About Learn to Play

Thank you  for your interest in Barr None Music Publishers, and the Learn To Play series of music books.
Our mission is to provide you with the best materials possible for learning to play music. Our goal is to help you have fun while you learn to read music so well that you can accomplish anything you want to in music, from becoming a professional musician or music teacher, to simply enjoying yourself with music for the rest of your life.

From humble beginnings in 2005, one single page of music has grown to over 20,000. We now offer more than 400 books all designed to help you learn guitar, piano, mandolin, violin/fiddle, and ukulele and more instruments are coming soon. (electric bass, dulcimer, flute, harmonica, recorder, banjo, cello, and more).  So far, only the first level is listed on this website, but books in the other levels are also available. Please call or email us for more information.

The Learn to Play series is the brainchild of Faith Barr, a successful teacher since 1967. Faith will tell you that over the years, the biggest issue she faced in teaching music was the fact that there just wasn’t enough easy-to-play music at the elementary level for beginners. Most lesson books would present 3 notes, then give the student 2 or 3 songs with those notes, then 3 more notes with 2 or 3 songs, etc. The students never had enough songs to practice to actually get good at each new group of notes before having to tackle yet more new notes. As a result, most students did not become good sightreaders, making every new song seem difficult. Many students would spend an entire week on 1 or 2 songs; they might learn the songs, but still did not get comfortable at reading the music. As the music became more challenging too quickly, the whole process became difficult for the student. Some students kept “plugging along” and eventually became successful, but the majority of students fell by the wayside and quit at some point. Many adults today had this experience as children. If this happened to you as a child, you probably thought it was you–that learning to play music was just too hard and YOU couldn’t do it. When, in fact, you just didn’t have enough good easy-to-play supplementary music to get comfortable at playing. The Learn to Play series has permanently solved this problem. The guitar, for example, offers 28 songs of practice just on the first 3 notes on the E string (EFG). Then it offers 23 songs of practice just on the 3 notes on the B string (BCD). Then, on top of that, it offers 108 more songs of practice on those 2 strings combined (BCD & EFG). In summary, there are 159 songs to practice on just the first 2 strings (B & E) before the student goes on to the 3rd string. This is how a student gets REALLY good at reading and playing music. As a result, the student has fun, keeps playing, and is successful — right from the beginning.

We are committed to helping you be successful in music. We pledge to do our best to never let you run out of fun, interesting music to play.

We are also committed to helping music teachers use the Learn to Play series effectively. We offer an excellent Teacher Manual with specific step-by-step information on how to help students take advantage of all the special features of this program. It also has an extensive section for “Frequently Asked Questions”. It is also possible to become a certified teacher for the Learn to Play series. If you have any questions, would like to be listed on our website as a Learn to Play music teacher, or would just like more information, please contact us at jbarr AT learntoplay.biz or call 502 413-5443 Mon-Fri 8 am to 5 pm EST.

If you are a parent whose child is taking lessons, there is a parent’s manual available, “A Parent’s Guide to Music Lessons”. It will give you many good suggestions for encouraging your child and helping him/her to be more successful. It also answers all the important questions that parents have regarding music lessons.

There is also a Parent/Teacher Manual available. This is primarily for homeschool parents who are working with their children at home. It’s a step-by-step “how to” manual with detailed instructions starting right from the beginning. It also has an extensive section for “Frequently Asked Questions”.

All of our products including our teaching manuals have been tested and retested with hundreds of students over an 10-year period and have continually evolved to the point of becoming fine-tuned. All of the books listed on this website are brand new editions released in 2013/2014. As mentioned earlier, only Level 1A books are listed so far, but Levels 1B, 1C, & 2 are also available at this time for most of the instruments; these will be added to the website in the near future. Call or email us for more information.

We will be adding more products and extra features over the next few months, so come back and visit us regularly.

You can contact us at:
Barr None Music Publishers jbarr AT learntoplay.biz or faith AT learntoplay.biz or by phone at (502) 413-5443.

We are located in:
New Albany, IN 47150