Reading - An Introduction

Almost everyone learns how to read words when they're children, but most schools and educational systems don't place an equal priority on reading music.

It's a shame, because it's not hard, and can give the learner many years of pleasure as they make music and enjoy discovering new songs.

If you're interested in reading sheet music, and if you're willing to apply yourself to the process of learning, you'll soon find the reward of success! Many people have expressed excitement about this course:

Testimonials from Our Visitors

  • JayI just wanted to thank you.. My daughter has decided she wants to play piano (she sings) but didn't know how to read the music... Now she is playing pretty much anything..
  • BobThanks for a GREAT page and for making it free. I am just learning to read music (yeah, I'm 57 and starting a little late) and I have a better definiteion according to my observations. Three words. Music is "time and tone". Don't really need a lot more than that. Yeah, it's a lot more complicated but that's it in a nutshell! Keep up the GREAT work!
  • JaimeExcellent course on theory of the music. I would like to see more lessons, since it has been very educational for me, and I heve learned somethings and remembered others. Congratulation for being so professional in the teaching of music! think that you have found a very easy way to encourage people who like music, to learn more and to know what is it all about. I really hope you keep on helping by making more lessons and showing them on your music course.
    Congratulations once again.
    Kind regards from
    Jaime Plaza, M.D.
  • FerdinandI would like to express my gratitude for all the efforts you made in making possible this on-line piano/music tutorial. It surely helps a lot of people realize their dream of learning piano and music. My son is just starting out and found your site truly helpful and rewarding. More power and God bless.
    Ferdinand Q. San Joaquin
  • Solomonhi. i have been playing the keyboard since i was four years old. i never had a teacher and i learnt this wonderful instrument just because i loved it. but now i watched so many of my friends play using the sheet music. my heart would always ache to learn it. but i never got a chance. i was looking for a way to learn it. i am so lucky to visit this website which is helping me so much.. thanks to all your hard work, work for me is so simplified and interesting. now im trying to pen down everything that i am playing and it is so much fun.. really, thank you.....
  • SherryI used to take clarinet and piano lessons as a kid. 30 years later, I'm trying to recall what I learned. Your site was so helpful. I learned a great deal, too! The Circle of Fifths is something I'd never seen, but your explanation made everything clear. Thank you!
  • PierreI studied classical guitar years ago,but haven't touched it for 50 years. Now starting all over again with an accordion, I find your instruction extremely helpful. Many thanks.
    Pierre Richards
  • ReethaI really want to thank this site and the information so practical and easy to show how to read music. One of the things you learn and become a tool for life. Jason thank you very much
  • ElizabethFirst, I must thank you for taking your time and energy for making the website and sharing your information on music. Next for reading this comment.
    I have been playing music for about 6 years...But never able to read music...Always played by ear...Then joined a few bands...Nobody said anything...But...I want to become a professional musician so I thought "Why not try to learn something if I'm going to take this serious?!"
    So, I pushed myself on doing something I hated the most...Learning with reading/Learning on my own... But I only hate reading because it's usually long, with words I don't know... But you kept everything easy and simple, and I really learned a lot just by reading the posts you have made.
    I hope the stuff you told me would help me in life. I'll try to contact if it did.(Not that you would probably care >.>) 'cause it really helped!
    I can now read music, with out having to look at each note and counting from "Do" and all the way to the note "re, mi, fa"...
  • Edwini am a choral singer for almost 10 years.i have never attended any music course but with the knowledge i gathered i want to start writing my own vocal notes.i can write but i can not arrrange them like the ones arranged by the pros.
  • BrianThankyou, I have been searching searching. This is the most user friendly site I have found. Have only browsed tonight but will come back to you once I have organised my time to follow your lessons.
  • Marthataking music fundimentals been feeling lost from the beginning. just happen to click to your site. it's given me more understanding than the whole weeks I've been in class! thanks!
  • JasmineGreat website.i learned alot from it specially those i still dont get from my previous lessons,,superb!!!
  • ChristineJason, I started my first piano lesson this past Monday. Playing an instrument or reading music for me is like learning a foreign language but at 52 years old, I figured if I was ever going to fulfill my dream of playing the piano I'd better start now. In any case, after my 1st lesson (private) I felt like I had been thrown in the middle of a lesson. I was (still am) totally lost! None of it made sense to me. Teacher gave me simple homework but I couldn't grasp it. I then came upon your site & I'm proud to say that "I get it!" I still have to re-read & re listen but reading music makes much more sense now! You should publish an "e-book" I'd love to have in print everything on your site.
    Thank you so very much for enlightening me! BTW... you need a Facebook fan page!
    Thanks Christine, visit the new ReadSheetMusic Facebook page made just for you!
  • KayleyThankyou for all the valuable informtion! it has helped me alot with reading music. however, none of the chapters mentioned how to read different types of rests. but other than that its a wonderful and helpful website. thanks!
    Thanks Kayley, I'll add that section next! Jason

  • OliverWicked site. Thanks so much dude.
    Oliver Nassar
  • BridgetYou are a good teacher as the information is very easy to understand.
    I am learning to play the accordion and need help with reading the music.
    Thank you.
  • KThank YOU!!! I direct a senior-citizen choir where many do not read. Most don't want to spend time/energy to learn but recently I got a request for beginning tools. Your web site is PERFECT for us!
    Gratefully, K Bryant
  • OrneliaDear Jason, your site is one of the best, because you take the time to really explain how to understand reading music. I am teaching music and I am not a professional, therefore, your help is very appreciated. I teach to socially disvantage children and youth in a Catholic mission in Nicaragua. I hope to send you some money as soon as I can. Thanks and God bless you!!!
    Sister Ornella, vc.
  • MarleneJust a simple thank you.  After years of not being involved, I'd picked up a piece of music and could not read the bass clef notes!  It was shocking.  Now, I'm all set.
    What a marvelous service you provide!
  • RyanI dont actually have a question I just wanted to thank you for you ridiculously easy to read and understand material on the basics of reading music it very much helped me out and i appreciate the work you put into it. thank you,
    Ryan Maulding
  • Frank Jason Silver, thank you for explaining "notes" to me. I have been trying to get my piano teacher to simplify it for me....but. You make it very easy to understand, plus it confirms it to hear it play. Thanks again.
    Frank Conley
  • ShaliniI found the "read music sheets" lesson by Kevin Meixner while searching the net and I thought it was poignant, humorous and very thoughtfully explained. I would like to extend my complements to the writer of this lesson as it really helped me learn a little more than I already know about playing a piano
    Ciao Ciao!
    Shalini Gogia
  • PaulaI like your course, I took the free part and also the subscription part. You are doing a wonderful service. I will be working on the interval portion for a while I'm sure. I'm actually working on learning guitar and was looking for how to count 32nd notes (16's 1 a and a..etc.). Some rhythm that I can remember. I have some knowledge of piano, your information has helped me to understand more about it in a nut shell, rather that having to flip back and forth through lessons books when I need to refresh some information.
  • RoxanneDear Jason.
    My name is Roxanne. I live in Brisbane, Australia. I recently came across your "learn to read music web page", whilst looking for some basic instructions, and i am just so happy i found it!
    They are such great instructions- I dont think you could get any better with out a teacher. So I just wanted to let you know that your work is fabulous, and i thankyou for letting me learn free-of-charge.
    Thanks again!
    Roxanne :)
  • MargotDear Jason,
    My name is Margot and I went to your website because I wanted to see if I could learn anything from it. And I did! On Sunday, I copied and pasted your whole tutorial on rythms in music. I read half of it yesterday and the other half today, and now...I can read rythm! I was just so happy because your tutorial is so easy to unserstand, and I learned it all in 2 days!
    Thank you so much for your website!
  • AdamHello,
    After never taking music at school after grade 8 (when it was compulsory) I have decided to take up piano and read your first for lessons last night and found them excellent. They explained everything that I wanted to know about music that noone could ever explain very well. Your help is much appreciated.
  • AnthonyMany accolades to you, friend, your very helpful guidance in understanding sheet music. I found your tutorial very quick and easy to use. I was able to pick up and play in minutes. Keen work indeed.

    Thank you again,
    Anthony D. Pitts
  • Davidhey hows it goin.
    ive been searching lots of different websites and finding things to help me further understand music. ive played by ear for almost 5 years. and this guy at my church was teaching me music theory and reading music. and he got some things off your website and printed them for me. so i checked out your website. when i signed up, i didnt know i had to pay for anything. The things you do show for free about beginning to read music really helped me. i really know nothing about music, like i said ive just played by ear for a while. im just really hungry to learn more.
  • JeffYour music lesson is very helpful. You should write a book. Thanks.
  • Thanks for your excellent piece on reading music. I'm just trying to get to grips with being part of a church choir and you have really helped me.
    Thanks again.
  • KeithI'm learning how to read music, i've played the drums for years, but i'm taking up guitar/piano and found your website very informative...thanx for the good find.
  • ...All of us "oldsters" can not only read music, but can perform it and write it as well. The kid I'm talking about (my apprentice) is well-trained in music appreciation with a bit of the tricks of the engineering trade thrown in. That's it. No theory. After searching the web, I found your site and it's been indispensable – particularly in isolating the first thing I needed to teach him; how to count beats and measures and realize the difference between time signatures and why you just can't mix a 4/4 with a samba!
  • this is awesome its helping me alot i had forgotten how to count some rythems and things like that over the summer and this totally brought it check in to it if you want to know how to read music or if your just refreshing your memory.
  • KenThanks for your free "How To Read Sheet Music" lessons. They're great!
  • The article on reading music was a tremendous help. It was well written and cleared up a lot of confusion. Thank you so much for providing a quality article on the internet which has become quite unreliable.
  • TammyHey Guys,
    I think this website is great!
    You guys write in a way that is way easier to understand than the piano book that I have.
    Great job!
  • SandyDanI pulled up your free reading music and got to the parts not in red on how to read the notes. I have wanted to read music all my life and have never had the time or teacher to learn it. I so want to learn to play the dulcimer and have found a neighbor willing to teach me but I want to do it right and read sheet music first. I appreciate your easy to understand instructions as far as I have advanced and even have discovered I have quite good rythem. Thank you so much. Please advise ASAP, I'm excited to learn at 50 and surprise even myself.
  • DanI was searching the web looking for diferent sites for reading music when I came across yours. I have already ordered books from Amazon and regret that, this is already helping. I am currently deployed and it take a while for tings to get here. I will be looking and reading through all the great easy to fallow info on your page thank you.
    Don Morgan
  • JimI want to thank you so much for putting your site on line. I am 52 years old and have loved music all my life, problem was i cant read it. This fact and fear of not being able to read has kept me all these years from fully enjoying my potential. Now in only 1hr. i have the fundimentals to actually sit down at my piano and understand what is there for me ,I CAN READ THE MUSIC!!! Thank you so much!!!
    Jim Withrow

Have something to say? Contact me.

Counting Rhythms
Time Signatures
Reading Exercises
Reading Syncopation
Accents and Markings
Basics of Pitches
Flats & Sharps
Key Signatures
Clefs & Staves
DS, DC, & Repeat Signs
How to Transpose Music
The Circle of Fifhs
Reading Exercises- Tips


Music Dictionary


Note Blaster
Piano Key Race
Save the City

Lessons Coming Soon:

Reading Rests
Practicing Effectively