When you’re first learning to play the piano and to read sheet music, it can be slightly overwhelming to remember which notes you’re seeing on the staff. One solution, while you are learning, is to use piano sheet music with letters. However, some people think this could actually harm your ability to learn to sight-read. So, is it okay to use letters on sheet music?
What the Experts Say
If you do a quick online search or talk to a few different piano teachers, you’ll likely get mixed feelings and opinions on using letters on sheet music. This means that there isn’t one single right or wrong answer when it comes to using piano sheet music with letters. Let’s go over the pros and cons of this method so you can make the choice that’s best for you.
Advantages of Using Letters
One big pro to adding letters to your sheet music is that it can make it much easier for you to play. As a beginner, this can help motivate you as you show yourself that you can play the piano.
Another problem that letters solve is that it helps you see each note for what it is, instead of looking at a jumbled bunch of black spots all over the staff. While you are learning, letters may be helpful so that you can learn the notes more easily.
Piano sheet music with letters is also helpful when you need or want to play something that is slightly more advanced than your current level. Instead of struggling so much to read and play the music, you’ll have an easier time making it through and will learn it faster.
Disadvantages of Using Letters
One argument of professionals that are against using letters is that, as a beginning student, you can become too used to seeing the letters and rely on those instead of the position of the notes on the staff. It’s entirely possible that you won’t learn to read music as quickly or as well as if you were to only use traditional sheet music.
Additionally, once you can play harder songs, you likely won’t have room to write every letter over every note anymore. Becoming dependent on the letters could make it harder for you to advance to more difficult songs.
Many piano teachers also believe that the more you work and struggle to learn, the better you will retain your piano knowledge and skills, and the better pianist you’ll be.
What To Do
As you can see, whether or not you use sheet music with letters is completely a personal choice. It can be extremely helpful or could hold you back in some cases. The best thing to do is to let your piano teacher guide you and teach you in a way that will be best for your progress and abilities. If you’re interested in using the note names on your music, check out our large collection of piano sheet music with letters.