Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Recent Organizational Projects

Sheet Music

Being a music teacher brings many joys. I have the pleasure of helping others experience beauty in new ways, and not only to experience it but also to create new beauties themselves.

Being a music teacher also means having a large library of sheet music. And while this is a great thing, it can also become a problem as storage space becomes scarce. How to organize, store and keep track of all of it is a continual problem I face.

On being prompted by my mother to take charge of the growing piles beside the piano and elsewhere, I finally took some time to add some decency and order to this area of my life.

Here’s how it worked:

I took three file cabinet drawers, and designated one for Piano methods, one for Beginning classical, and one for Advanced music.

My piano methods I organized first by level, then by publisher. So, for example, in the level 2 section I have folders for Alfred, Bastien, Schaum, and Keys for the Kingdom, among others.

The Beginner’s drawer is similarly organized, with the addition of Duets, Christmas and Sacred music by level.

The advanced classical drawer I organized by musical era. (Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Modern) Within each era, I have separate files for composers. (Such as Bach and Chopin) For this particular drawer, I used Legal size folders instead of Letter, because the books tend to be larger.

I’m finished with the project for now, and am enjoying the extra floor space, as well as the ability to find specific books more easily.

Later on, I may consider cataloguing the music electronically, as I have just done for my reading library.


This was a fun project that I’ve wanted to do for a long time, partly out of curiosity to know how many books I own. (Upwards of 330, as of last week) The other reason I wanted to do this was because it has become increasingly hard for me to remember which books I have by particular authors. Now that the list is made, I can sort the books with the click of a button.

Here’s how I did it:

Using Microsoft Excel, I designed a worksheet with 8 columns:

Year (originally) published

It took all of two afternoons to finish typing the data in. Very simple!

Has anyone else tried this project? I’m interested to hear how you went about it. Has anyone organized his or her books on the shelf? I have yet to attempt this, and would be glad for any tips.

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