The other day I was at the music store and purchased a piece of music only to find out when I returned to my studio that I already had a copy! Ever happen to you? Or do you realize that you had the perfect game or activity to help a student learn a concept, but didn't remember it until after your lesson planning and the student's lesson? As music teachers, we accumulate a LOT of stuff - really great stuff, some of which we have worked hard to put together, but then we have the challenge to remember it all and remember where we put it!
I'm definitely an "out of sight, out of mind" kind of girl and since I don't like a lot of clutter out in the open, I forget what I have! Besides wanting to be able to recall all the resources I have, I also recognized that as a business owner, I need to have a clear value of what my business is worth. We all have loads of music, games, instruments, etc. and it adds up quicker than you think! Filing our taxes is now upon us and some of the information we need can take lots of time to put together. Having an inventory, especially one with monetary value included can be a HUGE help.
Well...I decided to "get my act together" and about a month ago started to put together a studio inventory. Simply, I made a spreadsheet to record every piece of music, resource book, game, instrument, camp supply, piece of office equipment, etc. that I had. It was also a great exercise in purging! I'm about 3/4 of the way through everything and can say that it's been very eye-opening - not only to the amount of stuff that I have, but to the amount of monetary value I am storing. (Incidently, this is also great information to put together for insurance purposes.)
To give you an idea as to what I did, the spreadsheet I put together has a tab for sheet music, resource material, instruments and accessories, office equipment, athletic equipment (for camps & group lessons), and audio equipment. To give you an example of some of the information I wanted to include, under the music tab I included: Title, Level, Composer/Arranger, Publisher, Style (such as method book, jazz, pop, technique, etc.), number of copies I have, instrument piece is intended for (while most of what I have is for piano, I also teach guitar and ukulele and have music for several other instruments), and the purchase price.
As you may know, when you set up a spreadsheet, there are numerous ways to sort the information which alone makes putting together an inventory extremely valuable. Once it's all done, my job will be so much easier when doing planning. I'm also working on a way to have the information readily available on my iphone as well so that when I visit the music store next time, I can make sure I'm not re-purchasing something I already have!
Do any of you have an inventory? I would love for you to share your ideas of ways that you keep track of what you have and suggestions that may have worked for you.