Guest post from Rachel from RachelWojo.com
Keeping fresh and interesting music in front of my piano students has been very important to me over the years because it keeps them interested in playing. I believe this is true for any instrument.
As a veteran piano teacher of 20 years, here are three ways I’ve recommended to families to save money on music:
1. Recycle books.
If you have more than one child taking lessons, holding on to books and using them over again is a great way to save money. The average cost for the curriculum I typically use is $20 to $24 per curriculum level. Theory or notespeller books cannot be used over again, but it is a great savings to reuse lesson, performance, recital, or any other extracurricular books.
Another tip for book recycling is to check with other parents and students to see if they have the book you need. Some communities will hold music book swaps in their local libraries and this is a great way to get new music or the lesson books you need.
One more tip in book recycling, perhaps you have two children in the same level at the same time. Instead of marking in the book, use a simple $0.99 notepad to record each student’s lesson assignment. This practice enables two students to use the same book without confusion. The assignment book can also serve as a practice journal.
2. Inquire about any discounts for which you may be eligible.
Many curriculum companies offer discounts to teachers when they purchase music. Also music stores often offer a discount to teachers or parents of students in certain qualifying programs. It is important to ask retail companies about their policies and be sure the cashier knows you are a teacher or parent.
Sometimes publishers offer special programs or incentives — like an 80% discount on Christmas music after Christmas. Be sure that you have entered your name on their mailing list as a teacher or parent so that you can receive up-to-date information.
3. Download free sheet music.
Though copyright laws dictate the freedom of publishing music, many people do not realize that there is some music considered to be “public domain” and therefore, free for distribution.
One of my favorite free level-appropriate piano music websites is Gilbert Benedetti’s site at the University of Pittsburgh. His site also contains free theory lessons and free guitar music.
Another great free easy music site is EasyByte.org, though you will need to have a basic understanding of skill levels for this site as the levels are not marked on the PDF files.
What tips do you have for saving money on instrument lesson music?
Rachel Wojnarowski is a wife, mom to 7, blogger, and piano teacher. She and her husband, Matt, enjoy caring for their busy family, whose ages span 22 months to 21 years and includes a special needs daughter. Rachel leads community ladies’ Bible studies in central Ohio and serves as an event planner and speaker. She enjoys running and she’s a tech geek at heart. Reader, writer, speaker and dreamer, you can find Rachel on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and of course, on her blog!