This week, I want to highlight the importance of having a solid music library within the studio, and how lucky we were in building ours. Generally, a music library consists of method books, theory books, sight reading, and books exploring certain genres, styles, and/or composers. The library should also have a wide variety of supplementary pieces, which we use for Halloween and Christmas, recitals, and festivals. While method books are essential for learning new concepts, it is important for students to spend time practicing these concepts with supplementary music before jumping on to the next topic.
Most teachers acquire their library over time, if ever. My guess at the average cost of one method book is about $8.00, so it’s quite expensive to buy all of the materials at once. Stathia had quite a few books already to start our library, but we were very fortunate to receive a large donation of used music from her piano teacher, Jerry Stephens. He brought us at least 10 boxes full of music from his old studio, and it was like Christmas morning opening them up and discovering all of the gems inside. Over the summer, we sorted through everything, decided what music we wanted to keep, and organized it by genre. We decorated some old file cabinets, and now all of our music is neatly stored there.
Besides having access to additional repertoire, it’s great to have the library in case a student forgets their books at home. This will really be helpful whenever we have a space of our own, but for now, our library is great for when teachers want to choose pieces for their students ahead of time.
We also allow students to borrow our library books and play through a couple of pieces before we buy them a fresh copy- that way, you can make sure you like it before investing in the book. Its super easy for us keep track of the books we lend in My Music Staff, so we want to encourage our students and families to explore all of our available resources. If you or your child want to explore a certain piece or genre, just let us know and we can bring some options from our library to the next lesson. Also, if you are unsure of what to do with your child’s previous books, ask your teacher! We love to take them back and use them as reference copies! It’s a great way of recycling and “sharing” the music we all love!