Reading piano music can be made easier if you learn the method of score mapping. Mapping out the different patterns before you begin a new piano piece makes you see it in a whole new light!
If you want to learn how to read piano notes in a new piece quickly, first of all “map out” the piece.
By looking at the whole piece, and “mapping out” similar or parts that are the same, you will not only get an overview of the piece but you can also avoid getting stuck in the beginning measures…
When starting with a new piece it is easy to feel confused, and see the score only as a huge bunch of black dots.
Starting the first few measures and (usually) learning them properly; that is hands separately, playing slowly and such, will make that fist part feel “homey and cozy”.
It gives a certain satisfaction of actually reading piano music and being able to play at least a liiitle bit of the piece.
What happens when we feel good about something? We want to do it again, and again…
The rest of the piece will now feel even more intimidating to learn, since the first part sounds so gooood…
You get the idea. Almost all beginner piano students are struggling in this way when reading piano music. So, what to do?
Take a look at this example: Piano Score Mapping PDF. (Click to open PDF in a new window). I have marked the different parts in colors.
Study all the same and similar parts first. Learn the end and the beginning as soon as possible, then the rest.
If you need more help with reading piano music, check out this book: Learn to Read Music (Amazon).
Question: What is the part of a piano piece we normally learn the best?
Answer: The beginning.
Question: If you play a less than perfect performance, what do you prefer?
Answer: (At least my preference) Nr. 3. If you start well, you will get a better confidence, and the audience will pay more attention- like a nice first impression. Sure it is not fun to goof up- but it happens. Ending the piece with flair, will "forgive" mistakes.
Why not the second? Well, you need to have a confidence and self-determination of steel to play well after making a terrible start. So it is not so common. But it happens.
So, the conclusion of this totally biased quiz is:
Learn the end first. Then the beginning of the piece.
However, if you follow the plan above, and the piano practice tips here, you can be quite “bulletproof” the rest of the piano piece as well!