The colors of the keys:
Take a look at the piano and you’ll see two colors - black and white. You should also note that the black keys alternate between groups of twos and threes.
The white keys
The next thing to learn is the music alphabet, which is ABCDEFG. This pattern loops infinitely across all the white keys.
You may notice that the pattern is predictable, there are 8 notes spaced evenly throughout the black keys which are always going to be in the same place relative to the white keys.
It’s good to go ahead and try to learn C first (it will always be to the left of a pair of black keys). The one in the middle of your piano or keyboard is called Middle C, and it’s often the home note. To practice finding C, look for it on your piano, then try playing every single one of them. Continue to come back to it and find it without help, and soon it will be easy! You should do the same thing with the other keys, or count up from C to find another note you aren’t sure about yet.
In the same way that C is always to the left of a pair of two black keys, every other white key will be the same in relation to the black keys. For example, F will always be to the left of a group of three black keys, D will always be in the middle of a pair of black keys, etc.
The black keys
If you see a ♯ or ♭ symbol in front of a note, that is where the black keys come in. The ♯ (not to be confused with a # hashtag) is called a “sharp,” and the ♭ is called a “flat.” If a sharp is in front of a note, then you can play a half step up. A half step is a way of measuring two keys directly next to each other. So if there is a sharp in front of a key, you can play the black key immediately to the right. This is the same with all the keys except B (a half step up is C) and E (a half step up is F). Technically you can say B♯ or E♯ for these notes, but this is rarely the case.
Conversely, if there is a flat in front of a key, play the note a half step down. For most keys, this means the black key immediately to the left. Again, there are two exceptions, C and F. If you wanted to, you could say C♭ (same key as B) or F♭(same key as E). The name of the note will change once you put a sharp or flat in front of it. For example, G can become G♯ or G♭ (G sharp or G flat). This part can be a little confusing at first, but the more you see it and use it, the more it will make sense. If you can accept that note names are a little fluid and change based on the symbols next to them, you'll have it down in no time!
Take some time with a piano to read back through this and start to get a feel for it. Of course, you can feel free to schedule a Skype lesson with me if you have any questions about it or need help!