While there are many ways you could potentially organize your sheet music for reference and performance, these methods are the two that I have found to be most useful personally. As I have figured out how to organize my sheet music, I have had better results finding the pieces of music that I need when I need them. Both of these methods are simple, easy-to-understand, and practical for the active musician.
Every once in a while you come across a unique product or service that you want to let others know about. Harmony Passion would like to present some "Product Spotlight" features to help musicians and music teachers find some great resources that will help them.
The product I want to mention today is a band method curriculum developed by Nick Kozar, band director and music educator on both the high school and college level. When I spoke with Mr. Kozar about his approach for developing these band instrument lesson books, he gave me some good insight.
One thing that he has found as a weakness in previous band method books that he used was the lack of rhythm training before students had to begin branching out and playing multiple notes. The Solid Foundation band method books teach students to begin with one note, but learning multiple rhythms, so that a proper rhythmic foundation is laid.
Another aspect of the books that I appreciate is that the melodies used are from traditional songs and hymns. The use of classic melody lines allows the student to be exposed to good music while at the same time learning to play.
Unless you know what you are looking for, these books are not so easy to find online. If you'd like to see the books and pricing, I have included the links below:
For more music education products by A Beka Book, click here.
Online Sheet Music Resources
When I need a particular piece of sheet music or even a full book, one of the best ways to get the best price and find exactly what I'm looking for is to shop online. Here are some of the sites that I have found to very helpful in my search for sheet music.
1. J.W. Pepper
JWPepper.com has a great selection of music for orchestra, band, choir, and other settings. The website is fairly easy to navigate and includes pictures of the products that are listed. J.W. Pepper also attends many music events and maintains a list of all these events on the website. If you prefer to peruse music selections in person rather than online, you may wish to attend a live event. Also on the website is a music list feature on which you can share a particular list of music with students, peers, band members, or whomever you wish.
2. Sheet Music Plus
SheetMusicPlus.com boasts "the world's largest sheet music selection." With over 800,000 different products available, you can find almost anything you need on their site. The look and feel of the website reminds me of Amazon.com. Sheet Music Plus has over 143,000 digital sheet music downloads available as well.
Musicnotes.com has almost 250,000 digital sheet music download files available. The nice thing about digital sheet music is that it is instantly available, with no shipping delay or shipping cost. MusicNotes.com also has regular hard copy music books.
4. Public Domain Music Sites
If you love playing and performing music that is from the classics of years gone by, then you will love public domain music sites. Older music that has become free public domain material is available on several sites. A great one is the Choral Public Domain Library, which has many classic choral pieces available. Another is IMSLP.org, which contains works by over 7,800 composers and well over 200,000 music scores, absolutely free. You can find other sites that offer free public domain sheet music by searching on Google or other web search engines.
5. CD Sheet Music
Another tremendous resource that I and other music teachers that I know have used is CD Sheet Music. While this is not an "online" resource, I felt that it was appropriate to include in this post because it is accessed through the computer. The idea that CD Sheet Music has embraced is assembling great copies of music from the Baroque, Classical, Romantic and Modern eras, including works for orchestra, chamber ensemble, piano, strings, winds, voice, and chorus -- then making these works available in the convenience of a CD-ROM collection. You can print as many copies as you want, reproducing them for fellow performers or for students.
One site that you may not have thought about is ebay.com. As of the writing of this article there are over 199,000 items on ebay under the "Sheet Music & Song Books" category. You can find many scores that are out of print and not otherwise available without scouring antique stores or resale shops.
Much time and effort can be saved by finding sheet music online. These resources are just a few that may be beneficial to you in locating the sheet music that you need. If you know of other great resources that should be considered, please post a comment to this article (top right).
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