As a performance student I like markings to be made on my sheet music for identifying parts of the score that need extra attention. As a teacher I like to do the same – circling, underlining, writing tips, drawing asterisks and directing with arrows. In contrast I also want to keep my music clean and ‘as new’, very proud of the fact that, other than losing some music books due to flood damage, I still own in good condition almost every piece that has ever been added to my library.
Using a pencil has always worked for me and I expect became a habit knowing that close to exam time all markings would need to be erased. Still, I wasn’t satisfied. I love colour and I’ve found students respond well to it. A favourite workshop activity of ours is using coloured pencils, felt pens, crayons and highlighters to locate signs and terms on a throwaway scanned page. Then, while attending a teaching seminar, I was very excited to learn of the existence of highlighter tape! I immediately researched availability and purchased a small pack of refills to see how it would work in my studio. My students really enjoyed choosing a colour (“all blue” or “all of the colours” being the most popular requests), cutting the required length, positioning it for themselves and even removing the tape when a prompt was no longer needed. A successful addition to my stash of stationery supplies……until more often than not the rolls of tape rolled away and ‘disappeared’. Time to get organised and seek out a practical storage solution for this great resource. In a box with a pair of scissors? On a memo/receipt spike with a safety cover? Both cheaper alternatives although less ‘perfect’ than the dispenser I finally settled on.
Although I’m not ready to pack away my pencil and eraser yet, and words will always be necessary for specific instructions, I’m looking forward to introducing a little brightness to our pages once again.
And nothing says “this is the same chord with the same fingers” better than two strips of purple highlighter tape :)