If you learned to play a musical instrument as a kid, you likely remember your first encounter with traditional music notation. You remember being baffled by the symbols denoting quarter notes, eighth notes, sixteenth notes. Or the difficulty of reading notes located above or below the staff. The Western system of music notation goes back hundreds of years, and it has been befuddling students for generations. Enter Blake West, a piano teacher from Austin, Texas, who enlisted his old friend Mike Sall, a data visualization wiz, to create a more intuitive form of music notation. They dubbed it “Hummingbird,” and between the two videos on this page and this complete reference guide, you’ll get a quick feel for the concepts underlying this new way of reading music. On the Hummingbird website, you can also find 26 songs — everything ranging from Bach’s “Ode to Joy” to Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train” — rewritten in a format that budding music students will love.