ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Piano Lessons For Beginners: Lesson Three

Updated on March 29, 2012
JohnMello profile image

JohnMello is a writer, composer, musician and the author of books for children and adults.

Reading Music

In this lesson you're going to start reading music. First, take a look at the image below. It's a picture of the keyboard showing middle C.

In this lesson we're going to move away from the black keys and start using the white keys. To get ready, you'll need to put both hands in the middle C position, with both thumbs on the key known as middle C.

It might feel strange at first, with two thumbs sharing the same note. Try to relax and don't worry if they're a bit crowded. With a bit of practice they'll sort each other out. Play the notes on each hand in this new position before proceeding to the next step.

Start with either hand and play the notes from your thumb to your little finger, fingers 1 to 5, giving each finger its own unique note to play.

Notes C to G and F to C

Now that you've got your hands in the middle C position, it's time to start playing music. We'll begin with some letter names of notes, just to get your fingers moving, and then we'll move on to notation.

Try to play the following exercise, starting with the right hand and finishing with the left hand. Notice that the finger numbers are written above the notes. If you find it confusing, try reading only the finger numbers to start with.

Musical Symbols

Did you manage it? I'm sure you did. You may have noticed that while the right hand pattern starts with the thumb and ends with the little finger, the left hand moves in the opposite direction. This isn't meant to confuse you -- it's just written that way to make the melody end on C.

We're going to play this melody by reading it from musical notation. Before we do that, though, here is a table of musical symbols for you to have a look at. Read through them carefully until they make sense to you.

Table of Musical Symbols

You might have noticed that the first item in the table is a note you've already played a few times. It's the one-beat note or quarter note. If it's still a bit confusing, don't panic. It'll make more sense when you get to to the next section of the lesson.

Reading Music

Good work! Now let's put everything together in a song using real musical notation.

Below is the musical notation for the song you played earlier in the lesson. That means that you should already be able to play it. This time, though, it's written out properly as a piece of music. See if you can play it without looking back at the earlier version.

Remember to keep your hands in the middle C position, with both thumbs on C. Play the right hand first, and then the left hand.

Real Piano Music!

Well done! Now here's the same piece of music written out in full musical notation for the piano or keyboard.

You'll notice there are two independent parts, one for the right hand and one for the left. We call the lines that music is written on a staff, and each hand gets its own staff. In this example the right hand plays notes on the top staff, written in the treble clef, and the left hand plays notes on the bottom staff, written in the bass clef.

You'll also notice that when the right hand plays on its own, there's nothing written below in the left hand part, and vice versa. The whole thing is like a timeline moving from left to right, and it also tells you exactly when to come in with the left hand. Have a go at playing it from the full notation.

What a Star!

Congratulations! You did it!

Did you notice that some of the finger numbers were missing? By this stage you're getting so good at playing that you only need hints to be able to play.

Reading music isn’t really that difficult when you know what to do, is it? There's a lot to remember, though. Make sure you understand everything before moving on to the next lesson. Don't be afraid to go through earlier lessons if you need to refresh your memory.

See you in Lesson Four! And please vote in my poll if you get a second.

Piano Players' Poll

What have you found hardest about learning the piano?

See results


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Great ! This would be single stop for learners. I appreciate your knowledge sharing thoughts. Keep sending such articles. God bless you.

    • JohnMello profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from England

      Thanks very much yash... glad you found it helpful.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Great ! This would be single stop for learners. I appreciate your knowledge sharing thoughts. Keep sending such articles. God bless you.

    • JohnMello profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from England

      You're welcome emilio rodriguez. Hope you enjoyed it!

    • profile image

      emilio rodriguez 

      6 years ago

      i like this music lessons areeasy to learn thank you so much

    • JohnMello profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from England

      You're welcome, allsynergy. Glad you liked it...

    • allsynergy profile image


      7 years ago from Finland

      Very nice Hub! Thanks.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)