Finger Numbers in Piano Music

It can be so frustrating when children won’t read the notes and try to play by number. I know that learning the numbers of the fingers is important, but I’m wondering how good the students would be if they could start out learning to read the notes and not care what finger number they are playing the notes with?


For example, there is a scale moving up the staff from the low notes to the high notes, but because the fourth note in the scale is to be played with the first finger, the student just plays the piano key that his thumb is on at the time instead of crossing the finger and moving up the scale.


There also seems to be a disconnect when a note is repeated four times, but on the fourth time the finger number has changed (5), so instead of playing the same note that is written with the new finger number, they play whatever note their 5th finger is on.

I am going through the music and scratching out the finger numbers. I have told the students that it is more important that they know how to read the notes first, then play it with the correct fingers second. I told my students that I didn’t care if they play all the notes in the right hand with one finger if  they play all the correct notes.

I did see progress in the note reading when I scratched out the numbers. I will put the numbers back in when the notes are read correctly.

If you are a piano teacher and are encountering the same problems, please share how you are correcting the problem for your students.


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