As a music director, you wear a lot of hats.
You direct, you play, you email, you plan, you listen, you conduct, you coordinate, etc. Your time is valuable and you know that your rehearsal time is valuable. How can you make sure you're making the most of it? It always helps me to start by getting organized. There's something about crisp file folders, colored pens, pretty charts, and a few fun paper clips that makes me feel more confident, productive, and ready to get to work.
Not sure where to start? Here are five things to organize in your music program to help things run smoothly this year:
1. Choir music
The number system is, by far, my favorite way to organize choir music. Simply assign everyone a folder number, write a number in the corner of every anthem, and sort into choir boxes. No fuss, no muss, and no wasted time letting everyone find the copy with their markings. :-)
2. Everyone's schedules
It's hard enough keeping track of your own calendar, let alone those of your entire choir. Print and post a simple monthly calendar and ask everyone to sign out for days they won't be there. This gives you an idea how many you'll have on a given Sunday and what music might be best.
3. Music library
Filing cabinets, filing boxes, or some combination of the two - whatever resources you have, straightening up and organizing your music library (choral anthems, ensemble music, musicals/cantata scores, piano/organ books, etc.) will save you lots of time and energy (and hassle!) later on. Sort by type, alphabetize, and go ahead and create a digital database while you're at it for easy planning later.
4. Choir robes
Similar to the system I like to use for choir music, I also find the number system works well for robes, too. Organize the robes from shortest to longest, number, and assign everyone a robe based on their height. Post a folder/robe list (like this one) to help everyone remember their number(s). (Bonus points if you assign robes first and folder numbers to match so folks have only one number to remember!)
This may be a no-brainer, but keeping organized records of financial expenditures throughout the year makes committee meetings and annual trustee reports so much easier. I like using a spreadsheet that does some of the math for me (like this one).
What are your favorite organization tips and tricks for church music programs?
How to Organize Your Church Music Library