For some, playing chords on the piano as a first experience can provide more satisfaction than their beginning endeavors to learn how to read music, etc. Before we proceed, let's qualify that statement by saying that learning rudiments like learning to read is highly recommended for a well-balanced approach to learning. That said, let's just explore this a little further.
Learning to read music is a process. Becoming comfortable with staff notation and associating it with the piano keyboard to the point of gaining momentum with confidence can be challenging for some... at least more challenging than being able to learn a chord or two on the piano and enjoying results immediately.
The reason that playing chords on the piano can be conducive to instant fun at those keys is because, once the hands and fingers assume the shape of a given chord, no additional thinking is necessary to be musical with that chord. Let's say you learn the simple formula to play any type of major chord of your choice. Once you finger that chord, you can simply create music with the notes of that chord just by playing them one at a time... then two at a time... you can play with one hand... then the other hand... then both together. It becomes a fun experiment with what kind of sounds you can make with even just that one chord. It's like finger painting at the piano!
I want to emphasize this point of "not thinking" too much. It's rather common for a beginner to place his or her fingers correctly on the keyboard in preparation for playing a chord on the piano. Then, the thoughts start whirling: "What note to I play first?" "How many of these keys should I play at the same time?" "What's the right way to do it?" etc.
My response: Just allow yourself to play. There is no "right" way. Whatever way you do it, you will get a corresponding result. Play something... listen... playing something else... listen. Don't judge. Just appreciate your results and experiment/play some more. Have fun with the entire process! By the way, if you give yourself this permission, you'll actually know what it means to improvise. Am I saying that it's possible to improvise during one's very first time at the piano or keyboard?
Yes, that's what I'm saying. You were placed on this planet to be a creative individual. To say that you have to "work at it" in order to be able to improvise is ridiculous. Sure, with experience (like anything else), you can enjoy more and more levels of proficiency. But you don't need to wait to create! One more time:
You don't need to wait to create!
So, how about it? Playing chords on the piano can begin today for you. If this is your first time, grab yourself the free major chord lesson mentioned above and start playing. Within minutes, you'll have enough experience to actually play all 12 major chords on the piano! When you're ready to take it further, you're at the right place, since chords is the name of the game and we have enough fun learning tools to keep you busy having fun for a long time!
PLAY WITH PASSION!