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Saturday, May 30, 2015

Organizing Inventory and a little re-decorating

This year, I decided to finally get more organized with instrument rentals and inventory.  There have been plenty of times when I wanted to know who was assigned to which cello and I didn't have that information readily accessible.  My orchestra has grown by 349% over the last 3 years and it has become necessary for me to keep better track of these things.

At the start of the year, I put white labels on my cello and bass racks and I labeled them with the students names so I knew who was playing each instrument.  We did have a problem with the bows, however.  Students were complaining about bows being switched around and it was frustrating to try to deal with issues like that when I want to get my class started.  I also found that it is a pain to rip off labels because they don't always come off very nicely.

Here is what I set up to hopefully make inventory and instrument rentals way easier.  I bought vinyl chalkboard labels and liquid chalk markers from  These labels are great because they remove very easily and are still sticky enough to be reused.  The liquid chalk markers are perfect because they are erasable, but only if I use water.  Students can't erase or smudge the numbers easily and so far the things I have written with the markers have stayed and they look great.

I labeled each instrument with a small avery white sticker - right by the endpin.  I wrote the same number on the chalkboard label so that each instrument will have its own assigned and permanent 'home.'  I also labeled each bow with a white sticker and used the chalkboard labels to assign each bow a hook on the rack.   Now, students won't be able to switch bows around without being noticed.  I didn't show it in this picture, but I have been writing the student's name who has rented the instrument under the blue number.  It looks way better than my other labels and I can quickly and easily change names if needed.

The school year has ended for me, and I already wanted to redecorate for the next school year.  I found a cute little polaroid camera at called Instax.  It takes really cute instant pictures and students are amazed when the photo pops right out of the camera.  The film is not cheap (not too bad on Ebay), so I have been taking pictures sparingly, but it has been motivating for students to practice and do good things so that they can make it onto my new bulletin board:  Wall Of Fame.  I have only taken a few pictures to get the wall started, but once the new school year starts, I will be watching for students doing awesome things and I will honor them by taking their pictures and posting it on my Wall of Fame.  By the end of next year, I expect that this bulletin board will be full of awesomeness.

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