It took me a few years to streamline my system of signing out and collecting the many, many pieces of music that we go through every year. My first few years of teaching, I didn’t even even bother signing out sheet music at all. But now I’ve developed a procedure that is easy and is working pretty well, so I thought I would share it with you in case you needed some ideas. I know I would have appreciated having a good system to work with in those early years.
To help the process, I designed a music sign-out sheet template which you can download for free below. When you enter the students’ names, they will automatically be copied onto the second half of the page. There is room for 20 pieces of music on each page.
Here’s how I use them….
Music Sign-Out Procedure
When new music is being passed out, section leaders are given the responsibility of:
- Finding the sign-out sheet for their section. These are kept in a binder at the front of the room (as well as rehearsal attendance, textbook sign-outs, etc.).
- Filling in the name of the piece(s) on the sign-out sheet.
- Ensuring that everyone gets a copy of the music and initials for it.
- Letting me know if there are not enough copies of the music, and writing it down on my photocopying list at the front of the binder.
- Returning extra copies of the music to the folder in orchestral order.
- Returning the sign-out sheet to the binder.
Music Return Procedure
At the end of the year, I use this really smooth procedure to collect music:
- The folders of music are laid out across a couple tables and chairs in alphabetical order.
- I make a list of the music on the overhead (and on the class website) in the order that it was handed out (as on the sign-out sheets).
- Students sort their music in the correct order.
- I call each section up one-by-one.
- As each student flips through their music, I cross the pieces off on the sign-out list.
- Any music that was not returned is charged $0.25 a page.
- The student puts the music back in the folders.
- At the end of the week, when pretty much all the music has been collected, I get my senior class to take the folders and sort the parts, putting everything neatly back in order and ready for next year!
That’s pretty much it! It has worked pretty well for me for the last couple of years, and greatly reduced the amount of music that was not returned and the amount of work I have to do at the end of the year.
I would love to hear other teacher’s procedures for signing out and collecting music. Feel free to share your ideas!
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