Learning to count rhythm is a primary skill in music reading. It will involve counting aloud, clapping hands, playing with a metronome and more. Below are examples of my preparations and practice strategies for a recent concert with the Metropolitan Silver Band in Toronto where I'm the drummer.
As you can see, even trained musicians count and mark things up.
You've got to learn your instrument. Then, you practice, practice, practice. And then, when you finally get up there on the bandstand, forget all that and just wail.
I'm a professional pianist and music educator in West Toronto Ontario. I'm also a devoted percussionist and drum teacher.