Advice for Pianists: Piano Lesson Myths…
“Reading finger numbers is just for beginners.”

Reality: Professionals incorporate the fingering into their ability to read music. They read both the PRINTED fingering, the IMPLIED fingering, and their PERSONALIZED fingering. In fact, it is FASTER to read using a RELATIVE understanding of how the notes move from one to another than merely reading the ABSOLUTE note names.

In order to do this, one must be keenly aware of the fingers to be used on a passage. For example, if you see that a passage starts on an “A” and then ascends by step via line-space-line-space-line-space, then you can assume that the notes are moving directly up the scale. It is not necessary to read the actual name of each note. A professional musician will know this and not waste his or her brain power on trying to “read” every note. Simply read the first note of a sequence and then relatively move to each note from there, by using adjacent fingers. This skill is developed from honoring the fingering (printed, implied and personalized.)

Beginners who assume that fingering is just for beginners will NEVER develop the very professional security and speed that professionals have because the very thing that is needed will have been skipped!

–  piano teacher Howard Richman.