About Learn to Play

Thank you  for your interest in 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. This year, we are adding  drums & other rhythm instruments, recorder, flute, baritone ukulele, banjo (3 different kinds of banjos), harmonica, & dulcimer.  (coming soon: electric bass, cello, harp, band & orchestra instruments and more).  Most instrument books are available in 2-3 levels. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, please call or email us for more information.

The Learn to Play series was developed to help beginning students become truly proficient at reading music. Most good music teachers will tell you that over the years, the biggest issue they have 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; this makes 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 some 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 course, 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 6 notes on 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.

Reading well is the key! You can’t learn to read the English language well by using 1 or 2 easy readers. To become a good reader, you will need to read many, many easy readers, gradually increasing your skill level. The more books you read, the better reader you will become and the more enjoyable reading will be. It’s exactly the same with music. You can’t become good at reading music by using 1 book per year, as with most traditional methods. The more songs you play, especially that very critical first year of lessons, the better music reader you will be. And, if you read well, right from the beginning, the entire learning process will be fun –not a day-to-day struggle.

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 Teaching 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 from 2014-2017. As mentioned earlier, 2-3 levels are  available at this time for most of the instruments; more will be added to the website in the near future. Call or email us for more information.

We constantly add new products and extra features, so please come back and visit us regularly.

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

We are located in:
New Albany, IN 47150