I'm a beginner piano student. I've only been taking a piano class at school since August.
But it's so boring to me. Playing Mary had a little lamb and when the saints go marching in and boring stuff like that.
So when I get home I try to teach myself harder songs.
Like right now I'm learning Mozart's Lacrimosa.
I have it nearly perfected and I'm proud of it. I can play it all by memory.
But part of me feels like I shouldn't be proud at all.
In my class we're learning 3/4 time and basic chords.
But Lacrimosa is way more advanced than that. It's in 12/8 time, has 8th rests, it plays into ledger lines, has key signatures, etc.
I haven't learned any of this in my class. I did go home and look up most of it. So I partially understand it.
But that's basically it.
The rest of the song, I learned because I know what it sounds like so I can just play along with it when I play it on itunes. If I had just looked at that sheet music I would never be able to play it. I have no clue how to play in 12/8 time. I have no clue how to do an 8th rest.
And I just feel like any professional pianist would look down on me because I don't even understand what I'm playing.
I know everyone starts at the bottom and I should just be patient and stick with these beginner songs my teacher keeps assigning.
But that's so hard to just sit back knowing there's beautiful pieces like Lacrimosa or Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata 3rd movement.
Any input on this?
Learning by ear is very impressive. It's great that you can play that, but you really should learn the basics as well. I'm an 11 year piano students and I LOVE to play the piano. I'll admit that not every aspect of it is fun. Playing basic songs like "Mary Had A Little Lamb" will help you to learn to read music and move your fingers the proper way. Even if you are playing the song, and it sounds right, your Technics and basics could be wrong.
I know the songs are boring, basics always are. But they are extremely important. It's worth it in the end, trust me. It took me about 5 years to learn basics. If I were you, I would ease up a little on the hard stuff and work with your class a little more. Once you learn all the basic stuff, the other stuff will come very easily. Good luck!
You should always learn to play by ear and also write your own music whenever you can. Record your melodies so you don't forget and continue learning how to play by reading. It is necessary to be able to count and communicate with notes and the staff. I ended up being a music teacher and started out by playing by ear. It wasn't until about three years later that I had a music teacher insist that I learn the notes and I give all of the credit to her to help me succeed in college when it counted. Today, I play by ear and look on youtube tutorials and read as well. It is all important. Good luck and keep playing.
I think not all people are blessed with this gift (playing by ear). BUT I BELIEVE IT CAN BE LEARNED. My husband cannot hit the notes correctly when singing. If you can't sing like that then playing by ear would be difficult for you. But as time goes by, he practiced a lot with singing and piano. Eventually, he learned slowly how to play by ear.
The first thing you need to practice is playing the melody. You need to listen to the song and then try hitting the melody notes on the piano. You should play the notes as how you hear it. Do not play at a different key too. Then once you learned the notes to the melody, it's time to play the chords. Again, listen to the song and then try guessing for the chords. The melody notes are your guide to finding the chords of a song. (This is how I do it.) But, of course, you need to have knowledge about chords if you want to learn how to play by ear.
There are apps you can use to practice playing by ear. I've seen one before but I could not remember the name of that app. But you could try searching for such apps in Google. The app let you listen to a note and then identify that note on the keyboard.
There are also many piano courses available on the internet. One is the Definitive Piano Improvisation by Yoke Wong (www.PianoMother.com). It has lessons on chords and playing by ear. You can do a search for other playing-by-ear lessons on Google.
I have learned to read music and play what is in front of me on paper. If I play one song enough I can play it without the paper but have the notes memorized. I would love to be able to hear music an play it by ear but I can't. If you learn to read music then you will have the best of both worlds.
A good friend of mine, Chooka Parker, learned by ear and he is giving concerts all over Australia.