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Read Music & Play Songs on the Piano from Sheet Music

Learn how to read sheet music and play easy songs on the piano with your right hand. Incl. PDFS and demos.
4.6 (48 ratings)
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2,766 students enrolled
Last updated 1/2016
$10 $50 80% off
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  • 1 hour on-demand video
  • 3 Articles
  • 12 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What Will I Learn?
Read sheet music and play it on the piano with the right hand
View Curriculum
  • You need to be able to commit to practice 20 minutes a day
  • You need a piano or keyboard, real or virtual

If you want to learn how to read sheet music notes, to play easy songs on the piano, this course is for you. You'll be able to play the piano with your right hand, reading notated sheet music. Within a few hours and with a bit of practice, you'll realize that reading music is as easy as reading words, when you know how!

The course is broken down into short steps - each lesson is around 3 minutes in length. Learn a new skill in a short time, watch the demos, practice, then move on when you are ready.

I've included some PDF sheet music, and will of course be adding in more and more for you on a regular basis. Songs you'll learn how to play include "House of the Rising Sun", "Star Spangled Banner" and "Scarborough Fair". Requests for songs accepted!

Sign up now and start a new hobby - impress your friends!

What you'll learn:

  • How to name and locate the notes on the piano keyboard
  • How to name and locate the notes on the treble clef stave
  • Pitch, rhythm and accidentals
  • Key and and time signatures - the essentials
  • How to navigate through a song - understand repeat symbols and other instructions
  • The basics of how the left hand works
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Who is the target audience?
  • This course is ideal for beginners who can't read music, who want to learn the basics quickly and easily.
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Curriculum For This Course
Expand All 41 Lectures Collapse All 41 Lectures 01:16:29
2 Lectures 02:44

Introduction to the course, and how to get the best results from it.

Preview 02:16

A quick message about the song choices used in this course, and information about where you can buy sheet music from.

A Note about the Song Choices in this Course
Brain Work
31 Lectures 53:26

Find out about the piano keyboard layout, including the pattern of black and white notes. Learn the notes names of the white notes and learn how to identify a starting note, from which you can work out the other names.

Preview 01:51

Learn how the musical stave works and how notes are placed on it. Learn about the treble clef, which is used for the right hand. Learn about how to extend the 5-line staves using ledger lines.

Preview 02:28

Note shapes show duration. Learn about the crotchet/quarter note, stem direction how to count the beat.

Practice some simple four-note tunes using crotchets/quarter notes.

Preview 04:16

Learn why it's important to use all the fingers on your hand, and the best way to work out correct hand position.

Five Fingers

Practice Time: Crotchets/Quarter Notes (PDF)
1 page

Watch demos of the practice tunes.

Practice Time: Crotchets/Quarter Notes (Demos)

Learn about notes values longer than the crotchet (quarter note). The minim (half note) is twice as long, and the semibreve (whole note) is four times as long. Learn how to count out each note as you play.

Getting Longer

Download the PDF of practice tunes using longer note values.

Practice Time: Getting Longer (PDF)
1 page

Watch the practice tunes demonstrated on the keyboard.

Practice Time: Getting Longer (Demos)

Learn about the note values which are shorter than the crotchet/quarter note: the quaver and semiquaver (eighth note and sixteenth note), and how to count them.

Getting Shorter

Download the PDF for practising tunes with shorter note values.

Practice Time: Getting Shorter (PDF)
1 page

Watch demonstrations of the Getting Shorter tunes.

Practice Time: Getting Shorter (Demos)

Learn the names of the black notes on the piano, and how they are represented on the stave. Learn about key signatures and accidentals, and how they work.

Ebony and Ivory

Download the PDF of the Ebony & Ivory tunes (using black notes).

Practice Time: Ebony & Ivory (PDF)
1 page

Demos of the tunes for the Ebony & Ivory (black notes) lesson.

Practice Time: Ebony & Ivory (Demos)

How dots written next to notes change their duration, and how tied notes work. Don't confuse dotted notes with staccato, or tied notes with slurs.

Going Dotty

Download the PDF of practice tunes using dotted and tied notes.

Practice Time: Going Dotty (PDF)
1 page

Watch demos of the practice tunes using dotted and tied notes.

Practice Time: Going Dotty (Demos)

What do the numbers in a time signature (metre) mean, and how to count music in 2/4, 3/4 and 4/4 (the simple time signatures).

Simple Time

Download the PDF of tunes in simple time signatures to play through.
Practice Time: Simple Time (PDF)
1 page

Demos of the tunes practising simple time signatures.

Practice Time: Simple Time (Demos)

Learn about how silence is represented in music with rest symbols. Find out about their different shapes, and the function of the whole bar/measure rest.

Silence is Golden

Download the PDF sheet music of tunes to practice rests.

Practice Time: Silence is Golden (PDF)
1 page

Watch demos of the tunes for practicing music with rests.

Practice Time: Silence is Golden (Demos)

Compound time: how to count music written in 6/8, 9/8 and 12/8, and how the beat is subdivided.

Compound Time

Download the PDF of tunes in compound time signatures to practice.

Practice Time: Compound Time (PDF)
1 page

Watch demos of the practice tunes using compound time signatures.

Practice Time: Compound Time (Demos)

Learn about other common symbols found in sheet music: repeat instructions, the pause symbol and octave higher symbol.

Clash of Symbols

Brief introduction to playing with the left hand on the piano: how to read the bass clef.

The Left Hand

Download the PDF of tunes to practice the left hand.

Practice Time: Left Hand (PDF)
1 page

Demos of the practice tunes for the left hand.

Practice Time: Left Hand (Demos)

Test your memory

3 questions
Let's Make Music
7 Lectures 07:47

This lesson will prepare you to play Scarborough Fair on the piano. You can watch the keyboard notes too.

Getting Ready: Scarborough Fair

Download the sheet music and notes for Scarborough Fair.

Sheet Music Scarborough Fair
1 page

Preparation before playing House of the Rising Sun.

Getting Ready: House of the Rising Sun

Sheet music with lyrics and notes for the song "House of the Rising Sun".

Sheet Music House of the Rising Sun
1 page

Get ready to play "The Star Spangled Banner".

Getting Ready: Star Spangled Banner

Download the PDF of the sheet music for "The Star Spangled Banner".

Sheet Music Star Spangled Banner
1 page
1 Lecture 00:28
BONUS! Lots more music theory resources!
About the Instructor
4.7 Average rating
199 Reviews
3,547 Students
8 Courses
Music Theory Specialist - Founder of My Music Theory

"This course was absolutely first rate in every way. Ms. Williams presented the material clearly, thoughtfully, and with an obvious love of teaching. The only way this could possibly have been any better is to have had the privilege of studying with her in person. I'm amazed by how much information I learned -- and in such an enjoyable way! Ms. Williams is someone who not only has a deep understanding of music theory, but a rare and wonderful creativity that makes her such an effective teacher of it. Bravo and thank you!"

Victoria graduated from the University of Leeds in 1995 with a BA Honours in Music, specialising in Musicology. She also holds the AmusTCL diploma in Music Theory, from Trinity College London, with distinction.

Since 2007, Victoria has been teaching music theory online and by email via her acclaimed website MyMusicTheory, offering free music theory tuition following the structured syllabus of the ABRSM (Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music).

Victoria teaches all ABRSM levels, from grade 1 (beginner) up to grade 8/diploma (undergraduate level) and has an in depth knowledge of both the syllabus requirements and examiners' marking schemes. As well as teaching the ABRSM syllabus, Victoria is equally at home preparing students for the Trinity Guildhall exams, the Australian AMEB exams and the AP Music Theory exams taken in the USA.

Victoria's lessons break the tricky concepts of music and music theory down into easy-to-understand steps. She approaches teaching from the learner's point of view, building up on existing knowledge little by little, and avoids the “baffling with detail" stance taken by traditional music theory text books. She has an outstanding track-record with her students' exam successes, with the vast majority gaining top rated “merits and distinctions" from the ABRSM.

Victoria is an accomplished pianist and clarinettist, holding ABRSM grade 8 in both, and also composes in her free time. She has three children and two crazy cats.

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