If you’re a piano teacher and you love to have that “perfect” piece of music for your students, you’ll have experienced how downright expensive it is to buy the latest and greatest music for your students. It is SO tempting to copy music, especially when you are starting out teaching, but If you have any composer friends you will know how this hurts them and our industry in general.
I have a HUGE lending library of over 1,000 pieces of sheet music and books that I let my Violin and Piano students borrow. This morning I replaced some studio copies of a popular method book, and thought you might like to know some of my thrifty ways to save money…and If you’d like to see the books I use in my piano teaching studio, check this out or a list for my piano students here and violin students here:
ViolinJudy’s top 7 ways to save $ on sheet music and method books:
One: Buy Used: There is a local bookstore I love that has a whole section for music! I can also bring in books to trade in for store credit. Search your area for used book stores and you might give a few a call to see if they offer this; if they don’t encourage them to start carrying sheet music and method books! Remind them that every school orchestra and band student uses a method book and this could mean additional foot traffic for their store! There is another thrift store I frequent that has tons of sheet music as well, sometimes for as low as 5 cents! This really has helped grow my library and made me a bit of a hoarder!
Two Buy Online. Retailers like Amazon.com make it really easy for me to replace a copy that is lost or damaged. Sometimes I ask the student to pay for the cost to replace the book and order it from the amazon app during their lesson. With Amazon Prime’s free shipping, it makes it easy and feasable for me to order replacement copies OR try new books like Carolyn Miller’s Sportacular Warmups
Three :Develop a Relationship with your friendly music retailer: If you don’t have one, call or contact MY awesome local retailer, Senseney Music and tell them that ViolinJudy sent you! My music store has the best incentive program and has great teacher packs of method books available and a discount, and the last time I visited the store I had about $15 in rewards I used towards my purchase!! Plus, if you just need some free expert advice on which music to give a student, it’s really helpful to be able to ask a professional, like someone who works in piano music 24/7. Shopping local makes me feel warm and fuzzy too! http://www.senseneymusic.com/ and TollFree:(800)362-1060.
Four: Join a piano teacher club: Two that I know of are this New Release” club from FJH and This club from Faber for Piano Adventures. This is my favorite from Teach Piano Today: The Piano book club is an awesome resource!
Five: Join the Piano Teacher’s Buy Sell and Trade swap site on Facebook. Just search for it, and ask to join. Once you’re determined by the administrators to be a piano teacher you’ll have new resources.
Six: Purchase digital music with a STUDIO LICENSE. A studio license is the piano teacher’s best friend. Pay once and you can make copies for your students for the rest of your life! How great does that sound! If you haven’t tried this out yet, check out the Piano Book Club I mentioned in #4 and Wendy Stevens also has amazing resources with a Studio License available here. Carol Matz also has new cool interactive books here.
Seven: Ask your students in your monthly newletter (if you don’t send one out, read why you should here) to bring in old sheet music and method books they don’t want for you to lend or give to students or scholarship students or have on hand for when someone forgot their books at home.
Do you have any tips for saving $ on music? I’d love to hear them in the comments!
Thanks for reading my blog. If you would like some easy and quick (under 45 minutes) ways to infuse your studio with FUN while adding and retaining students, please check out my 60 day makeover: Music Teacher Edition available to read on any device like ipad, kindle, computer or laptop here:
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Lisa Kisselstein says
Check public libraries and other organizations that host used book sales. Thanks to a local museum book sale, I’ve picked up very cheap buys (25 cents – $1 per) – some almost new or new – for my students. And the money goes to supporting community organizations that help me.
ms. judy says
Awesome idea Lisa!
Jane Morrison says
Garage Sales! I’m not a huge early bird shopper but some of my Moms are and they come home with some great bargains! Wish I’d got there first!!