Course Overview

The goal is for a student to be able to learn to play the piano at a beginner's level.  It is another goal that the experience be fun and not drudgery. 


The approach is to reduce the amount of memorization necessary by simplifying concepts and techniques.  The WYSIWYP notation was designed to greatly simplify the sheet music itself, but this course tries to also simplify music theory by explaining how things work in a logical way.  Understanding the theory makes it a lot easier to remember and apply.

In addition, the course will attempt to demystify some of the often obscure music terminology.  Alas, these are not going to change and it's what the mainstream music world speaks.  But at least if they can be put into a logical framework, then hopefully they will be easier to remember.

As a result there is a lot of narrative description in the lessons.  Understanding can take some extra time at the beginning but hopefully in the end saves time over the strictly memorization approach.

The notation plus the visualization playing techniques are intended to make it intuitive and to reduce the amount of real-time conversion of notes on the page to fingers on the piano keys.  

External resources

The best resource you can have is a musician family member or friend who can assist you with playing technique and questions.   But don't expect them to be supporters of this notation! 

There are an ocean of piano instruction videos for all levels of playing on YouTube.  In the absence of a family member or friend to help out, these may be useful options.  So you may want to sample various series of videos (and there are lots of them) to find an online instructor that matches your tastes.

In order to hear how a musical piece sounds, this course provides links to corresponding YouTube videos of it being played.  Much of being able to play a tune correctly is to have mental "tape" of how it is supposed to sound.  Humans are not machines and most of us are not capable of accurately playing a tune strictly on the tones and rhythm defined by sheet music.  But if it's in your head, you have a much better chance of reproducing it.

The YouTube videos are based on a terrific book Alfred's Basic Adult Piano Course (this is one of a large series of courses and music books).  The videos selected herein are provided by "Piano with Beth" an online instructor in Australia.  But in fact, there are a number of YouTube video series based on this course so feel free to "shop" around.  Some of them play the tunes really fast which you may or may not appreciate.

If you decide later that WYSIWYP is not your cup of tea, then Alfred's book is highly recommended.   The instruction is classic in its approach for traditional notation, brief and to the point without extensive explanations, and mostly relies on memorization.  Thus, it is quite different from the approach here.  The two approaches share only the basic music theory and music snippets in common.  

Already know how to play the piano a bit?

If you have read the FAQ page, then you know that one of the target audience groups is former music students who gave up playing largely because of the obstacles of reading music.  If you are one of those, then you may already know most of the basic music theory that is included in this course.  But perhaps, it's been so long ago though that you don't remember all of it.  At least, you may find interesting this course's different views on sight reading and theory.  In any case, reading the sheet music here should be a totally different experience.  Hopefully a pleasant one.