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Dottie Case

Committing Purgery

August 28, 2013 at 3:24 AM

It is with a touch of wistful envy that I read Laurie's most recent blog, about re-ordering her music. I too, am in the midst of digging out my at-home studio (not to be confused with the studio I work out of at the arts school), and sorting, filing and purging music. Laurie's Cubed bookcase is lovely... but I have so much music in so many different genres that there is no way that that something like that would work for me (she notes, sadly...).

I teach piano as well as violin and viola. I have been a church musician, pianist and music director for 25 years. I was a symphony clarinetist for 5 years (and actually played a band concert tonight), play flute, and have every size recorder except bass for recorder ensembles. I have sets of notebooks of gigging music for string quartet, string trio, duo and solo with piano. I have classical wedding stuff, pops and classical love songs for cocktails, and light classical quartets for dinners. I have serious chamber music... Dvorak and Schubert and Mendelssohn. Brahms.

In addition, I conduct a youth orchestra, a New Horizons orchestra and an adult beginner strings group. My daughter is a classical singer.

All of this above 'stuff' has its own collection of necessities.... Instrumental orchestration books that accompany hymnals, recorder quartets of Christmas music, woodwind ensembles, and stacks and stacks and stacks of Piano and Violin music.

I am little overwhelmed by where to begin, particularly since I need to have a certain amount of 'stuff' in my 'at work' studio. I'm trying to figure out a plan....and I SURELY don't want to think about HOW MUCH MONEY is tied up in all this STUFF! :)

The act of re-organizing does make me wonder, "just how much of this do I really need to keep?"

So, this little blog (my first in a year) is just me thinking (whining?) about the sheer volume of music I have to deal with. I'm not quite sure yet how to approach this challenge, but if anyone needs me, I'll be the one committing purgery in the music room.


From Tom Holzman
Posted on August 28, 2013 at 3:11 PM
Good luck! My advice is to pick a random place to start, e.g., chamber music, and organize that area of your life. Then, go on to something else. Break your task down into reasonable size hunks. The only caveat is that you need to think a bit about how you will store the various pieces of your task and whether you can come up with a sensible plan for that aspect. But, as the Chinese say, a journey of a thousand li begins with a single step. Start walking.
From Robert Keith
Posted on August 28, 2013 at 10:48 PM
Wow Dottie Case, I think you might have more talent than I do. :)
It is simple, just organized your music by instrument, then by alphabet. You might need a couple of extra books selfs.
From Steve Reizes
Posted on August 28, 2013 at 11:29 PM
Hmm, Maybe it's time to think like a librarian? Not sure of the "best" system, but if you think of it as a music library and organize from there it would at least give you a map to follow.

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