Spring Cleaning

One of the things I love about being a music teacher is the cycle that comes with the school year.   My students and I celebrated the end of another successful (and busy!) school year with our studio recitals earlier this month, then all enjoyed a well-earned week off of lessons.   I have to admit… I was ready for some time to relax and re-charge all of my creative juices!

A week with no lessons gave me time to tackle some spring cleaning in the studio…. and get one BIG organization project checked off my summer “to-do” list: a facelift for my studio music library:

Before last week, I had all of my music piled into stacks on the shelves, organized by level, genre, time period, etc.   That system was o.k., but always pretty disheveled by the end of each semester.   These new magazine boxes make it MUCH easier to access and re-file music.  No more heavy stacks to drag off the shelf and sort through!

I picked up these boxes at Office Depot.  They’re made of sturdy cardboard (not nearly as expensive as the metal and plastic versions I looked at), and come in 3 fun colors: blue, red and mocha.   Best of all, they happened to be on sale last week!

The boxes come with a blank space on the front where you can hand-write a label, but I found a fun graphic and printed my own tags (a week off meant time to play on the computer!):  

Next up, it’s time to tackle the games cabinet… it’s full to overflowing at the moment (a delightful problem to have)!   If any of the rest of you have creative ideas for organizing all of the materials, music and “stuff” that lives in your studios, please leave a comment and share!!



Spring Cleaning — 7 Comments

  1. I LOVE the shelves and the way you organize your music with the magazine boxes. You must be so proud of yourself for getting this done.
    Enjoy your new studio and thanks for sharing the pictures!

  2. I use exactly the same method for organizing my repertoire books. It’s been working great. Currently my games organization consists of labelled ziplock bags categorized into “Rhythm”, “Notation”, “Beginner Games”, etc. I’m hoping to create something a bit more user-friendly for next year. Thanks for sharing the photo!

  3. Jennifer,
    Your music library is lovely!
    I used the kitchen cupboards in my tiny studio to keep most of my repertoire books and it is a PAIN to find anything! First thing tomorrow morning I will measure to see if files similar to yours will fit.
    Thanks for the idea,

  4. Looks great! Last summer my games/activites were my project to organize and after using it this year I love what I came up with. I have a 3 ring binder for each holiday and a big general one. Each binder has a pencil pouch for game cards, game markers, ect. and the stickers I use for that holiday/season. The games are either in a page protector or laminated and hole punched to fit in the binder. I also have copies of worksheets/composing activities/ect. for that holiday in there so any extras from this year can be used next year. Some of my game boards are 2 pages of 8.5 x 11 – so bigger to play but still fit in my binder (I just take them out and lay them next to each other.) I also have a binder for pre-reading games/worksheets/activities, one for generic group lessons and one for any that don’t fit the other categories. My binders stack on a shelf in my studio and my things are so accesible and easy to put away so things don’t get out of hand. Each year I do a big incentive program and each one of those also have a binder so I can use them again every 6 years or so. Hope this helps!

  5. Jennifer- thanks so much for sharing! Your system puts my current attempts at repertoire organization to shame! And I LOVE the labels! 🙂

    To organize my games/flashcards/etc. I bought some small clear plastic bins at a local craft store and labelled each one. While the possibilities for labels are endless and each one of us teachers would probably organize differently my system has worked great for me and I love that the bins are clear so I can see what’s inside!

    I’ve also recently started using an accordian file to keep laminated worksheets and handouts organized and close by.

    This was a great subject to post on- I’ve really enjoyed reading all the suggestions in the comments as well.

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