U.S. teachers…. have you discovered Spotify? This fantastic new music resource became available in the U.S. a few months ago. It’s a web-based music library, much like iTunes, that allows you to search for recordings and store them in a personal library of playlists. The exciting part? You can access millions of recordings for FREE!
The site has a wonderful collection of classical music (including over 100,000 recordings from the Naxos library), children’s songs… just about anything you could want for studio use. I’ve been using this in my studio for about a month now, and have found it to be a fantastic alternative to YouTube and iTunes (you get the quality of iTunes for the “cost” of YouTube!).
To use the service, you need to download the free Spotify music player software and set up a unique user name. Once you’ve done so, you can access the music library, download tracks and organize them into playlists. The best feature? You can share those playlists! Once my students have set up a user name, I can create customized a playlist of their current repertoire and send it to them via an internal messaging system. I know exactly what recordings they’re listening to!
In addition to the free plan, Spotify also offers “Unlimited” and “Premium” plans for $4.99 and $9.99/month, respectively. It appears that the biggest advantage to upgrading to a paid plan is the ability to access your music library from a mobile phone or iPod. Unfortunately, there’s no iPad compatibility yet (or I’d be signed up already!!). You can see out a comparison of the different plans here.
Ready to check it out? Visit www.spotify.com/us/ to get started. Spotify is currently also available in a number of countries in Europe (For those of you in the U.K. this is probably old news by now!).