Abstract Sight-reading of music is often viewed as an inborn talent rather than a skill that can be trained. Research into sight-reading has been fragmented, with few studies using similar approaches. The literature suggests that the size of accompanying repertoire, rhythm training and understanding of characteristics of different styles are some of the factors contributing to fluent sight-reading. These three areas formed the basis for new pedagogies that were evaluated against a control group in a large-scale study, showing improvement in sight-reading skills after training. The three approaches were combined in a single sight-reading curriculum for higher education that was trialled in late 2011- early 2012 in four higher education institutions in small tutorials and studio lessons. The course consists of 10 weeks of materials, each week focusing on three areas: rhythm training, understanding of mainstream musical styles and duet playing. The content is intended for quick study only. The Rhythm training section focuses on application of basic rhythms in simple and compound time to simple melodic material, progressing to longer mixed rhythmic patterns. The aim of the Style section is to develop the analytical understanding and practical experience of characteristics of each style, in particular structure, harmony, melodic shape and typical formulas. The playing of pieces in Duet section improves horizontal eye movement and ability to count and keep the pulse. The repertoire for the course was developed in collaboration with the participating teachers and undergone major revisions after the first trial. A commercial release of the textbook is planned for the end of 2012.