Piano Playing Without Reading Music

 

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To my knowledge there are only a few ways to learn how to play the piano without initially reading music.

One method is the very well known, tried and tested Suzuki approach. The Suzuki method has been applied to very young children (as young as two years old). With Suzuki, the piano teacher has the young student listen to music (simple melodies and harmonies) over and over again until they more or less memorize the music. Then they work to transfer the music to the piano keyboard. I am not totally acquainted with the precise specifics of this method but I am sure that you can find that information from any Suzuki teacher, teaching the piano.

Another method is another more recent approach called Simply Music. What I do know is that the piano beginner initially listens to a simple piano music piece and then is taught a basic hand movement pattern along with certain cues. These cues enable the beginner to play that music without any knowledge of music reading. My impression is that this method helps the beginner to develop confidence, facility and the experience of accomplishment early on. See  blog for more info.

Another way to learn how to play piano without music reading is to learn jazz. Of course there is a great deal of ancillary training and knowledge specific to using charts from fake books and improvising melodies in a stylistic context that is required to accomplish jazz piano musicianship.

In my opinion and experience, one of the most basic ancillary requirements of musicianship, piano or otherwise is for the beginning musician to listen to quality music, over an extended period of time and on an ongoing basis






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