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:
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.
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.
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.
Learn why it's important to use all the fingers on your hand, and the best way to work out correct hand position.
Watch demos of the practice tunes.
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.
Download the PDF of practice tunes using longer note values.
Watch the practice tunes demonstrated on the keyboard.
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.
Download the PDF for practising tunes with shorter note values.
Watch demonstrations of the Getting Shorter tunes.
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.
Download the PDF of the Ebony & Ivory tunes (using black notes).
Demos of the tunes for the Ebony & Ivory (black notes) lesson.
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.
Download the PDF of practice tunes using dotted and tied notes.
Watch demos of the practice tunes using dotted and tied notes.
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).
Demos of the tunes practising simple time signatures.
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.
Download the PDF sheet music of tunes to practice rests.
Watch demos of the tunes for practicing music with rests.
Compound time: how to count music written in 6/8, 9/8 and 12/8, and how the beat is subdivided.
Download the PDF of tunes in compound time signatures to practice.
Watch demos of the practice tunes using compound time signatures.
Learn about other common symbols found in sheet music: repeat instructions, the pause symbol and octave higher symbol.
Brief introduction to playing with the left hand on the piano: how to read the bass clef.
Download the PDF of tunes to practice the left hand.
Demos of the practice tunes for the left hand.
Test your memory
This lesson will prepare you to play Scarborough Fair on the piano. You can watch the keyboard notes too.
Download the sheet music and notes for Scarborough Fair.
Preparation before playing House of the Rising Sun.
Sheet music with lyrics and notes for the song "House of the Rising Sun".
Get ready to play "The Star Spangled Banner".
Download the PDF of the sheet music for "The Star Spangled Banner".
"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.