Beginner Having Trouble Reading Piano Music

Hi!

Sorry for the long mail but I really need some guidance.
I am a 15 year old beginner at playing the piano. I have been trying to teach myself the basics for a year now. I don't have a tutor, so basically I'm self-taught. I did, however, have a tutor last summer for 3 months, but the result was close to nothing. I didn't know the notes or anything about playing the piano for that matter after the lessons. All I found is that I was excellent at playing the piano by ear, since that's how I've always played. Even that I'm not sure of now though.
I have a lot of questions in mind, so I'm going to try and make them short.

1. Is it possible to play the piano well without knowing how to read sheet music? I've tried hard but I can't read any.

2. Is it important to have your fingers at the correct positions at all times while playing? Since I have no tutor, I don't know where to put my fingers and to play which note with which finger. So I just play the notes with whichever finger it seems easier to play with.

3. How long does it take to be able to read sheet music and play? I know it depends from person to person, but if you could give me an approximate figure, I'll be grateful.

I know the key to playing the piano well is patience and effort, and I'm ready to give that as long as I know that at the end I will be able to play like I've always dreamed to.
These are the questions I have in mind for now. Thank you very much in advance. I'll be waiting for your reply eagerly.

A Beginner

ANSWER

Hello--

Let me first say that you are a very articulate 15 year old beginner!

Now your questions:

1. You CAN play the piano without reading music. The limitation is that you will play only as well as you can hear the music and interpret what you hear. The ideal situation would be to have the ability to do both. Maybe if you could expand on exactly what difficulty you have, I could help. Have you looked at my FREE beginners piano lessons? Beginning Note Reading Look it over and then I will be happy to help with any questions that you might have.

2. Fingering is very important. Normally the fingering will be indicated on your music. Your hand changes position to make the fingering easier. We usually start beginners with music that involves only 5 notes and then expand from there.

3. It is difficult to set a time frame for learning to read music. It is a progressive process. You would be able to read simple pieces within a couple of weeks, but there is more complicated music that would require years of study.

Please don't give up. Let me know how you get along with the beginning lessons and keep in touch. I would like to help.

Lynne

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