Do you struggle with organizing all of your teaching resources? Do you have board games, activity sheets, sheet music, dice, game pieces, and so much more?!
My students frequently tell me that I have SOOO MUCH STUFF but the truth of it is, every student learns differently so I have different teaching tools for them. Not to mention, I teach multiple instruments.
After 16 years of teaching, I’ve accumulated A LOT and I’ve had to adapt and find a system that would work for me and I have finally found one and I’m here to share that with you today!
1. Magazine File Holders
Magazine file holders are great for many different reasons! The main reason I use magazine file holders is for music books/sheet organization.
You can do the same by grouping the same piano series or brands together or you could organize by level.
I typically organize my books by Instrument > Series > Level.
You can also make pretty labels for your file folders using a label maker. (Mine is on order and I CAN NOT WAIT for it to arrive.)
Some teachers organize their teaching resources exclusively with magazine file folders (even their piano games!). For this method of organizing, label each file folder with the subject eg. rhythm. Then you can put your rhythm games in Poly Zip Envelopes which will fit into the magazine file folders.
In the past, I have used this method but instead of using Poly Zip Envelopes, I’ve used simple pocket folders. I still use the pocket folder method but I store them in a slightly different way, which brings me to our second method, file boxes.
2. File Boxes/ Filing Cabinets
When I was taking piano lessons growing up, my teacher had many filing cabinets that housed all of the sheet music she collected over the years and I have continued on with the tradition with a twist.
Although I love my filing cabinet, I always feel OVERWHELMED when searching for what I was looking for. There were SO. MANY. FOLDERS. I don’t care how many different colored file folders I had, it would take FOREVER to find what I was actually searing for.
My solution: Purchase smaller, portable storage file boxes! I know, I know, you are saying “Tara, that’s the same thing.”
While the concept is the same, the file storage boxes allow me to break my piano teaching resources into smaller categories AND it helps when I need to take resources out of the studio.
How to organize your games with file storage. Label each file folder with the concepts that are taught in order > add the piano games associated with that concept to the folder. I love using pocket folders for each individual game.
What to do when your piano resources have playing cards?
If the resource has a game board with it, I use pocket folders and I put the playing cards in pocket envelopes. You can always put your cards in ziplock bags or other envelopes too!
The next tip is for those card games that don’t have a game board to go with them.
3. Photo Boxes for Piano Card Games
I ABSOLUTELY LOVE my photo boxes!!!!! Can you tell this is my favorite storage solution?
The 4x6 photo boxes are the perfect size for card games and I honestly wish I would have thought about them sooner!
As you can see, I display my “most used” and my new games on my shelf. That way they are in reach and I’m more likely to use them. If you like this idea but want the storage box to go with them, you can find that here.
If you want a way to store these photo boxes differently, I have another solution for you!
Inside my closet, I have the same 4x6 photo boxes but they are stored in a photo box. I try to store games by level when they are in these boxes.
4. Shoe Boxes for Large Resources
Do you have games or resources that are oddly shaped or maybe there’s a lot of pieces to the resource? In my studio, I have a Mr. Potato Head Olaf, Ping Pong Balls for rhythms, and a Musical Jenga Set.
All of these piano teaching resources are GREAT but storing them is a different story and that’s where plastic shoe boxes came in handy.
These boxes sit perfectly on top of my IKEA Billy bookshelves.
And yes, I do have a stash of chocolate in one of those boxes…. Don’t judge. Lol
5. Binders for Digital Music
Although I could put my digital music on an iPad, I love having a physical copy of my music and this is where a binder comes in handy. Recently, I’ve invested in a comb binding machine and I LOVE IT. The comb binding machine is perfect for all of your digital resources that have studio licenses!
The comb binding machine has already saved me quite a bit of time and money and I’ve only had it for a couple of months. I highly recommend this machine if you are printing music for your students.
Every piano studio and teacher is different and you need to find what works for you when it comes to organizing your physical studio resources.
Make sure to hop on over to our TopMusic Marketplace Facebook Group and share photos of your studio organization. Trust me when I say, piano teachers LOVE seeing other studios and organization systems.
If your studio is a mess, try some of the organization tips above and take a before and after photo and share them in the Facebook Group! We would LOVE to see you there!
If you are interested in how to organize your digital resources, we’ve got you covered! Coming next week, I will dive a little deeper into the digital world of organizing.
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