Thankfully, learning to read music is nothing like either of these… or anything in between.
Musical notation is a simple and logical system used to write down music so it may be played in a similar style by others.
When learning to play piano (or any other keyboard instrument), you will be presented with the grand stave – two groups of 5 lines. The vertical position of notes relates to their position on the piano. The horizontal position and type of note (crotchet, semi-breve etc.) relates to when they are played and for how long.
The single-page PDF, linked below, is an introduction to reading music on the piano (though it also relates to many other instruments).
If you have any questions on this or any other aspect of learning the piano, please do contact me here.