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#2011995 - 01/10/13 12:10 AM Letter stickers for keys?
pianogirl1978 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/06/11
Posts: 104
Loc: Nebraska
Do any of you piano teachers use the letter stickers for the piano keys for your beginner students? I am thinking of doing away with them as some students become very dependent on them at home and then when they come to lessons, they seem to have to have more trouble than they should finding the right keys. I do use them in my studio for the first 3-4 lessons, but some of them went out and bought them on their own and I have just told a few parents to remove them now. Just curious as to what everyone's experience has been with this. Thanks!
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher in Lincoln, Nebraska

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#2011996 - 01/10/13 12:15 AM Re: Letter stickers for keys? [Re: pianogirl1978]
Minniemay Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 1702
Loc: CA
Never. Truly one of the worst ideas ever.
_________________________
B.A., Piano, Piano Pegagogy, Music Ed.
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#2012032 - 01/10/13 01:51 AM Re: Letter stickers for keys? [Re: pianogirl1978]
musicpassion Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 944
Loc: California, USA
I would never use them.
_________________________
Pianist and Piano Teacher

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#2012052 - 01/10/13 03:02 AM Re: Letter stickers for keys? [Re: pianogirl1978]
ten left thumbs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3336
Loc: Scotland
How will they learn if they rely on stickers?
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I am a competent teacher.


www.justfingers.co.uk
www.babysinging.co.uk

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#2012100 - 01/10/13 06:49 AM Re: Letter stickers for keys? [Re: pianogirl1978]
Larry C Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/27/12
Posts: 17
Loc: Naples, FL
Bad idea, I am saddened whenever I see them on someone's piano
_________________________
Steinway K-52 upright
Mason & Hamlin 50 upright
Yamaha CP5 keyboard

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#2012141 - 01/10/13 08:34 AM Re: Letter stickers for keys? [Re: pianogirl1978]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11761
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
I concur with everyone here. I have never used them, and when I've found out that students had them at home (or anything like them) I tell them it's better to do away with them.

The reason for this is what you have discovered on your own: they become a crutch and they prevent the student from finding the notes themselves.

Really, the piano isn't that hard to find notes on, and there are cute little ways to identify them. Most method books break the keyboard up into the 3 white keys surrounding the 2 black keys (C-D-E group), and the 4 white keys surrounding 3 black keys (F-G-A-B group). Running through little exercises negotiating the piano help tremendously:

- Have the student play all the sets of 2 black keys from the bottom to the top or top to bottom, repeat with sets of 3 black keys
- Once they can do this, have them find the CDE group playing one note at a time, and play all of those from one end of the keyboard to the other while saying "C-D-E" as they play the corresponding note. Do the same for F-G-A-B group
-I make a bunch of flash cards with a "code" on it. It will look something like this: L3B. I show the student a card and ask them if they can figure out what the code means. The first letter is L or R for left hand or right hand, the 2nd number is the finger number 1-5, and the third letter is the note name. So in this case the student plays LH finger 3 on B. Kids really enjoy deciphering the code and then finding the correct note to play with the correct hand and finger.
-Many theory books for beginners have any number of written exercises to help them find notes on the keyboard.

Hope this helps!
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#2012220 - 01/10/13 11:59 AM Re: Letter stickers for keys? [Re: pianogirl1978]
pianogirl1978 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/06/11
Posts: 104
Loc: Nebraska
Thanks for the responses. Don't think I will be using them anymore!
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher in Lincoln, Nebraska

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#2012301 - 01/10/13 03:00 PM Re: Letter stickers for keys? [Re: Minniemay]
Barb860 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1646
Loc: northern California
Originally Posted By: Minniemay
Never. Truly one of the worst ideas ever.


Yes I agree. I'm told by some folks who have bought new digital and acoustic pianos that these instruments come with letter stickers on the keys.
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#2012477 - 01/10/13 08:57 PM Re: Letter stickers for keys? [Re: Barb860]
LoPresti Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/10
Posts: 1304
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Barb860
I'm told by some folks who have bought new digital and acoustic pianos that these instruments come with letter stickers on the keys.

Of course they do! How else are we students going to learn everything in only twenty lessons?

_________________________
In music, everything one does correctly helps everything else.

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#2012495 - 01/10/13 09:45 PM Re: Letter stickers for keys? [Re: LoPresti]
Barb860 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1646
Loc: northern California
Originally Posted By: LoPresti
Originally Posted By: Barb860
I'm told by some folks who have bought new digital and acoustic pianos that these instruments come with letter stickers on the keys.

Of course they do! How else are we students going to learn in only twenty lessons?



laugh
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#2012544 - 01/10/13 11:56 PM Re: Letter stickers for keys? [Re: pianogirl1978]
Peter K. Mose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 1337
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
I still use 'em when I'm playing Scriabin.

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#2012578 - 01/11/13 01:42 AM Re: Letter stickers for keys? [Re: pianogirl1978]
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4261
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
The importance of the tactile sense in negotiating the keyboard cannot be overstressed by the Piano Teacher ... it’s those raised black notes which help guide the hands ...Notes CDE surround the 2-group
while FGAB line the 3-group.

It’s imperative that the student “feel” for the keys,
and NEVER rely on having to look for the keys .

By sticking to this discipline ... heavy going initially ... hand movement becomes automatic.

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#2012595 - 01/11/13 03:24 AM Re: Letter stickers for keys? [Re: btb]
adultpianist Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/12
Posts: 540
I know people who still have to write the note letters on a score as a guide.

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#2012652 - 01/11/13 08:36 AM Re: Letter stickers for keys? [Re: adultpianist]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11761
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: adultpianist
I know people who still have to write the note letters on a score as a guide.


Another crutch. Now, I do this for myself on the occasional note that I always seem to miss, and I allow my students to do so as well. But if I see they have several notes like this (or worse, and entire score) then I have them erase it all and we do more work on note reading. Plus, reading every note like that is unnecessary and inefficient.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#2012703 - 01/11/13 10:24 AM Re: Letter stickers for keys? [Re: adultpianist]
justpin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 504
Loc: Holmes Chapel
Awww c'mon. I still do this sometimes. For notes high above the stave. Some sheet music doesn't use the 8VA convention and when it is really far above or below the staves. It takes a moment to count the ledger lines under it.

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