How to Store and Organise Piano Teaching Games

What’s the best way to organise piano teaching games? Do you use folders, boxes, a filing cabinet?

A simple system for organising all your music teaching games

How to store and organise piano teaching games in a way that actually works!

I used to struggle with a variety of different storage systems. Boxes, folders and containers ended up in disarray every time.

I tried everything I could think of and all had their faults, until I settled on my current combination of files and folders.

I have landed on this simple system to organise piano teaching games that is flexible enough to work for the huge variety of games I use and make…but structured enough that it doesn’t become unruly.

Disclaimer: This post contains some affiliate links. Buying from one of these links does not cost you anything, but I do receive a small referral fee for sending you which goes towards the cost of running this site. 

What You Need

That’s it. That’s all you need for this uber cheap system to organise piano teaching games.

How to Label and Store Piano Teaching Games

Step 1: The cover

Grab one of the full sheet labels and print the cover of the game.

All my game covers have the concepts covered in the game clearly marked in the same way at the top. If I’m using a game from someone else I always add this in just the same way at the top too.

Having this kind of consistency is very important when you want to grab a game while also listening to your student’s fascinating story about their pet hamster.

Once the cover is printed stick it straight on the front of the plastic folder, taking care that the opening is at the right side (or left if you prefer – just make it the same every time).

Step 2: Gather all the “bits”

Print out all the other parts of the game, laminating and cutting as needed. Then gather together everything else that is needed to play the game such as counters, dice or other bits and pieces.

Components for a music theory game

Place these and the game instructions inside the folder so everything is always ready to go.

Et voilà! Your new game is beautifully stored and ready to go.

Completed and organised piano teaching game

…But now you have a bunch of loose games that can end up all over your studio.

How to Organise Piano Teaching Games

Step 3: Decide on categories

Clear a space on a shelf, a cubby hole or a table. How many magazine files can you fit there?

However many it is, that’s the number of categories you can have. Take a look at the piano teaching games you have and come up with general categories to divide them into.

Here are the categories I use:

  • Key names & finger numbers
  • Terms
  • Landmark notes, steps & skips
  • Intervals
  • Rhythm & note values
  • Note names (bass C to treble C)
  • Note names (full staff)

Once you have your categories it’s just a matter of printing labels for your magazine files and sorting your games into each file.

Organise piano teaching games with magazine files

I love these types of labels (on the IKEA magazine files) because you can change your mind about the categories later as your library grows or your teaching space changes.

Step 4: Keep them organised

Make it a priority to put things back where they belong.

With this system it literally takes two seconds to put a game back in its place – so do it! I know how tempting it is to finish teaching and just close the door on the studio and head to the couch…but you will thank yourself if you take that extra moment to put everything back first.

How do you organise piano teaching games?

I know my system isn’t the only one that would work. But I do get a lot of questions about it so I thought I’d share.

Now it’s your turn! Tell me how you store your games and whether it’s working well in the comments or in the Vibrant Music Studio Teachers community on Facebook.

17 thoughts on “How to Store and Organise Piano Teaching Games”

  1. I use plastic envelopes too but have them color coded per level. So level 1-red, level 2 -green, pre reading -clear etc. Then I place all the games for each level in a file size box. The boxes are stored on a shelf built by my husband. It is super easy to find just the right games to work on intervals or ear training by level and when I put games away the color coding makes it so easy.

  2. This was perfect timing! I was starting to feel a bit overwhelmed with my games! I especially like the idea of the magazine holders to keep that clean, stream lined look. Thank you so much for all you do .

  3. I have a similar system, although I am going to run out and get the button folders and magazine organizers (love the look of this — I store in a cute wall cubicles, but I think I can hide the magazine organizers inside). Many of my games have themes – Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentines, etc. Plus, I have more theory games that fit into descriptions like yours. I have my themed games organized per month, transported in a portable file (for two studios) which I carry with me for my off-site studio. I try to keep a collection of ‘themed games’ with most all of the theory concepts covered.

  4. I haven’t come up with a system yet, but yours sounds very simple to implement and easy to use. I also loved hearing about your need to multi-task while listening to the pet hamster stories – it made me smile as I now know I’m not the only one who has to do this.

  5. This topic came at the perfect timing since this past weekend, I had all my games spread out all over my living room floor, trying to organize. I mainly did what you did, Nicola, but I also organized certain games by holiday themes (which was mentioned). This is usually the time when I bring games out for the kids to play all together. I was really struggling with the topics, especially when some of them cover multiple topics. I guess thats the perfectionism in me. I will post a picture of how I did it soon. I think pictures are very helpful for teachers to see.


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