Is it good to use Piano Stickers for Keys w/ Complete Printed Notes to memorize the notes on the sheet and their correspondence to piano keys? Does it work? Or is it better not to do that?

The main point of the question is mapping between notes on the score sheet and the keys. A, B, C,... are just like a bridge to me.

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    This would be like looking at the computer keyboard as you type. Who would do that?! ;) – Lightness Races with Monica Jan 30 '18 at 23:59
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    @LightnessRacesinOrbit, after several months you can do that. But in the beginning, you can't. The question is, is that better to use a keyboard without any letter for typing?? I'm not sure if we can easily apply computer keyboard to piano. – Maziar Aboualizadehbehbahani Jan 31 '18 at 3:24
  • I'll just say what everyone else will say - NO DON'T DO THAT. Stickers should never touch a piano, even digitial. It's a terrible crutch. I suspect you don't got a piano teacher if you're thinking about this. That's job one in learning piano. – Stephen Hazel Jan 31 '18 at 18:36
  • @LightnessRacesinOrbit - on a qwery board (azerty in France), there's around 50 different keys. A far cry from the 12 different a piano has. Touch typing has been around for years - still don't know why kids in school aren't taught it - but it's hardly a comparison. – Tim Feb 1 '18 at 9:13
  • @Tim A piano has many more than 12 keys. – Lightness Races with Monica Feb 1 '18 at 9:44

I cannot find any research on the topic, only various anecdotes from different teachers. There are some common threads:

  • A downside reported by some teachers is that the labels can become a crutch that students have a hard time learning to play without.
  • Actual letter-name labels (e.g., "A", "B", etc.) are not widely believed (by teachers) to help in learning to read music.
  • Instead of letter names, colors, shapes, and other graphical symbols are what teachers who advocate labels prefer. Such teachers often have special books of easy to read sheet music with matching color codes or shapes.
  • Instead of labels, teachers who like labeling in general seem to often prefer a card that goes up at the top of the keys and is lined up before playing. That way the card can easily be moved to other pianos or removed when no longer helpful.
  • Young children, under 8 years old or so, are believed to have the most to gain from labels. Most teachers don't seem to even try labels with older students.

It seems like if you're over age 8 or so, your brain is more capable of using the pattern of white and black keys along with sheet music mnemonics (e.g., FACE and Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge) to learn the note names and read music into the piano.

On a personal note, to me learning note names is not actually very helpful when reading, playing, and sight-reading. Ideally, a shape on the page would be associated in the mind with the motion of the hand, and at least for a while with a specific key on the keyboard that would be visually verified. It's better to go right from that shape means that key than to be thinking that shape is a C and C means that key. Note names are more useful for talking about music and analyzing it, but not when playing.

  • Edit: Every Good Boy Does Fine. – John Doe Jan 31 '18 at 0:28
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    @JohnDoe Eager Girls Buy Diamonds First. Early Grackles Beat Dose Falcons. Eyeball Gunk Besets Drowsy Ferrets. Ey Guys Blowup Dat Football! Easy Greasy Breezy Darned Freezy. – Todd Wilcox Jan 31 '18 at 1:36
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    Labelling just middle C is also an idea. The student can learn to recognize the black and white pattern by seeing where the pattern begins and ends. – Luke Sawczak Jan 31 '18 at 1:51

Do not bother! there is a pattern to the keys - look at the two black keys, left white is C, right is E. Look at the three black keys, left white is F, right is B. There are four of the seven notes, al clearly marked with no marks!

Looking for, for example, a marked letter C? Why bother, it's always the left of the two blacks! If it said C, carrot, cucumber, concubine, it's still in that same place, and will always be C.

EDIT: I wonder if we've missed a point. The OP asks about 'complete Printed Notes', which could mean a picture of the 5 lines, with an appropriate dot (note) on a line or space. Not seen that, but initially it's not a bad idea.

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    This doesn't exactly answer the question, which seems to be whether letter stickers help or hurt or have no effect. – Todd Wilcox Jan 30 '18 at 19:48
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    @ToddWilcox - it's unequivocal. Do not bother basically translates as ... well, you work it out. Do you really expect me to say yes, no, don't know? Mark it down again, if it helps the cause... – Tim Jan 30 '18 at 20:34
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    It's clear you see them as not necessary, but to me that's different from whether they are helpful or hurtful. John Doe's answer at least implies that he believes they will hurt in the long run. – Todd Wilcox Jan 30 '18 at 21:14
  • Incidentally, I find that thinking of key signatures in terms of the black/white key pattern is also more useful than thinking of them in terms of letter notes and then having to translate that to position. Sharps get added left to right within each chunk, starting with the chunk of 3 and alternating. Flats alternate the same way, but get added right to left. – supercat Jan 31 '18 at 16:36

I wouldn't. It might help in the short run, but in the long run you want as few crutches as possible when learning a new instrument. In fact, you should be working towards seldom, if ever, even looking at the keys, at least for simpler songs.


Piano Stickers for Keys w/ Complete Printed Notes

I would not do that. Printing sheet music that's small enough to fit on the key would make it unrecognizable when playing. Your fingers would also cover them up and you'd have to take the time out to move your fingers, get close and identify the note, then look up at the page to double check. It's quite a lot of steps.

If you really think you need to label the keys (which there's no shame in doing) I would go the harp route. That is, on most harps with nylon strings (whether a concert or lever harp) all the C notes are marked in red by dyeing the string, while all the F notes are marked with either blue or black dye. Using some red/blue electrical tape you can mark the ends of the C and F keys which would give you a good base to go by to find every other key, and since they're so bold in color it won't be hard to see them. Then you could have a special scale sheet that emphasizes these notes, highlighting them in red/blue. Eventually you shouldn't need them and electrical tape is very easy to remove and clean the residue.

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