It seems that during the past two years I have had a harder time ordering music and receiving it in a timely fashion. Last fall the hurricane in North Carolina and other east coast states delayed the delivery of music books and materials by more than a few weeks. While I thought this was unusual even for a severe storm, the issues around reasonable turnarounds for delivery of music books ordered from publishers is continuing to be sluggish. There are some other reasons that we should consider.
- Many teachers order through a music store. It may be that those businesses are now delaying the actual order until more orders are sent at one time. This allows the music store a greater income from the sale of materials.
- Once I considered this possibility that music stores were having issues with inventory, I decided to try ordering from online services such as Sheetmusic.com. I ended up canceling the order once I realized they, in fact, were also ordering on a much slower system and my total order may be delayed by 6 to 8 weeks. .
Considering the reasons for the continued delays may also have to do with the illegal xeroxing and copying of music. This short changes the composers and editors or income. Although every competition or audition I’ve be involved with have insisted on legal copies of music, many teachers xerox the music then pass a legal copy the music from student to student at the audition site. I believe we should support our pedagogues and writers by purchasing legal copies for every student. Students purchase materials and equipment for other sports and activities and piano should be no different. I once remember the late Robert Vandall saying that in spite of his expansive catalog of published music and books, he loses significant income from the illegal copying of his work. If we are to continue to have quality materials and music for our students, we must honor our copyright laws.
The continued delays in delivery of scores have caused me to re-evaluate when I order music so that my students do not end up starting music late for auditions and festivals because the scores are slow to arrive. This happened to me several times during this school year. With that in mind, I have already ordered scores I know I need this summer. Last summer my students lost an entire month waiting for scores to arrive. I plan to stay a minimum of three months ahead of the need for specific scores with the upcoming summer session and school year.
Plan now and stock your shelf. We must often wait for audition lists to be published, but by immediately ordering for your students’ needs, you will be assured your studio will flow smoothly in the coming year!