Making Music

"Learn the Piano in Three Hours" (May 12) touches on an important point: You don't have to read music to play the piano. In grade school, I learned to play just about anything by ear, even in the dark, and spent hundreds of happy hours at the piano.

Later, as a music teacher, I always began by giving pupils tools so they could play right from the first lesson, using two hands and pedals - chords, arpeggios, songs, improvisation.

There was no exposure to printed music until after they'd learned the freedom and joy of making music on their own.

After all, we learn to talk and sing without knowing how to read. Why not let the same principle apply to piano lessons? Play first, read later.

Falls Church, Va.

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