Playing the piano in the traditional way by reading all the notes is the only way that some music can be played and it is a basic skill for every pianist. A well-rounded musician should also be able to use a chord-based method enabling them to play from a 'lead sheet'. Playing the piano using a chord system instead of reading all the notes is a very different approach that requires a range of new skills.
When the student becomes familiar with the method and "knows their chords" they will be able to play many songs fluently with little or no practice. They will also have a great deal of freedom in the way each piece is played. It would be unlikely that two pianists would play a piece exactly the same way.
However, we have to start somewhere, and initially, the student should follow the instructions and suggested patterns. As experience is gained, more options and creativity will become possible.
This course is intended primarily for music students who have reached about grade one or above. In most instances, it will be an addition, rather than an alternative, and be used alongside their regular study.
It assumes the student can read music, has a basic understanding of fingering, and knows how to use the sustain pedal.
It is not enough to know what to do. The student has to be able to actually do it confidently and musically. The only way to achieve this is to practice each song until a satisfactory standard is reached.