Letter stickers for keys?

Posted by: pianogirl1978

Letter stickers for keys? - 01/10/13 12:10 AM

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!
Posted by: Minniemay

Re: Letter stickers for keys? - 01/10/13 12:15 AM

Never. Truly one of the worst ideas ever.
Posted by: musicpassion

Re: Letter stickers for keys? - 01/10/13 01:51 AM

I would never use them.
Posted by: ten left thumbs

Re: Letter stickers for keys? - 01/10/13 03:02 AM

How will they learn if they rely on stickers?
Posted by: Larry C

Re: Letter stickers for keys? - 01/10/13 06:49 AM

Bad idea, I am saddened whenever I see them on someone's piano
Posted by: Morodiene

Re: Letter stickers for keys? - 01/10/13 08:34 AM

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!
Posted by: pianogirl1978

Re: Letter stickers for keys? - 01/10/13 11:59 AM

Thanks for the responses. Don't think I will be using them anymore!
Posted by: Barb860

Re: Letter stickers for keys? - 01/10/13 03:00 PM

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.
Posted by: LoPresti

Re: Letter stickers for keys? - 01/10/13 08:57 PM

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?

Posted by: Barb860

Re: Letter stickers for keys? - 01/10/13 09:45 PM

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
Posted by: Peter K. Mose

Re: Letter stickers for keys? - 01/10/13 11:56 PM

I still use 'em when I'm playing Scriabin.
Posted by: btb

Re: Letter stickers for keys? - 01/11/13 01:42 AM

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.
Posted by: adultpianist

Re: Letter stickers for keys? - 01/11/13 03:24 AM

I know people who still have to write the note letters on a score as a guide.
Posted by: Morodiene

Re: Letter stickers for keys? - 01/11/13 08:36 AM

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.
Posted by: justpin

Re: Letter stickers for keys? - 01/11/13 10:24 AM

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.