If there’s one thing us studio owners have lots of, it’s this: music. We’re constantly purchasing and collecting songs to use with our students, and I know I’m not the only one who has struggled with the best way to keep my ever-growing repertoire organized.
And after five years of trying to figure it out, I’ve come to realize that there isn’t necessarily one “best” way to keep my music organized. Rather, I rely on five different methods to keep tabs on the resources I use every day.
- The Old Binder. I started compiling a huge 4-inch binder of repertoire after college, and it has come in very handy ever since. The songs are organized by category, which makes it quick and easy to find just the right type of song at a moment’s notice.
- Hanging File Folders. I also have a small filing cabinet where I keep copies of repertoire for voice students. These are songs that I already have multiple copies of, and can grab for a student during his or her lesson.
- Electronic Folders. I would say that at least 60% of the electronic files on my computer’s hard drive are lesson repertoire. I keep the documents organized in folders by category, similarly to my binder. That way, I can just search my computer for a category (or title) and pull up the appropriate folder or song immediately.
- Dropbox. When I worked at a school in addition to running my studio, I needed my repertoire collection in two places on a daily basis. So instead of carry around a flash drive, print hard copies, or email files to myself, I simply moved my aforementioned electronic folders into my Dropbox account. I could pull them up on any computer, and even on my iPhone or iPad.
- Gigbook. Speaking of the iPad, this app is my most frequently used method as of late for organizing and retrieving repertoire. I just imported all the PDF files I created for each song into Gigbook via iTunes, and voila: my entire collection is on my iPad. I can set it up on my piano during a lesson so that I can quickly pull it up to work on it with my student.
Now that I’ve shared my favorite ways to organize repertoire, please share yours in the comments. I know there are many of you out there with fabulous and unique ideas for getting control over all that music!