes O(n) but O(1) if you can do. Also, it makes sense to remove redundant part like a translation from notes to words in our brain.