About Julie

Julie Swihart

I’m Julie, and I show people how to use piano chords to learn the piano quickly and easily, and to play creatively. I also love writing worship songs.

Creating music at the piano feeds my soul. I breathe out through the piano: my worship, my emotions, my creativity. And it breathes life back into me.

Many people have watched me play creatively at the piano, and said, “I wish I could do that”.

They can.

You can!

Creating music at the piano is a transferable skill.

You don’t have to be born with a special ability. And you don’t have to have a background in sheet music.

If you can clap to a beat, you can learn to play creatively at the piano.

The piano hasn’t always come naturally to me.

I started learning piano from my mom when I was five. I started working through the songs in my songbook, using our tiny Casio keyboard, until I could play four notes with my right hand and four notes with my left.

But one day I hit a wall. A new song was introducing me to the quarter rest, and I was supposed to pause for one beat at different points in the song. That was a bit much, and I couldn’t get it. I tried, and tried some more, but I couldn’t figure it out.

My mom took pity and said, “Maybe we should try next year.” What a relief. We picked it back up a year later, and I eventually learned to read and play sheet music via the faithful weekly piano lessons she provided. My mom was a wonderful teacher and I loved being able to play the songs she taught me, especially as I learned to play more challenging and rewarding pieces.

At that point, when I watched people at church play spontaneous piano music, I assumed they were born with a special ability.

Later, my church invited me to join the worship team, and I learned to read chord symbols on the chord charts we used. I was having fun, but I was still mainly playing what was on the paper.

But something changed when I bought a comprehensive music theory book and began studying it.

I started seeing the patterns on the piano.

And I started seeing how I could combine piano chords and music theory patterns to create my own music.

I started embellishing the church chord charts, and playing improvisational piano. My pastor started calling on me spontaneously to close services, which I loved doing. I started serenading my family after supper each night with my impromptu music. My sisters wondered if I was trying to get out of doing the dishes, but my dad loved it and wouldn’t make me stop.

I had fallen in love with the piano.

You can too.

I’ve given private piano lessons, studied advanced music theory in college, learned to play classical pieces, and led a worship team.

But my favorite thing of all is to sit down and play whatever’s in my heart.

It starts with understanding the piano as an instrument, totally separate from sheet music. Once you understand the patterns on the piano, you begin to see the possibilities.

Let me show you how.

On the personal side, David and I have been married eighteen years, and have three kids.

I love writing worship songs and blogging, and want this site to be a resource center for you as you learn the piano and play creatively. I’m so excited to know thousands of people around the world come here to learn the piano with chords!

You can fall in love with the piano, too.

Get started learning chords today with this free major chord inversions chart.

You May Also Like…