Is it compulsory to read notes to play the piano? Cant I just play by ears? - Piano Lessons for Adul
This is a very common question asked in the beginning of almost every teaching session.Some people find it interesting, though others extremely difficult and unnecessary.
In order to answer it properly, we need to compare the ability to play BY EAR and BY READING NOTES.
Playing by ear means that you have the ability to listen to and to REMEMBER a piece of music. It enhance your music memory and contribute the music to be translated and reproduced it after just one or two attempts. Its is very important especially if we want to play our favourite songs we listen to on a daily basis
However, learning to play by ear can take more time since you have to train your brain to break down audio music into notes and chords without any help from written music.
On the other hand, when we have the ability to read notes, we find performing MUCH EASIER AND FASTER.
When we learn how to read music, we observe and translate written music that instructs us how to play. It lets us know which notes to play, chordal structure, notes and pauses we have to hold. Also, it is not that difficult, as there are various methods which could be used to support it
So, in my opinion, the ability to play the piano by ear and by reading notes is compulsory and requires both patience and time. Both skills shouldn’t be seen as contradictory. It would be great to use both of them to enjoy the music entirely.