Reading Music Made Easy - Note Reading, Not Note Memorizing!
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Reading Music Made Easy - Note Reading, Not Note Memorizing!

Learn a system that will have you reading notes and playing YOUR choice of music in hours, not months or years.
4.7 (7 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
912 students enrolled
Created by Karen Gibson
Last updated 8/2014
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Current price: $10 Original price: $45 Discount: 78% off
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  • 1.5 hours on-demand video
  • 1 Article
  • 1 Supplemental Resource
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • By the end of this course you will be able to read simple melody lines while playing basic chords.
  • In this course you will learn to read intervals as the basis of all note reading.
  • You will learn how to read any note on the staff by combining your knowledge of guide notes and intervallic reading.
  • Accidentals - sharps, flats and naturals - will be demystified allowing you to play any song written in any key.
  • As a BONUS, you will be given the 'recipes' for 4 types of chords - major, minor, 7 and minor 7 - which will add interest to the songs you play.
View Curriculum
  • Access to a piano or other keyboard (even one found on an iPad or other device) will be helpful.
  • An open mind to approach reading in a new way along with a willingness to practice each concept as it is learned.

Join over 800 students who are already learning to read music with this course!

Have you always wanted to learn to read music but found the process slow, frustrating and confusing?

Do you want to be able to read melody lines in addition to playing chords?

Are you tired of books and courses that 'teach' you to read notes by giving you pictures of notes and a staff and then tell you to memorize the notes and their names?

Have you always thought there has to be a better and more efficient way to learn to read music?

In this course, you will learn everything you need to be able to read music notes (reading rhythm is not included in this course) in a way that goes beyond just rote memorization of notes and names. This system is so simple even 4- and 5- year olds have learned to read music by using it!

Through videos, worksheets and printouts of familiar songs, you will have the opportunity to first see the concepts explained and then practice the skills you learned both in isolation and also with real music. Music is a language, and as with any language, proficiency comes with practice.

You will learn to read both treble and bass clef, and as a BONUS, you will learn how to build and play up to 48 chords which will add richness to the songs you play!

Whether you have always wanted to learn to read music but never tried because you felt it was too complicated, or you have previously tried to read music but failed, or even if you can already read music but want to improve your reading skills this course will help you achieve your goals.

So click the 'Take this Course' button in the upper right hand corner now to begin your journey. There's even a 30 day absolutely no questions asked full money back guarantee - my personal promise of your satisfaction! You really cannot lose! Enroll today!

Who is the target audience?
  • This course is for those who want to learn to read music, for those who have tried to read music but failed and for those who want to become better readers.
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Curriculum For This Course
Expand All 20 Lectures Collapse All 20 Lectures 01:32:16
Getting Started
2 Lectures 04:51

In this brief introduction, you will learn the names of the keys, how to find C, and the difference between up and down on the keyboard.

Keyboard Basics

Learn how written music is nothing more than a map of movement on the keyboard.

Music is a Map
2 Lectures 11:08

In this lecture you will learn to read seconds and thirds.

0:00 Introduction to reading notes.

0:55 What is an interval?

1:35 Seconds and thirds on the keyboard

2:12 Seconds on the page

3:00 Thirds on the page

3:48 Direction or movement in intervals - seconds

5:33 Direction or movement in intervals - thirds

Preview 07:08

In this section you will have the opportunity to practice reading the intervals you learned about in Lecture 3.

Practice Reading 2nd and 3rds
Guide Notes - Treble Clef
5 Lectures 21:28

In this lecture, you will learn the 5 guide notes in treble clef that when combined with what you have already learned about intervals will give you all the tools you need to start reading melodies quickly and easily. After watching there is a practice worksheet to help you review.

0:00 Introduction

0:27 The treble clef symbol

1:05 A quick look at the staff

2:06 Middle C

3:26 Treble C

4:15 High C

5:10 All 3 C Guide Notes

5:46 Two G Guide Notes

6:26 G Above Middle C

7:20 G Above Treble C

8:00 Both G Guide Notes

8:28 Can You Name All 5 Guide Notes?

Memorize Just 5 Guide Notes

Now that you have learned to recognize the 5 treble clef guide notes, seconds and thirds, it is time to put everything together and start reading. You might want to print off the first example, Frere Jacques, for easy reference before starting this lecture.

0:00 Review of guide notes, seconds and thirds

1:00 Step One: Finding the initial note of a song

2:08 Measure one

3:30 Measure two

4:15 Measure three

5:06 Measure four

Putting it All Together

In this lecture, we will walk through the playing of Mary Had a Little Lamb. Download the song before starting the video so you can easily reference the music as we walk through the song.

Preview 01:29

Print off your copy of Joy to the World before reviewing this video that gives you some hints as you play this song for the first time.

0:00 Introduction

0:37 Getting started

1:56 Second line of the song; reading large jumps in intervals

2:51 Measure numbers

Joy to the World

The final piece to print off and go through is My Country Tis of Thee.

0:00 Introduction

0:37 General notes on playing this song

0:50 Chord symbols

My Country Tis of Thee
BONUS: Making Major and Minor Chords
2 Lectures 10:10

In this lecture you will learn the simple 'recipe' for building major chords.

0:00 Introduction

1:00 Half Steps

1:36 Counting half steps

3:13 Major and minor thirds

3:45 Recipe for major chords

4:14 Naming major chords

5:00 The D chord

Building major chords the easy way

Once you have learned the recipe for making major chords, a simple change to the recipe will give you 12 new chords, the minor chords. After you have finished, you can download the supplementary chart to help you remember the recipes for major and minor chords.

0:00 Introduction

0:24 Review counting half steps and recipe for major chords

0:55 Recipe for minor chords

2:35 Difference between major chord and minor chord is in the middle note

3:10 Naming minor chords

Recipe for minor chords
More Intervals - 4ths and 5ths
3 Lectures 05:43

In this lecture, you will see the relationship of 4ths and 5ths to 2nds and 3rd on the keyboard.

4ths and 5ths on the Keyboard

Reading larger intervals can make the reading process smoother. In this lecture we will look at and practice reading 4ths and 5ths.

0:00 Introduction

0:17 Comparing Seconds and Fourths

0:55 Comparing Thirds and Fifths

1:28 Practice

Reading 4ths and 5ths

Put your newly learned skills to practice while playing Jingle Bells, O Christmas Tree and Aura Lee.

More Practice Reading Songs - Jingle Bells, O Christmas Tree and Aura Lee
4 pages
BONUS: Making '7' chords
1 Lecture 03:09

You have already learned to make and play major and minor chords, in this lecture you will learn a variation of each of these which will add some 'color' to your chords.

0:00 Introduction

0:20 Making '7' chords

2:20 Making min7 chords

Preview 03:09
Bass Clef
1 Lecture 12:33

In this lecture you will learn the guide notes needed to be able to read bass clef notes, those notes on the lower half of the keyboard.

0:00 Introduction

0:42 Guide Notes - 3 Cs

0:50 Middle C

1:51 Mirror images

2:14 Bass C

2:31 Low C

3:00 Guide Notes - 2 Fs

3:12 F below middle C

3:27 F below bass C

3:50 All 5 Guide Notes

4:15 Reading intervals

4:45 Common patterns in bass clef - 2 note 'chords'

5:58 Common patterns in bass clef - Reading 3 note chords

7:15 Common patterns in bass clef - 1-5-1 pattern and improvising

9:38 Putting hands together

Reading Bass Clef Notes
Accidentals and Key Signatures
3 Lectures 18:35

In this lecture, you will learn what accidentals - sharps and flats - look like on the keyboard.

0:00 Introduction

0:15 Sharps

1:00 Flats

1:17 Two names for each black key (enharmonics)

2:05 Naming chords on black keys

2:45 Finding Cb

Accidentals on the Keyboard

In this lecture you will learn how to read and play sharps, flats and naturals. After you finish this section you can download the 3 songs - Good Morning to You, The Muffin Man and The Old Grey Mare - to practice what you learned.

0:00 Introduction

0:22 Three types of accidentals - flats, sharps and naturals

2:32 Flats

4:58 Sharps

6:46 Naturals

Accidentals on the Page

In this lecture you will learn the order of sharps and flats in key signatures. After you have completed this lecture, you can practice what you have learned by playing the 3 attached songs.

0:00 Introduction

0:42 What is a key signature?

1:02 Order of Flats - BEAD

2:16 Order of Sharps - FCGD

3:42 All 7 sharps and flats

Key Signatures
Wrap up and Final Project
1 Lecture 00:39
Final Project
About the Instructor
Karen Gibson
4.4 Average rating
29 Reviews
1,198 Students
2 Courses
Music teacher, composer, publisher of The Piano Bench Mag

After earning a B.A. in Human Resource Development (Training and Development) from Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago, Karen Gibson moved to Iowa and later New Mexico to raise Arabian horses; concurrently she taught a variety of courses in proprietary business schools in both states. In the early 90s she returned to Chicago and earned a paralegal certificate from Roosevelt University, eventually working as a paralegal in estate planning and later commercial real estate. She has also taught paralegals and legal secretaries.

Desiring to return to her love of teaching, she turned her career focus to teaching early childhood music classes and piano lessons in 2000. Since then she has grown her piano studio to an average of 60 - 70 students, working with children as young as 4 and adults even in their 70s and 80s. "You are never too old or too young to learn!" exclaims Karen.

In the spirit of constantly learning and trying new things, Karen decided to totally revamp her piano studio program and started writing her own pieces to use with her students in 2012. Results have far exceeded expectations and Karen's main goal of working with students young and old as they learn how to create music and have fun with it is being achieved on a daily basis.

In October, 2013, Karen published her first issue of The Piano Bench Mag on Apple's Newsstand.

Recently Karen took up photography and she enjoys photographing nature when she has opportunity to hike or cruise.