• This entry level music course for piano beginners will teach you to navigate the keyboard and read and write notes. It will also help you develop an in-depth understanding of the piano music theory basics and enable to work your way through any beginner score with confidence! The course offers an engaging and hyper-interactive learning experience with a guided hands-on approach in its core. 


    The content of the course is written by the professional music teacher specialising in online and in-person tuition.

    The Essentials of Music Theory for Piano Beginners

    • This course is perfect for self-teaching adult beginners.

      You can use this course independently for self-teaching, or in conjunction with you regular piano lessons. You will work through guided lessons, questions, and engaging fun activities at your own pace.  

      Upon completion of this course, you can expect to be fully literate within ABRSM and Trinity Grade 1 level and confidently navigate around the piano keyboard. 

    /1 year access


    Really useful for beginners such as myself. interactive and supplements practical application. Easy to follow and breaks concepts down into consumable chunks.

    Apr 29, 2021


    This course is excellent for beginners starting out on the Piano/Keyboard. It is very informative and helps you understand how music is written and then how to interpret that into your piano playing. I have learnt new things that makes it easier to continue my progress so would highly recommend. Exercises at the end of each course is brilliant as it helps to test your knowledge

     Apr 13, 2021


    Fantastic course for anyone who is wanting to learn music theory . Ottantotto Piano School have thought of everything with this course. Great price too!

    Mar 18, 2021


    Module 1 (pre-beginner)
    3 Compulsory Elements of Written Music

    •  Lesson 1: What is the pitch of a sound, and how is it shown in written music?

    • Lesson 2: What is the range of sound? Which characteristics of musical instruments have an impact on their range?

    • Lesson 3: What is a stave? The construction of a stave and its purpose. Single and double stave. Discover how the pitch of a sound changes as the note progresses up and down the stave. Which orchestral instruments use single stave and which use double?

    • Lesson 4: What is the clef? Clef vs register. Learn about the evolution of the musical clef, from medieval to modern-day. Learn about different clefs, including those that are no longer in use. Understand which hand, and part of the keyboard, the music is written for. 

    Module 2 (beginner)
    About Music Notes

    • Lesson 5: General facts about written notes.

    • Lesson 6: Alphabetical progression of the keys on the piano keyboard. What is an octave? The names of the 7 octaves on the piano keyboard.

    • Lesson 7: The position of individual keys on the piano keyboard and the double stave. (Navigate around using an interactive keyboard, listen to the sound of each key and see its position on the double stave).

    • Lesson 8: Learn about accidentals (sharps and flats).

    • Lesson 9: Ottava and Ottava Bassa. Learn how to read and write notes that fall beyond the stave.

    Module 3 (intermediate beginner)
    The Rhythm in Written Music

    • Lesson 10: How the music note is constructed (how the shape of the different elements of a note influences its duration).

    • Lesson 11: Note values.

    • Lesson 12: Rests and their rhythmical values. Learn how the shape of rest influences its duration. Learn how rhythmical values of rests correlate to the note values.

    • Lesson 13: Dotted and tied notes. Learn how to extend any note value with a dot or tie.

    • Lessons 14: Bar-lines and bars. Learn why there are bars in music and what bar lines do.

    • Lesson 15-16: Time signatures (including simple and compound time). 3 shapes of the time signature (duple, triple and quadruple). Learn how to read a time signature, what it does and how to identify any time signature as simple or compound time.

    • Lesson 17: Duple, triple and quadruple meters.

    • Lesson 18: Simple and Compound Time.

    Module 4 (advanced beginner)
    The Basics of Music Harmony and Analysis

    • Lessons 19- 25: Tones and semitones (whole steps and half steps). Understand the difference between whole steps and half steps. Learn how to identify them on the score and the keyboard before proceeding to intervals. Learn about melodic and harmonic major, minor, diminished and augmented intervals. Learn both English and Italian names of intervals.

    • Lesson 26: Major and minor scales. Understand why some music pieces sound sad and others happy. Learn major and minor scale formulas and confidently build any scale!

    • Lesson 27: The key signature. Understand why some keys have more sharps or flats than others. Learn how to identify any key signature of any piece of music quickly.

    • Lesson 28: Scale degrees. Learn about primary and secondary scale degrees and their English and Italian names, in preparation for learning about Primary and Secondary chords.

    • Lesson 29: Primary and Secondary chords (triads). Learn everything about primary and secondary triads.

    • Lesson 30: Performance directions. Learn about the different types of performance directions, their abbreviations and what they mean.


    I am a complete beginner. Will this course suit me?

    Yes! My course is specifically designed for complete piano beginners and those who can play the piano by ear but cannot read music. You don't have to know anything about music theory or piano to start learning.

    How will I be taught?

    The teaching will be delivered via a combination of 30 interactive and fully narrated lessons and over 300 do-it-yourself assignments with instant automated feedback. The Essentials of Music Theory is unlike any standard self-paced online courses. It skillfully brings together modern technology and traditional good-quality learning. This innovative self-paced learning program includes elements of immersive learning that gives you first-hand experience. You may think of it as your personal interactive tutor.

    Will I be fluent in Grade 1 music theory after completing this course?

    Success solely depends on your learning skills, motivation, dedication and self-organisation. This course will give you all the training needed to succeed in the subject. However, I cannot take any responsibility for your learning outcome.

    Do you guarantee that I will pass Grade 1 ABRSM or Trinity Guildhall exam after completing this course?

    No, I do not guarantee that you will successfully pass Grade 1 ABRSM or Trinity theoretical or any other examination.

    How can I access my purchase?

    Your registration will be approved within 24 hours from purchase. You will receive an email with the access link as soon as your registration is complete. Please remember to check your SPAM folder.

    Will your course teach me how to play the piano?

    My course is designed to teach you the basics of music theory at Grade 1 level and how to navigate around the keyboard and interpret written music. However, it will not teach you to play tunes on the piano or piano techniques. You can use this course in addition to your piano lessons, either tutor-led or self-taught.

    How do I cancel my order?

    You can cancel your order within 24 hours after purchase by contacting me via email stated in your purchase confirmation email. After 24 hours, the cancellation is no longer available, but you may be able to request a refund. Full terms of refund can be found in this FAQ section.

    How do I add or remove products after placing my order?

    Once you have placed your order you will not be able to make modifications at the website. Please contact me via email specified on your purchase confirmation.

    How do I contact you?

    You can always reach me via email stated on your purchase confirmation. I endeavour to answer your enquiry within few hours. However, it might take up to 24 hours as I am a full-time tutor. Please be assured that I remember about you and will get back to you as soon as possible. If you do not have an invoice please use the contact form.

    What payment methods do you accept?

    You can purchase using debit or credit cards such as Visa, Mastercard, Maestro and American Express. Additionally you can purchase with PayPal.

    Are there any hidden costs?

    There are no hidden costs or additional shipping charges on my side. The total price mentioned on the product page next to the photograph is the final price. What you see is what you pay. However, there may be additional transaction charges charged by your bank and credit/debit card provider, such as Master Card. Please note that I cannot take any responsibility for such charges.

    Can I request a refund?

    Yes, you can request a refund within 14 days of purchase as long as:

    a) you haven't signed into your student portal.

    b) you have signed into your student portal but the product is malfunctioning (please note that I will thoroughly investigate any malfunction reports before determining whether the refund can be issued to you). Full refund conditions can be found in Terms and Conditions in FAQ section.

    Is it safe to use my credit/debit card on this website?

    I use third-party payment processing services to process all credit/debit card payment transactions. These payment intermediaries are PCI-compliant, which is the most stringent level of certification standard that ensures all cardholders’ data is stored, processed, and transmitted securely by using the industry-standard encryption technology.

    Do you offer a free trial?

    Yes, I offer a 24-hour FREE trial of the course. To request your free trial please contact me via the contact form on the "Book A Lesson" page.
    ***Please note that printable materials are not included in a free trial.

    I don't have a piano/ keyboard. Can I still use this course?

    Yes. My course will teach you the basics of music grammar. It will help you understand how music is written through various interactive aids, including an interactive keyboard, so you don't necessarily need a real piano or a keyboard. However, I strongly recommended that you have access to some keyboard, be it a small "toy" keyboard, accordion, harmonica, or any other instrument that features a keyboard pattern.

    I have submitted an enquiry but have not received a reply. When should I expect to hear from you?

    I endeavour to answer your enquiry within few hours. However, it might take up to 24 hours as I am a full-time tutor. Please be assured that I remember about you and will get back to you as soon as possible.

    Is this a subscription? Will I be billed again after one year?

    No, you will not be billed again. This is a one-off payment for 1 year of access. If you would like to continue using my course after the year ends, you will need to purchase the course again.

    I am a teacher, can I use this course to help my students with music theory?

    Yes. My course can be used as an effective and time-saving interactive resource for tutors. You can double it up with any other beginner music resources to improve the effects of your music lessons. This interactive program offers everything your need to support your beginner student in learning how to read music. The program provides a strong foundation for the subject. From absolute basics such as the pitch of a sound, piano keyboard orientation, note names and values, and time signatures to more complex concepts such as scale degrees, intervals, key signatures and chords, The Essentials of Music Theory provides complete coverage of the Grade 1 curriculum in one place. Ready-made interactive lessons, questions, and revision activities with instant feedback, flashcards, articles and printable materials help facilitate effective independent learning at home, allowing the teacher to fully focus on instrumental teaching.

    Terms and Conditions

    Refund policy:

    You can request a refund within 14 working days of purchase as long as:

    You haven't activated your course by signing into the student portal.

    The product is malfunctioning (please note that we will thoroughly investigate any malfunction reports before issuing a refund).

    Please note that the refund will not be issued if:

    you request the refund after the 14-day period deadline

    you have logged into your student portal

    you have changed your mind after starting the course

    your knowledge of the English language is not sufficient enough to understand the content

    you have reported a malfunction, but none was found

    the speed of your Wi-Fi/internet/ethernet or any other connection is not adequate

    you do not have regular/permanent access to the laptop or PC

    you have failed ABRSM or Trinity Guildhall or any other forms of examination

    you don't have time to practice

    the course was purchased as a present but no longer wanted

    Fraudulent activities:

    If you are suspected of unauthorised sharing of any element of this course content, your service will be terminated with immediate effect. No refund (partial or full) will be issued to you in these instances.

    Please note that all printable and downloadable materials are intended for personal use only. The learner is not permitted to re-publish, resell or redistribute these materials in any other way. The content of the course is the intellectual property of the Ottantotto Piano School. The learner is prohibited from copying, re-publish, share or redistribute this content in any form.


    We do not guarantee that the student will successfully pass Grade 1 ABRSM or Trinity theoretical or any other examination. Success solely depends on student's learning skills, motivation and self-organisation. This course will give the learner all the essential information required to succeed in the subject. Still, it is ultimately the learner's responsibility to find the time and motivation to complete this training program. We will not take any responsibility for the learning outcome.

    Please note that MOCK ABRSM tests do not include composition-related questions. Such questions require custom feedback and, therefore, cannot be marked. automatically. The content of this course, including MOCK ABRSM tests and all other tests and assignments have no connection with and are not approved by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools (ABRSM) of Music or Trinity Guildhall, or any other body.