How to Read Music

Learn to read music and master a new, expressive language that instantly connects you to all your favorite tunes.

1 Hour
7 Sections

Ever wonder what those lines and dots on a page of sheet music mean? We can help you figure it all out with our intro course on how to read music. Get ready to dive into the world of quarter notes, clefs, slurs, ties, and so much more. 

In this free course, we'll talk about notes and note values, staffs, time signatures, common symbols, and many other elements of written music. Practice reading pitch and rhythm, and learn how to use counting and clapping to keep you on track.

Having the ability to read music is liberating. It allows you to become a better songwriter and a more skilled musician overall. Playing music by ear is an important skill to have, but when you expand your horizons by gaining the ability to read music, new and diverse musical opportunities open up.

Start learning how to read music today with this easy-to-follow course and open yourself up to a whole new side of music. Let’s translate those little black dots into beautiful music!

Ian Temple

Pianist, Composer, Entrepreneur

Ian is a pianist, entrepreneur, and professional musician. He started Soundfly to help people really find what gets them most excited musically and pursue it. He's toured all over the world with his experimental trio Sontag Shogun. Check out his most recent course, Building Blocks of Piano, or follow him on Twitter at @ianrtemple.

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Course Outline

  1. Section 1


  2. Section 2

    Reading Pitch

  3. Section 3

    Reading Rhythm

  4. Section 4

    Counting and Clapping

  5. Section 5

    Dots and Ties

  6. Section 6


  7. Section 7



Who is this course for? 

Anyone who wants to read music! No prior knowledge needed. Great for those just starting out in music, or experienced musicians who want a refresher on the basics.

What are the requirements?

Zip. Nada. Nothing.

How long does it take?

A little under an hour. You can take this course during your lunch break.

What can I expect to get from this course?

You will learn the basics of how to read music to get you started on your musical journey.