Some piano teachers have this idea that you must learn how to read music before you can play music. That's nonsense!
In fact, it really works the other way around. You should be able to make music with chords and improvise first. Why? Because music is what the end result is.
Music is not notes on a sheet of paper. It's hammers striking strings produced when a pianist fingers a chord.
Children speak their native language first before they learn how to spell and write it.
They have no difficulties doing this BECAUSE IT COMES NATURALLY! Music should be the same way! We learn the language of music by understanding how to use chords first. We then use these chords to create our music with.
There is nothing wrong with being able to read music, but if that's all you can do, you're limiting yourself creatively. Stop playing piano the hard way and learn how to use chords and improvise first. Because by learning how to improvise, you are actually speaking the language of music first.