Reading music opens up a whole new world to you. Learning this elegant and precise language gives you access to classical, romantic and modern music. Whether you want to play Beethoven’s Fur Elise or Songs from the latest Broadway Musicals, you can learn to read piano sheet music in just 60 minutes a week.
Music notation, as we know it today, was devised over 1,000 years ago by an Italian monk called Guiddo of Arezzo. He decided to write music on 5 parallel lines called a staff. A clef was placed at the beginning to give the notes a fixed pitch. It was invented specifically for choristers, who otherwise had to commit to memory a vast collection of Gregorian Chants.
Learning to read music is both theoretical and practical. You will progress much faster if you are sat in front of your piano. Study the first bar and then try it out – learn by doing! Look at the rise and fall of the notes on the staff. The shape that you see in the music is the shape that will be reproduced on the piano. Sheet music is totally logical.
Every music symbol has a specific meaning. It is all written in code. Your 60 minutes a week will be spent decoding it! All it takes is 10 minutes a day. Little and often has a powerful effect on your learning. Set yourself a clear goal of what you want to achieve in 10 minutes. Here are some suggestions:
#1 – Look for identical patterns in the music.
#2 – Clap through the rhythm.
#3 – Say the names of the notes in the first 2 bars.
#4 – Which is highest note in the piece?
#5 – Which is the lowest?