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A colleague of mine recently asked me how I managed to keep all of my music organized. We both play in several bands, do subbing work, and teach high student loads. In addition, I teach group classes and workshops.

I asked her what system she was currently using. She laughed and said each “project” had it’s own stack of music somewhere in her house. Sometimes they were in binders, sometimes they were lying on the bedroom floor. Her husband, a well respected drummer, has his teaching materials and drum magazines organized in a few Rubbermaid containers near his drum set.

I told her that most of my music had made it into binders, (and I spent hours organizing the music in those binders). Between binders, trade magazines, and books, my apartment had filled with nine bookshelves (to hold all that bulk) over the years. Plus there are two filing cabinets and various file boxes, both in my office and in my storage unit.  I also have a closet in my bedroom with boxes of papers I still have to sort from another music studio I once worked at.  There’s a shelf with binders of music from bands I had subbed with…just in case I got another phone call to fill in.  Problem is, each binder just sits on a shelf as they wait for the call, taking up space. Space I could use for…instruments. Hmmm. We’ve got a problem here.

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