You can learn to play piano from a music sheet or you can learn to play piano by ear.When you decide to start music lessons, you might ask yourself “Where is the music going to come from?” and “Which method of playing is easier?”
Playing from music sheet
The keys on the piano A,B,C,D,E,F,G, are usually scored in values of 1,2,3,4 or factors of these on a stave. This pattern of keys along with their related sharps and flats(black notes) are identical all the way up and down the keyboard. On a music sheet the notes written in lines and spaces are unique and universal. Someone in China can read the same musical score as someone in Venezuela and play the same melodies and harmony in the same style.
Over the years you learn to read notes from the sheet, and identify the keys they represent on the piano. You get the information from ‘out there’ from an external source.
Playing by ear
When you play by ear, you are listening closely ‘within’. This music comes from a different place. In this case, you learn to play exactly what you hear and what you expect. This takes a lot of practice, not only playing melodies of one note at a time, but also chords for accompaniment and in tempo with the song. Why play chords?
Which one to choose?
There is no reason to choose one over the other. You can do both. I started out learning to play classical music from the score on a music sheet. However, I always wanted to be able to play without looking at a score. I began by playing while listening, repeatedly, to popular songs on the radio. Of course there were progressions that I heard, but could not figure out how to play them. Over time and with a little coaching, I was able to play by ear. I still enjoy doing both and they both take a lot of concentration.
How would you like to be able to play your piano?