Think of learning how to read music being the same as learning how to read, period. It is a whole lot easier to learn the musical notation than it is to learn how to read. There are not as many notes!
It is also very important for your own independence to learn how to read music, since then you can learn any new songs or new music piece that you want. You are not dependent on somebody else or a teacher at all times.
If you learn the music notation and how to count the rhythm you have a great advantage. You become music “literate”!
Music notes are written on the STAFF, the 5 horizontal parallel lines and the spaces in between.
For piano you have to learn 2 clefs: the G (or treble) clef, usually for the right hand and the F (or bass) clef for the left hand.
F or Bass Clef and G or Treble Clef
The key of G takes the name from the note G on the second line. If you just remember where G is, then you can step up or down from there to find any note on the staff.
The key of F takes the name from the note F on the fourth line. This is the F below the middle C on the piano. If you just remember where this F is on the staff, then you can step up or down from there to find any note in this key.
If takes some practice initially to recognize the notes location, but after a while you can easily spot them instantly.
Here are some tips for learning quickly:
Remember the direction of the notes on the staff:
Going up on the staff (from the first line up towards the 5th line) means going up or to the higher sounding notes.
Going down on the staff is also going down or to the lower sounding notes.
Step and skip relationships:
Sequential notes (one step apart) alternate lines and spaces on the staff. For example if one note is on a line and the next one is on the space immediately above or below, that means they are a step apart. In G Clef the note on the first line is E, the next step UP is F on the first space. The next note down is D on the space below the first line.
Line to line or space to space involve a skip of one note. For example, in G clef, if you see note E on the first line, and then the next one is on the second line, it is G. You skipped F which is on the space in between. The same goes for space to space.