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Staying Organized in the Music Room: Three of My Favorite Things

With a busy teaching schedule, after school commitments and family life, staying organized is a must.  In my classroom I am often preparing for a concert with one grade (sometimes two different concerts!) as well as teaching my curriculum.  With hundreds of students a week, it can be overwhelming keeping everything organized.  Here are few of my favorite things for keeping my sanity in the music classroom.

1.  Playlists for Everything

This may seem like an obvious one, but keeping a playlist for each class or grade level can be super handy.  I also make playlists for concert songs, seasons and holidays, movement activities, scarf activities and more.  These playlists are organized in playlist folders.  I use iTunes for the most part, but also organize music on other streaming platforms too.

In iTunes go to File, New and select Playlist or Playlist Folder to get started.  You can create the folder and then drag any existing playlists to it and drop them in.  Here's a quick look at mine.   Notice the playlists and folders on the left.

2.  Category Boxes

I have several magazine boxes that sit on the shelf behind my desk.  I call them my category boxes.  They hold books, CDs, manipulative, folders, IEPs, classroom forms (office referrals, etc...), tidbits of inspiration, resources and more.  All of these things don't fit on a shelf or in a folder neatly as they are different shapes and sizes.  The category boxes collect all of these items and group them by topic.  

Some of my categories are ukulele resources, choir, classroom forms, song books, and seasonal and holidays.  Two of my most used boxes are the ones marked "File Me" (where I stash things that I need to file out of sight) and "Great Ideas" which is a place to put some great ideas of activities I want to try or centers and manipulative I want to make.

3.  Seating Charts that Serve Double Duty

Teaching every student in the school makes seating charts a necessity for me.  I also use them to record assessments, to note learners that need accommodations, to note behaviors until I can record them more formally, and of course to take attendance!  Read more about my seating chart in my blog post, Music Assessments with Seating Charts.

Note:  This looks real, but the names and data are fiction.

I hope you'll try one of my favorite ways to stay organized in the music room this year.  Let me know some of your favorite ones here or on Facebook.

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