If you’re just beginning to learn piano, you may have seen piano sheet music with letters written above the notes. Your piano teacher may have told you not to write the note letters on your sheet music, while others may have told you it would help you learn faster. So, what’s the right way to do it?

Pros of Using Piano Music with Letters

One of the most significant benefits of using letters on your sheet music is that you will be able to begin playing any new piece much easier. Once you know which keys correspond to which note, you will be able to sight-read easy pieces and will feel more confident in your piano skills. As a beginner, your motivation will increase tenfold when you can play a recognizable piece without too much struggle, which can help keep you learning and progressing.

By using piano sheet music with letters and learning pieces more quickly, you will build your repertoire more rapidly than you would otherwise.

Also, using letters and playing a piece can connect you more with the music because you struggle less to learn it and can enjoy it more quickly. It can feel like agony to make mistake after mistake and not be able to simply play a phrase completely through.

Cons of Using Piano Music with Letters

While using piano sheet music with letters above the notes may help you progress faster at first, some professionals argue that it can inhibit your ability to learn to read music properly, as you rely on the letters instead of the position of the notes on the staff. Music is an entire language on its own, and it’s more than just a series of letters, so if you rely solely on that one part of the music language you may never become fluent.

You may not be able to progress as far, because as music becomes more advanced, it is more difficult to fit the letters into the sheet music. Most advanced piano sheet music is very unlikely to have letters. As more and more notes are played together, it can be hard to read all the letters at once, instead of simply reading the intervals or positions of the notes on the staff. At some point, you have to take off the training wheels and read the music without relying on letters.

Deciding Whether or Not to Use Letters Above the Notes

If you’re unsure of whether or not to use piano music with letters, the best person to ask is your piano teacher. They know you, and your skill level, and also have extensive piano experience. They can make a recommendation and help guide you when it comes to learning piano.

If you want to learn music in your free time or are teaching yourself, you may decide that using letters is beneficial for you to get started. It’s up to you to weigh the pros and cons and decide how to best help yourself learn.

Choosing Piano Music With Letters

For a wide variety of great beginner piano songs and piano sheet music with letters check out the extensive collection at Musicnotes.com.


Author: Samantha Waites

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