1. Some years ago, I dabbled with the keyboard.
2. I agree that reading music would take longer to learn.
3. Also playing music as you are reading the music would take longer to learn. I really sucked at reading music.
4. Once I started focusing on learning chords and chord progression, it became more enjoyable.
5. I would look for sheet music that had chord symbols indicated along the top of each measure.
6. I would then ignore the bass and treble clef and focused only on the chord symbols.
7. By doing that, I could play the song while improvising.
8. I could play different (inversions) of the chords.
9. I could choose to play a single bass note of the chord together with the treble notes of the same chord.
10. I could change multiple different rhythms of the chords.
11. Sometimes I might play only the 1st and the 5th note of the chord.
12. Sometimes I might play each note of the chord individually as broken chords.
13. The sound of the chords became much more fuller once I started playing chords that contain (more) than just the three notes.
14. It became a whole lot more interesting once I started learning chords that have more than just 3 notes.
15. Once I learned the (pattern) of how scales and chords are built, that enabled me to translate the chords from one key to another key.
16. I did all this on the keyboard.
17. None of this required reading music.
18. But, it did require learning to recognized and identify chord symbols indicated on the sheet music.
19. I was never really good at playing the keyboard.
20. It was more of just a fun hobby for me.
21. Some of this may have different applications on different instruments.
22. For example. I don't know if you can play chords on a guitar that contains six, seven, or eight notes as a simultaneous single chord.
23. Someone who plays the guitar might know.