Build Piano Skills: Music Notation & Sight Reading | Elijah Fox-Peck | Skillshare

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Build Piano Skills: Music Notation & Sight Reading

teacher avatar Elijah Fox-Peck, Pianist, Songwriter, Producer

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Getting Started


    • 3.

      Learning Treble Clef


    • 4.

      Learning Bass Clef


    • 5.

      Rhythmic Notation


    • 6.

      Lead-Sheet Notation


    • 7.

      Practice with Elijah


    • 8.

      Music Notation


    • 9.

      Scoring Practice


    • 10.

      Final Thoughts


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About This Class

Elevate your musical understanding and unleash your inner composer! 

Multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and composer Elijah Fox fell in love with piano when he was a child. Now a successful professional musician with more than eighteen years of experience, he’s here to show you how to do the same! In his previous classes, Elijah covered the basic building blocks of piano playing. Now it’s time to level up with a new understanding of the music you’re playing. In this intermediate class, Elijah will take you on a deep dive into music notation and sight reading, preparing you for the next step in your journey: composition.  

Elijah’s hands-on lessons will cover:

  • How to read treble and bass clef with the fluidity of a pro
  • The basics of composing music, and how to notate it 
  • How learning to sight-read can instantly improve your piano playing 

Plus, Elijah shares how he found freedom in sight-reading, and how learning the structure and rules helped him become an incredible improviser. If you’ve always dreamed of playing the tunes in your head, this class will guide your first step into the world of composition!

This class is geared at intermediate-beginner pianists, who are practiced in core concepts like chord progressions, scales, and arpeggios. If you need to revisit those skills, check out his first two classes. Since learning music takes time, this class is designed to complement your own self-guided practice or lessons. All you’ll need is a keyboard or piano (ideally one with a sustain pedal).

Ready to learn more? This is the third class in Elijah’s five-part Complete Piano Learning Path. To continue building your skills in the next class, click here.

Meet Your Teacher

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Elijah Fox-Peck

Pianist, Songwriter, Producer


Elijah Fox-Peck is a multi-instrumentalist, producer, and singer who grew up in Durham, NC and graduated with a bachelors degree from Oberlin Conservatory in 2017 where he majored in jazz studies with a focus in piano performance.

Elijah began playing piano at age 9 and by 13, was touring with the NCCU Jazz Ensemble as a guest soloist and recording professionally with top jazz musicians in the area. He was nominated the North Carolina All-State jazz pianist his freshman through senior years of high school and at age 15 received a full scholarship to the Berklee School of Music 5-week summer program. He has been teaching for 8 years and is currently teaching of studio of 21 students through Keys to Success in Brooklyn Heights, ranked one of the 15 best music schools in NYC.  ... See full profile

Level: Intermediate

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1. Introduction: Believe it or not, writing your own music can be much easier than you think. I'm Alicia Fox, pianist, producer and songwriter. And I've been playing piano for 18 years. During which time I've had the opportunity to perform around the world and record with artists such as BJ, the Chicago kids, Thomas, and roadways. What excites me about playing piano and composing is the opportunity to come up with new sounds that other people might resonate with, but feel they could have put it into words. In this class, we're gonna be looking at the fundamentals of music notation in sight reading and learning how to read treble and bass clef, as well as rhythmic notation. We'll also be using a software called MuseScore to learn how to score our original works. For this class, you'll need a piano or a keyboard and ideally a sustained pedal if you're excited to learn how to sight read your favorite songs, as well as notate your original works to this class will give you the fundamentals of music notation in sight reading. Join me as we dive into the essentials of music notation and cellular eating. 2. Getting Started: Welcome to the music notation in sight reading class. In English, we can only express so much, but music is a universal language. And one of the things that inspires me so much about writing music is the opportunity to come up with sounds that might resonate with people, but they felt that they couldn't quite put into words. This class will provide you with the fundamentals of reading and writing music. And we're going to start with learning the treble and bass clef and then move on to look at rhythmic notation. You may be drawn to scoring your own compositions for others to read. Or you may be more inclined to read works that have already been written and play them on the piano. Whether you want to score your own music or read music that's already been written, this class will be a great resource for you. It's important to remember that reading music is similar to reading a language, and that there's a bit of a steep learning curve. But once you learn the essentials, you'll be able to read thousands of works and open up an entire catalog of music. For this class, you'll need to access MuseScore, a free software available in the class resources. Let's jump in. 3. Learning Treble Clef: In this lesson, we're gonna be looking at treble clef. Treble clef refers to all of the notes above middle C, and it's typically played with our right hand on the piano. The treble clef is a symbol which is placed on the stave or the five lines of music notation. All of the notes above middle C on the piano, or correspond to different spots, either on the lines or spaces of the treble clef as a starting spot. Let's look at middle C. Middle C would be notated right in the middle of the clef with one line through it. All of the notes above middle C will appear higher on the stave than this point. Next, let's jump into looking at the names of all the notes on the lines of the treble clef, starting from the lowest line up to the fifth line, we will start with the notes E, G, B, D, and F. Once again, from the lowest line, we would have e followed by G, followed by B, followed by D, followed by F. You'll notice that all of these are skipping one node. Those are the notes that are notated in the spaces of the treble clef. Now let's take a look at the notes in the spaces of the treble clef. As we look at these, we'll see there's four unique spaces on the treble clef. These notes, we'll start with F, a, C, and E, which is easy to remember as it spells the word face. Once again, all of the notes from the spaces of the treble clef would be F, a, C, and E. Using this method of knowing the names of the notes from the lines and the spaces. We can then find all of the notes from middle C upwards. The OneNote I haven't mentioned yet is d above middle C, which would be notated right under the lowest line on the stave. Knowing this, we can now look at our first example and try reading. A good way to remember the notes on the lines is to use an acronym. So since we've got the notes E, G, B, D, F, we can come up with an acronym. Every good boy does fine to help us remember what the notes are, let's dive into our first example. As I see this example, I'm looking at the first note, which is notated with one line through it in the middle of the staff. So I know this is middle C, followed by the next note, which is on the lowest line. So I'll remember, every good boy does fine. So this must be E. The next note is on the second line. So this would be the second note of every good boy does fine. So this would be G, then followed by the lowest space which would be faced. I remember. So this would be F. Then I have D, which is two notes down from that, followed by E, Again, the lowest note on the line, followed by G again, the second note of the line, and finally returning home to middle C. So all in all this passage would look like this. Now, let's take a look at our next example. For this one, we would also start with middle C, denoted with one line through the middle, followed by d, which is one space higher than that, then we would go to E because that's the lowest line, followed by G, which is on the second line. Then we will have F because this is on the lowest space, followed by a from the second space. Then we return back to E and then finally C. So once again, the second melody would be like such. As we get more familiar with reading notes on the treble clef, you'll start to know that as you notice a note, it'll become second nature. And as soon as you see a note, you can instantly play the key. It's important to remember that daily sight reading practice is important and shorter stents have even five to 10 min will yield great results when reading chords in treble clef, the notes will all be notated in one horizontal line. So a C major chord would appear like this. On the treble clef staff. We would see we have C. Then we have E on the bottom line, followed by G on the second line. Now that we've looked at the fundamentals of treble clef, I've got two examples for you to read in the class resources. With these two examples, it's important to start slowly and you can write in the notes if that's helpful for you. And you can reference the guide that we used in the previous example. It's important to remember that with sight reading, daily practices best. And as you start to familiarize yourself with this world of music notation, it's important to be patient. Progress is made one step at a time. In our next lesson, we'll be looking at the bass clef, which is all the notes below middle C, which is typically played with our left hand. Don't get left behind. I'll see you there. 4. Learning Bass Clef: In the last lesson, we looked at treble clef, which has all of the notes above middle C, which are typically played with our right hand in this lesson. Similarly, we'll be looking at bass clef, which has refers to all the notes below middle C, which are typically played with our left hand. To start, we'll identify the bass clef notation, which can be placed on the staff. To begin, let's identify middle C, which appears the same as it would in treble clef, in the middle of the staff with one line through it. All of the notes below this on the staff will also be lower than middle C on the piano. Let's identify the names of the notes on the lines of the bass clef. Starting with these, we would have the note names G, B, D, F and a. A good acronym for this would be great big dogs fight animals. Let's demonstrate where these notes are on the piano. The lowest line would refer to g. Then we would have b, followed by D, followed by F, and then followed by a. These are the notes on the lines of the bass clef. Now let's turn to looking at the notes on the spaces of the bass clef. The notes on the spaces of bass clef would be a, C, E, and G. A good acronym for this is all cows eat grass. These notes would be found here. We'd have a on the lowest space, followed by C on the next space, followed by E, and a G on the highest space. Now that we've identified all of the notes on the lines and spaces of the bass clef. Let's jump into a couple of examples of reading bass clef notation. The first note for this I can see is middle C because it's above the staff and has one line through it. So a play C. Then the next note is on the top space. So I would count back with all cows eat grass, this must be G, followed by one space below that, which would be all cows eat. So this would be E, followed by one space below that, which would be all cows. So this would be C. Then I would have the note on the third line. So this would be G, B, D. So this would be d, followed by the next line, which would be F, followed by a, then followed by the top space. Again, all cows eat grass. So this would be G. One step down, this would be, one more step down would be E. One more step down would be d. And then the second space, which would be all cows. So this would end with c. So once again, this phrase would be, see, she E C, D, F, a, G, F E, D, C. Let's take a look at one more example to get a little bit more comfortable with reading bass clef notation. In this example, we can see that we're also starting with middle C, followed by the top line, which would be G, B, D, F. So this will be a. And now we can see the step-wise motion as we move down one note at a time following the GI. As we continue down one step to E, then backups to add up one to G again. Now this node here is on the third line from the bottom, so that would be GBD. So this is D. And then the second space from the bottom, all cows, so this is C, followed by the third space, which is E, fourth space which is g. And then finally back to middle C. So once again, this phrase would go like this. Now that we've familiarized ourselves with bass clef notation, I've attached two examples in the class resources that you can try out. In the next lesson, we're going to look at the fundamentals of reading rhythmic notation and understand some key terms, such as time signature, rests, and how long to hold certain notes for. In the meantime, keep practicing your treble and bass clefs skills. And we'll continue growing together. 5. Rhythmic Notation: Now that we've understood the fundamentals of reading bass and treble clef, Let's look at rhythmic notation. To start, it's important to define a measure or bar, which is thought of as a single unit of time and is noted with lines on either side. When reading rhythms, we often have a time signature, which refers to how many beats will have in each bar. The most common time signature in Western music is 44, which means there's four beats or four quarter notes, which I'll explain later in each bar. Now let's jump into looking at some of the fundamental note values that will help us when reading rhythm. First, we'll start by looking at the notes themselves. The first unit of time is a quarter note, which has played for one beat. Following the quarter note, we have a half-note which gets two beats. A dotted half-note, which looks just like a half-note, but has a dot after it and receives three beats, a whole note, which would get four beats, and an eighth note, which will get half of a beat following this, there's also 16th notes of which four would fit in the same space as a quarter note or two would fit in the same space as an eighth note. When reading music, all of the notes on the staff will correspond with a rhythmic unit denoting for how long you should hold that note for. We're going to look at some examples later. But first I'd like to introduce the concept of arrests. Rests are systems of musical notation that correspond with the same values as the notes. We have a quarter rest, which means you would not play for one beat, a half rest, which means you would not play for two beats. A whole rest, which means you would not play for four beats. Or an eighth rest, which means you would not play for half of one quarter note. When reading rhythmic notation, we can start by clapping or playing a simple phrase. I've got a couple of examples. So let's jump. In. The first example, we can see has 4 bar or four measures denoted with the lines in between the spacings. In the first measure, we've got a quarter note, followed by two eighth notes, and then followed by two quarter notes. If this was my pulse, this first measure would be clapped as such. One. So each bead is right here and we've got 112-11-1212, 121-12-3112. Rest one. Once again, I'll try that once more. The third measure is probably the trickiest. As you see, we have a dotted half-note which gets three beats. I'll start again from the beginning, clapping and counting. So we've got 112-11-1212, 121-12-3112. Rest one. Let's go to the next example which will be slightly more challenging and will involve more arrests. So we'll start with one Rest, 112-12-1112 rest 1111234. There's a lot of other great resources out there for continuing to develop your rhythmic notation reading skills. And I encourage you to check them out. Now that we've understood the fundamentals of reading bass and treble clef notation, as well as rhythmic notation. Let's look at one example that ties it all together. This example is in treble clef and deals with quarter notes, eighth notes, and half notes. As we can see, we're starting on middle C, followed by the lowest line, which would be E, from every good boy does fine. Then the second line, which would be G, followed by F, a g, and then E, F, D first, let's clap this rhythm before we try playing it. So I'll count us off with four beats, 1234. Here we go. Now I'm going to try playing it starting on c123 for. So as you can see, we're combining both the treble clef and the rhythmic notation. And let's look at one more example to help cement in these concepts. In the second example, we're going to start with for eighth notes, followed by two quarter notes. And then two half notes will be starting on the lowest line and treble clef, which we know is E, followed by G, B, C from the third space. And then going back to F, G, E, followed by dy, I'll kinda four beats and then we'll start 1234. There we go. So this example dealt with both treble clef and rhythmic notation in the class resources, I've supplied another example that deals with bass clef and rhythmic notation. And I encourage you to try this out. Now that we've looked at treble clef, bass clef, and the fundamentals of rhythmic notation. It's time to look at lead sheet notation, which is the common way that people will score songs with chord charts and melodies played with treble clef. I'll lead the way in hope to see you there. 6. Lead-Sheet Notation: In this lesson, we're gonna be looking at reading lead sheet notation. Lead sheet notation refers to a type of notation in which the chord symbols are printed and the melody is written in treble clef. This type of notation is really fun to read because it gives you flexibility to adapt the chord symbols into your own accompaniment pattern. Or voicing. Voicing is a term which refers to the way in which you choose to play a chord. And it could be an inversion or another assortment of the notes from that chord. When I was learning piano, I fell in love with reading lead sheet notation because with only a couple of chords, you can already play tons of songs. And if you get better at reading your right hand in treble clef, it opens up tons of possibilities of sight reading without having to read all of the individual notes of traditional Western classical notation. So for lead sheet notation, the first place to start is understanding how the different chords that we've learned, the seventh chords and the additional chords will be notated in this format. To start out, let me go over a couple of the types of chords and how there'll be notated. A major seventh chord, like a C major seventh, will often be notated by saying C major MJ seventh, or occasionally say, see triangle seventh, minor seventh, like a C minor seventh, would be written in say C minus seven, or occasionally written, say see MIN seventh, a dominant seventh chord, which once again is a major triad with a minor seventh on top, would just be simply notated C7 with nothing else. The other types of chords we mentioned, I'll now discuss for a diminished seventh, this will be written and just say C, D, I am seventh. The minor seven flat five chord would be written in C minor seven or minus seven, and then flat five. And remember flat is a lowercase b. The SUS scores we talked about will be written in say, CSS2 or c sus4. Many great American song book classics and other popular jazz and pop songs are written in lead sheet notation and are available online or in books such as The Real Book. These songs only use treble clef to display the melody and then the chord symbols are printed above, giving you the flexibility to interpret the cord as you like. Now I'd like to look at an example that's written in lead sheet notation and dive into exploring how it works. So as you can see in this example, we've got a melody which is written in treble clef, and then chord symbols which are displayed above the melody. Let's start by tackling the melody. Since it's just treble clef, all of the notes will be above middle C on the piano, we're starting with a half-note, which gets two beats and is located on the bottom line. So this would be E. We'll start with E, followed by G, followed by the third line, which should be B. Then we would go up to C. Because remember face F-A-C-E. So if that's the third space, It's going to be c. Then we would go down to G on the second line, followed by F, followed by e, followed by D, followed by E for four beats. So now I'll play that melody with the correct rhythm, 1234. Now that we've got the melody, which is often a good place to start when reading lead sheet notation. Let's move on to the chord symbols which are displayed above the melody. All of these chord symbols are going to be in C major, since that's the key we're working in. And all of these are seventh chords as well. You can find all of these chords in the C major CTL scale. So to start out, we'll be playing these chords with our left hand so that our right hand can tackle the melody. The first chord we have is C major seventh, which will remember is C, E, G, and B on the piano. This is followed by a minor seventh, which is a, C, E, and G on the piano. This in turn is followed by D minor seventh, which is D, F, a, and C. And then we've got G dominant seventh, which is G, B, D, and F, before returning home to C major seventh. So now I'll try these chords once more, 1234. Now the next step for lead sheet notation, and this can take awhile to work up to you to play the melody while you're playing the courts. For this, I'll demonstrate slowly with both hands together. 1234. Then I ended with a short arpeggio. So the amazing part about lead sheet notation is it allows you to interpret the chord in your own way. In the previous class, we looked at a lot of ways to take a chord progression and bring it to life in lead sheet notation, you can also interpret the chord progression and apply the accompaniment patterns. Or inversions when practicing it. Now I'm going to take the same phrase, but instead, my left hand is going to play arpeggios of the courts. In my right hand will play the melody and octaves. So that's one approach I could take when playing it. Now I'm going to do a left-hand pattern where I go, 1753. So first I'll just try that pattern over all of the chords. Now let's try combining that with the melody in octaves. I ended with an arpeggio. So lead sheet notation gives you the flexibility to interpret the chord progression in your own way. And in following classes will look at even more ways to develop these. Now let's take one more example to help get a little bit more familiar with reading lead sheet notation. In this example, let's start again with the melody, in which case we'll start on the third line. So if we remember E, G, B, D, F, This would be b. So we'll start with b, followed by c, followed by a, then B. Then we go up to the fourth line, which would be D. Hold this for four beats. And then we'd have e for four beats. Then we'd have our repetition of the first measure, which would be b, c, a, b, and then G for four beats, and then f for four beats. So once again, that melody is 1234. There we go. So now let's look at the chord symbols for these. It appears that they're all minor seventh chords. And they also come from the key of C major or the relative key of a minor. To refresh that once more, you can take any major key and go down three half steps to find the relative minor, which shares the same notes for this corresponding scales. For this segment, we're going to start out with a minor seventh, which is a, C, E, and G, followed by E minor seventh, E, G, B, and D. And then followed by D minor seven, which is D, F, a, and C. Let's try those chords once more. We've got a minor seventh, then E minor seven, followed by D minor seven. Now I'm going to attempt to play the melody as I play the chords. And it's important to practice slowly and know that if at first you can't play both hands together, that's totally natural and to keep working both hands so that it's eventually one becomes second nature and you can focus on the other one. It's a similar concept to walking and talking. We don't have to think about walking because it's so natural to us and we've done it over the years that we can talk freely if we can get our left hand to a place where it feels so comfortable, we can focus our attention on our right hand. So you want to get very comfortable with playing these chords in recognizing the shapes so that you have greater mobility and can move your right hand at ease. Now I'll attempt to play the parts together. So for that example, I was just playing the chords in root position. Now I'm going to play that same segment, but my left hand is going to play arpeggios. In my right hand is going to play the melody in octaves. And I'll end with an arpeggio. So with lead sheet notation, there's endless ways to interpret the chord progressions while still playing the melody. When we get into improvisation in following classes, you'll take the chord progression and use that as a foundation for improvising with a corresponding scale while still playing the same courts in the class resources, I've attached another example of lead sheet notation you can find and try out. I encourage you to try out some of your favorite songs which may be written using lead sheet notation and are available online. Lead sheet notation is a great tool because it provides you with the flexibility to develop your own accompaniment pattern while still staying true to the chord progression and the original melody. In the next lesson, we're gonna be looking at one of my original songs and how I took some of the techniques we've talked about in this class and used it to develop my composition. I'll see you there. 7. Practice with Elijah: Welcome back. In this lesson, I'm gonna be showing you one of my original songs, Marcy, and you'll be able to sight read the song and I'll explain how I developed some of the concepts behind it. I first wrote this song after visiting the South of France in 2017. And it's a simple song that only uses three chords, but develops them over time and uses inversions and arpeggios to create a full arrangement out of a simple three chord concept. The song takes three simple chords and expands them with inversions to create a chordal melody on the chorus. Let's look at the first part of the cords that are played on the verse. Once again, our left hand, just playing three notes, F, E, and D. Throughout the entire song. The right hand is going to start with a three note chord, C, E, and a. So then I'll move down to b, d, and g, followed by this cluster chord, which is a, B, C-sharp, and F-sharp. So with the right hand, it looks like this. And I'm playing it with my thumb, second finger, third finger, and fifth finger. So once again, the courts have diverse our CE and a, b, d and g. And then a, B, C-sharp and F-sharp. So I'll play those ones again. Moving down, moving down once more. We repeat those courts four times. After you've got comfortable with diverse section, we can move on to the chorus in which I took the inversions of the chord and move them across to create a chordal melody. Let's look at those first cords in which I take the shape of the a minor seventh, which can be applied over the F major seventh. The notes of which are a, C, E, and G. So I start with the inversion of that, that has G, a, C, and E. And I'll move it down like this. So I'm always, constantly shifting the top note down an octave. So the first court I've got is GAAC an E, followed by E, G, a, and C followed by C, E, G. And so this looks like this. Then when we move to the next chord, the E minor seven, we've got D, E, G and B be followed by b, d, e, g, and then followed by G, B, D, and E. So this looks like this. And then for the next chord, we move to the D major seventh. We've got C-sharp, E, F sharp, and a. And we move these around like this. So altogether it'd be. So you can see for the chorus, I've taken these three simple chords, but stretch them into a more complex arrangement by using their inversions. Even though it's the same chord progression throughout the song, there's a feeling of momentum at the chorus because it's expanded with these inversions, the left-hand stays constant the entire time. So it's important to practice the right-hand slowly by itself before putting both hands together. Let's look at that phrase one more time with the inversions. We start with the notes G, a, C, and E, and then move down to Egypt, a and C before playing C, E, G, and a. And then moving back to E, G, a, and C. And then for the E minor seventh, we've got D, E, G, and B. Then you move down to 3D EEG. Let me move down to G, B, D, and E. When you move back up. And then we go to the D major seventh, which is a, C-sharp, E and F sharp. And then we go up here to F-sharp, C-sharp, E, followed by F-sharp, C-sharp, and then up to a F sharp, a C sharp, D, and then up to the top. The same thing in octave higher, C-sharp, E F sharp, a, a C-sharp, E, F sharp, F sharp, a C-sharp E, and then F sharp, a C sharp. So it's a lot of notes, but altogether it's with the attached PDF. You can try playing along to the song. It's important to take both hands separately at first, in practice them slowly. You can see how with my composition, I took a simple three chord progression, but developed it into the chorus section to have a CTO melody that I came up with by using the inversions of the three chords used. In the next lesson, we're gonna be using the music notation software MuseScore to find out how you can score your own compositions. I use this software when I scored my song, Marcy, and I'm excited to show you how you can get the fundamentals to writing your own compositions for others to play. 8. Music Notation: In this lesson, we're gonna be looking at applying some of the concepts we learned earlier in this class about Treble, bass clef and rhythmic notation in learning how to score our own compositions using the free software MuseScore, which is available in the class resources. Musescore is a software that you can use online or you can download the app and you can save your own compositions and it's totally free. Alright, let's jump in. When you first pull up the new score, it'll give you the option to choose instruments. For this. I'm going to click on the grand staff. So I'll have a treble clef and the bass clef, which is great for reading piano music. I'm going to click Done. Here. My new score will appear. We're in 44 time and I've got my treble and bass clef. So when we want to input notes, we're going to go over to the left side of the screen and click on this n, which will allow us to enter notes. Up here, we can see the different rhythmic notations for notes. We've got a quarter note, eighth note, 16th note, half-note in whole notes. And over here we've got sharps, natural signs, and flats. So let's start inputting some notes. I'm going to start with a quarter note in input, a C major chord. So I'm going to click where C would be on the treble clef. And you'll hear, it'll make the sound of C. Then also click ie G to create that first chord there. After C, let's move up to a D minor chord. So I'll type in D, F, and a. Now let's get our root notes in with our left hand. So I'm going to go down to the bass clef and I'm going to put in a C. A C was on the second space, followed by the d, which is on the third line. Now that we've got this started, let me explain a couple other things. If we want to put an a sharp for say, a D major chord, I would type in a D, and then we want F-sharp. I'll click on this sharp, which is also the hashtag sign. And then type in an F-sharp followed by an a. If, after using a sharp, you want to go back to the natural f, we would use a natural sign. So I would do D, followed by the natural sign for F. And then a. Anytime you want to hear how your song as sounding so far, you can click play up here at the top and it will play through the song. Let's listen to what I've got so far. It's not gonna be very impressive. There we go. So let's talk about if we want to add chord symbols and create a lead sheet notation form. So for this, I'm gonna do a new score. I'm going to go up to the top and I'll do new for this one. I'll do lead sheet example, lead sheet notation, example, type in my name, and then continue. So for this, I'm just gonna do treble clef. Now click the N again to input notes. Let's start out with a basic melody. You can also use the arrow keys to move the notes up or down. I'll type in a basic melody. And then when I want to insert my chord symbols, I'm gonna go over to text and put it in staff texts. Pull this up here, click on it twice. I accidentally added it twice, so I'll delete one of these. Then I'm going to click here. And I'm going to type in my first chord symbol, which would be C major seven. Then I can move this over here and continue the chords along with the lead sheet notation. If we want to add in any key signatures or time signatures, we can do those over here with the pallets on the left. So if I wanted to change this to 34, meaning there'll be three beats in a measure. I would drag this here, and instead, it'll change the format to 34. I could also do 68 or any of these other time signatures. We can also change the key signatures. If you remember back to the previous lesson with the circle of fifths, if we were writing a song and another key, we can know how many sharps We're gonna do and dragging these key signatures. So now I've got E major in 334 time. You can see that all the scores you have are saved up here at the top, and you can segue between them. Anytime you've finished a score, you can go file and you can export as a PDF, PDF file here. Or you could export it as an MP3 audio file if you wanted people to be able to listen to your score. The PDFs can be very helpful as you could compose a song and send it to your friend who also plays piano and they could attempt to play it. Musescore also has a lot of online community forums where you can share songs and find other compositions that other people have written. Anytime we want to insert a rest, we would go here to the rest markers and go to the corresponding note lengths. And then that'll change the rest so that we can notate those as such. There's also articulations you can use, which we haven't discussed much yet. These determine how long the note is held for in different ways that the note can be articulated if you're adding in other instruments, such as violin is also an option as well. Here we have dynamics, which I'll touch on now. Dynamics and music refers to how loud or soft or the touch in which the line is played. So we've got pianissimo, which is right here. There's two p's, that's the softest dynamic marking, followed by piano, which is a bit louder, mezzo piano. Mezzo-forte, which is medium loud, forte, fortissimo, which is the loudest. We can control the dynamic markings on the song by dragging these in to allow the person playing the song to have an understanding of how the song should be demonstrated. So now I'd like you to get familiar with using the software and you can download it or use the online version. In the next lesson, I'm going to be composing a short original song and scoring it on MuseScore. I hope you'll join me there. 9. Scoring Practice: Welcome back. In this lesson, I'm going to be writing an original composition using some of the techniques we've been working on. And then I'm going to be scoring it in MuseScore to help bring the idea to life so that others could then read the work and play it themselves. First, I'm going to come up with an idea like on piano, and then I'm going to translate it into MuseScore. I'm going to start in the key of C major in 44 time. So everything unmute scores already set. I'm going to start out with some arpeggios for maybe two different chords. I'm going to start with a, a minor ninth chord, and I'm going to move to a D minor nine. Let's start out with that simple phrase. So with my right hand, I'm playing B, VCB, and those are all eighth notes. So I'm gonna go into the Note Input in MuseScore, click on the eighth note, and then start with the B below middle C, which has done that ledger line. Then I'm going to go to C, E, B. Then I'm going to play that again, typing the same phrase. And then a shortcut. You can use this, you can copy and paste on MuseScore. So I'm going to take this same phrase, Command C and then copy it here. Now for the D minor seventh, I did. I did E, F, E. So I'm gonna go back to the Note Input and type that in. I had e a e, and then I went down to E, F a, D. And then I'm going to do E, F a, C, followed by EF a, b. So now I've got my basic right-hand part, which is, then I'll repeat that again. So I'm gonna copy and paste everything I've got so far the first 4 bar. Turn this into an eight bar phrase. Now let's add in the left-hand. So I'm going to go down to the bass clef in my left hand was playing. So my left hand is on half notes, which gets two beats. So I'm gonna go to the n Note Input and go start with this a. Then I went up to E. So E is going to be on the third space. So a EEG. So I did go back to E after that. Now I'm going to move to D added. So we've got D, which is on the third line, if you remember, GBD FA, that'll be right there. And then I'm going to move up to a here. Then I'm going go to C. I'm going to go down to B because that mimics the note. Then my right hand was playing, I had this movement. Then I'll go back down to a. So now I'm going to copy and paste the left-hand pattern for those 4 bar, meaning that my first 4 bar basically repeats. So now that we've got the first 8 bar, let's listen to how this sounds. Alright, nothing crazy, but we can tell that it is accurate to what I was playing. So now let's come up with another section after those first 8 bar. Instead of using an arpeggio here, Let's use another technique that we worked on. Let's use some inversions. I'm going to play a health court after. I'm going to go to a C major seven with my right hand. I'm gonna go back to the Note Input, type that in. So that's C, E, G, and B. And then I'm going to do in arpeggio. So, sorry, I'm going to use an inversion, which would be, so I'll move up to the second chord, which is G, B, C, and E. And then I'll move down to E, G, B, and C. Then I'll go down to the original first root position of that. I've got. Then I moved down to this be the inversion starting on B. So I've got, so I'll go up to this chord next, which has the C on top. They don't move down to that same inversion with B. So we've got then will go down the lower version of that same chord. And now we're going to switch back to the D minor seventh or D minor ninth. So we've got, then I'll do, I'm going to hold this chord here. So I'm gonna do a whole note on C, E, F, and a. So I've got, and then I'm going to do some thirds. So I'll use these thirds to do e and g. I actually want those to be eighth notes, so I'm gonna go back and type those up as eight nodes, E and G. And then I'll go to F and a. Now I'm going to write in this E and G to finish the phrase. And then I'm going to want to keep that original chord continued through the next line. So let's go down here and type back in that corner. I'll do a whole note. For this voicing. I've got C, E, F, and a. And now let's add in the baseline for this section, I'm just going to do whole notes, so a and D, and then D. And now what I'm gonna do is copy and paste these 4 bar again, so that I end up with 16 bar of an original song. This is a two chord composition. And I brought it to life by using an arpeggio and then using some inversions. So taking a simple concepts and expanding upon it, Let's listen to what we've got so far. Now go back to the beginning. If I wanted, I can move that F minor back to D. And so on. That part I had notated yet, that was just an improvisation, but this is all an example of how you can take a simple idea and then bring it to life. And now I can export this. I could go file export as PDF and share it with friends or other pianists who could then play it and adapt their own version of it. Now, I'd like for you to try scoring your own composition using MuseScore and using some of the techniques we've learned so far in the class, you can upload your composition to the project gallery In others can share in try performing your piece. I look forward to hearing what you create. 10. Final Thoughts: Congratulations, you've made it to the end of the music notation in sight reading class. We started by learning the foundation of treble and bass clef and how to identify all of the notes as they appear on the staff. Before moving on to learn rhythmic notation and the durations of quarter notes, eighth notes, half notes, dotted half notes, and whole notes, as well as 16th notes in all of the corresponding rests, we add a couple of examples where we could try and keep improving as sight reading is an ongoing process, as is reading any language or learning a new language. The system might seem overwhelming at first, but it's very important to put in daily practice. So you become more familiar with this new system of notation and music scoring. We learned how to use MuseScore in online music notation software to score our original music and share it with the world so others can play our songs. I look forward to hearing your original compositions in diving into more compositional elements and the foundations of improvisation in the next class. See you there.