Learning how to play the piano does not need to be a slow and frustrating experience, and even beginners can play songs like a pro. The trick is to not be intimidated by reading notes on sheet music. While learning notes and timing are important foundational elements to studying the piano, they are not necessary.
If you are having trouble coordinating the notes on the page with the keys on the piano, try to focus on developing your familiarity with chords. Since the piano is divided into octaves, the chords will be the same no matter where on the piano you decide to play them.
Some music teachers would disagree, but mastering chords will help you to add your own style and flavor to the songs you play. This can lead to more enjoyment, more freedom and flexibility as you develop your own sound and style. While understanding timing and notes is important, it is not necessary in order to grow as a musician.
Notes that are found on sheet music rarely imitate the sounds that are heard in the songs that we enjoy. They also limit the ability to use your own creativity and interpretation of the music. Music should be an expression of the heart and soul, and most sheet music is a representation of what someone else feels is good. The result is many songs that are played note for note from sheet music sound robotic and empty.
Sheet music has its place and provides an ordered and methodical way to get through a song. Choirs, classical pianists and orchestras rely on them to produce uniformity but most budding piano players do not need to be bound by these limitations.
Learning chords and timing will offer amazing opportunities to grow and interpret music in a way that is personally fulfilling and enjoyable. As students focus on fundamentals and the rigidity that often is associated with reading sheet music, they should also dedicate an equal amount of time to developing their own style and sound.
Chords also make it possible to play a wide range of songs from the heart as opposed to trying to follow each note exactly as it appears on the sheet music. Developing an ear for music is just as important as developing a working knowledge of proper note playing techniques. This can boost enjoyment, reduce frustration and promote growth that is more in line with what students want to experience.
There is a place for learning music properly, but there is also plenty of opportunities to play songs quickly and accurately simply by feeling the music through chords. Learning the piano should be soothing for the soul and enjoyable at the same time, and developing a more holistic approach can have a tremendous impact on how quickly you can grow as a musician.