Friday, 11 December 2009
Items on the website with despatch times of 1-2 working days are held in stock and will be despatched on the next available working day. Occasionally we run out of these items and if this happens you will be informed,together with the likely despatch date.
Items on the website with a despatch time of 4 working days or more are ordered specially and it is likely that the last orders will be placed with publishers on 14th and 15th December, to allow delivery before Christmas. Special order items requested after this time may not arrive in time for Christmas.
Orders will be despatched on every working day up to and including the 23rd December, and on normal working days between Christmas and New Year.
But please note that all the music publishers close down completely between Christmas and New Year, so special order items (and any replacement stock items) will not be ordered until Monday 4th January.
If you would like further information on this, do drop me a line: email@example.com
Have a restful Christmas and Happy New Year.
Friday, 4 December 2009
So a new publication - example cadenzas for Mozart's oboe concerto - is sure to be of help to young oboists, as this music is a staple of the repertoire. Written by Melinda Maxwell, it gives ideas and suggestions for suitable improvisations.
Another publication new to the website is Ten Supplementary Studies for Young Brass Players by Colin Moore. Useful as sight reading practice in preparation for exams, these graded studies are published with bass and treble clef versions in the same book.
In other news, courier and postal deliveries are starting to be a little erratic in the run-up to Christmas. If you want music for Christmas, please order early as there are only two weeks left before the Christmas shutdown.
Friday, 27 November 2009
I have reluctantly had to raise postage prices - they have been static for two years now, and having reviewed my figures I have put them up by 50p. I should really have increased them when the postage cost went up in April, but with costs for many things rising fast, I have no choice but to put them up now. Sorry!
Thursday, 5 November 2009
This week I have added some mug mats to the gifts section on the website - here's a picture of one of them, but there are three other designs too. At £2.50 each they're a good price too!
I have added a number of pieces for double bass too:
- Armand Russell's Challenges,
- Clucas's Baroque Suite, which was premiered this year,
- Faure's Apres un Reve (Recital Edition),
- Hirta for double bass quartet
- Tony Osborne's Space Travel,
- Tony Osborne's Pizzicato All-Sorts,
For organ, we have an arrangement of Gershwin's Three Preludes.
For cello, Cirri's Sonata in C Major.
More next week...
Thursday, 29 October 2009
At this time of year, music publishers bring out their new publications. Most of them are single books of repertoire - few are a complete new series of books, let alone a new tutor book.
This week I have added a brand new violin tutor series called Violin Playing to the website; it takes students from the very beginning to grade 8 standard, which is most unusual. There are 5 books:
- Book 1 - preparatory/initial grade
Book 2 - grades 1 to 2
Book 3 - grades 3 and 4
Book 4 - grades 5, 6 and part of 7
Book 5 - grades 7 and 8
On the subject of the postal strike, while there are some delays to post to and from VS Music Supplies, they don't seem to be long delays, with post taking a day or two longer than it should in most cases. Let's hope it continues that way.
Friday, 23 October 2009
So this week I added a few new or new to me publications for the Christmas period:
- Mr Mozart Takes a Sleigh Ride - organ
- Sleigh Bells across the Snow - organ
- Play Christmas - tunes for saxophone, clarinet, flute, trumpet, piano and violin with CD
- and The Ukulele Christmas Playlist
When the new exam syllabuses are published, there are always a few pieces which have not yet been issued or are out of print at the time, so I do keep checking them. This week I have added:
And recently published music includes:
- Blues and ragtime for piano, by Paul Harris
- Nocturne for cello by William Lloyd Webber
- Tango for Two - piano duet
- Gaslight Square II - piano duet
- Partita for trombone by Brian Kelly
- The Pop Piano Player - Mamma Mia (with CD)
- The Jazz Piano Player - Autumn Leaves (with CD)
- Let's Swing - Flute (with CD)
- Variations on God Save the Queen for clarinet trio
That's all for this week. I hope the postal strike is not affecting you too badly, its business as usual here, despite the strike.
Update: In this article there is a picture of what happens when a driver who doesn't read signs tries to drive down the footpath I use to take my parcels to the post office!
Thursday, 15 October 2009
I now have a bit of a breather after the September/early October rush, so have been able to add more new music to the website.
Starting with Christmas, Faber Music has published another collection of pieces for school string ensemble, Stringpops Christmas. Easy arrangements for players up to grade 2, it comes with a CD containing PDF parts and recordings of the accompaniments too, all for £9.99.
with a piano accompaniment available for b flat (trumpet) only.
Friday, 2 October 2009
Saturday, 26 September 2009
We are now in the slightly manic phase of the year, when everyone is buying music books and, bizarrely, people tend to order exactly the same books on the same day. It's weird - you don't sell any copies of some books for 9 months, then you get several orders at the same time. It's a struggle to keep up with demand at this time of year, and I'm pretty tired.
Newly published music includes Green and Pleasant, for trombone or euphonium, available in treble or bass clef and on the new exam syllabus.
Other new music - Six Studies in English Folksong for Tuba, by Vaughan Williams. Bass clef only.
For advanced double bass players, there is Moving On Again, a piece written in 2007. And for more intermediate players, there is Bass in Space.
For those still waiting for Winner Scores All, the latest update from the publisher is that it is due out mid-October. I hope to have more new music next week, if time permits.
Friday, 11 September 2009
Friday, 4 September 2009
The Associated Board cello exam recordings have been published this week, with the exception of the grade 8 one for some reason. They are all now on the website. Curiously, the retail prices in a few cases are lower than the price list I received a couple of months ago. I have added them at the new price, but some retailers have used the old price list.
Friday, 28 August 2009
Friday, 21 August 2009
- Viola Allsorts
- Cello Allsorts
- Go with the Flow - Cello
I will keep an eye on these and add them when they become available. The grade 7 and 8 pieces for violin and viola have changed the most from the previous years.
One of the frustrating things I find with Trinity is that they make mistakes in the syllabus, unlike ABRSM. Sometimes these mistakes are carried over from year to year, and it can make it difficult for teachers and parents to find the music. They often don't put edition numbers in which makes it difficult for retailers to find the pieces, but sometimes when they do, they get the number wrong.
A bigger problem is incorrect titles, here are some I have spotted so far:
- Solos for the Young Violinist should be Solos for Young Violinists
- Lost Melodies - Old Masterpieces for Cello is actually called Forgotten Melodies by the publisher so you would never find this on any website!
- Roche: Vacance should be Vacances, with an S
In these days when people search for music via the internet, accuracy in titles and edition numbers is so important - so if you're reading this at Trinity Guildhall (and I know you drop in from time to time!), please, please could you check all the titles and numbers before your next publications?
I haven't got to the brass and guitar syllabi yet - will do them next week.
On a lighter note, while business is picking up as new school years start, most mornings are still quiet so I can get on with updating the website. What I really don't get is why everything happens at once, after some hours with no phone calls or deliveries!
Yesterday, all was quiet until 12 o'clock, when in the space of 30 minutes I had two customers call with complicated queries which required internet searches, 2 deliveries arrived and one of these arrived at the exact same time I received a call back from a distributor which I really needed to answer! Then there was the wrong music in one of my parcels which I then had to sort out. I was also trying to do the post at the same time as helping customers, processing deliveries and wrapping parcels. I finally sat down to lunch at 2.30!
Friday, 14 August 2009
Friday, 7 August 2009
Saturday, 1 August 2009
At this time of year business is quiet, so I have time to do jobs in preparation for the new school year, when I get very busy. I have mentioned in previous posts the publication of the new syllabuses for the exam boards generates work on the website, and generally I try to spend time improving what I offer on the site.
Friday, 24 July 2009
Thursday, 16 July 2009
Saturday, 4 July 2009
Tuesday, 30 June 2009
On the subject of the ABRSM exams, the new strings, brass and woodwind syllabus from 2010 will be published in August. I have received a list of all the pieces required (though not the syllabus itself) for all instruments so I will be adding the music over the next month.
Hope you're enjoying the fine weather, I certainly am! It's a bit of a struggle to sit at my computer some times...
Saturday, 13 June 2009
Friday, 5 June 2009
Thursday, 28 May 2009
- Electronic keyboard exam pieces
- Electronic Organ
- Guitar books, both classical and acoustic
- The full series of Singer's World
- Descant recorder exam pieces
- Woodwind World for clarinet
- Sound at Sight for oboe - newly published
- Sound at Sight for bassoon - newly published
- A number of books for percussion, various instruments
- A number of reference books
- Theory workbooks and past exam papers
- Aural training
Wednesday, 20 May 2009
While I bought an existing business, I spent huge amounts of time creating the website and improving what I can offer, so it is nice to see it paid off, with turnover doubling over the year.
So thanks to all of you who bought music last year, and special thanks to those of you who took the trouble to give me feedback on the service I provide.
Please remember that I do rely on you to add things to my list of available music - I can get pretty much anything within about a week, so do let me know if there is something you can't find and I will do my best for you.
Wednesday, 13 May 2009
Today I met a sales rep from one of the main music distribution groups. He, along with others in the industry, is uncomfortable with internet retailers and clearly thinks that they are doing damage to music shops.
- rents - in common with other retailers, the massive increase in rent over recent years has impacted on some music shops, often the ones set up more recently
- over-reliance on selling instruments - the big profit margins on instruments and electronic equipment has led some to stock up on this instead of sheet music, but in a recession people simply don't buy instruments as frequently, leading to cashflow problems
- poor selection and supply of sheet music (customer service) - people do buy sheet music regularly, especially parents with kids learning instruments, and this repeat business should be the bread and butter of a music shop - too often it is neglected
- most books are bought by parents as ordered by teachers, so it is teachers who have to be persuaded - there are ways to do this (too long for this post!)
- publishers have to make PDF extracts of the music available to retailers for their websites so people can peruse them - this is starting but very slowly
- loss of business due to heavy discounting (this applies mainly to instruments and accessories) as internet retailers have lower overheads
- loss of business as people change their shopping habits towards more online purchases
Friday, 8 May 2009
Spring is gathering pace, this week the may flowers came out -they're all over the damp fields at the moment. Lots of rain and wind this week so I'm afraid my post went to the post office by car a couple of times, sorry.
Friday, 1 May 2009
On the negative side, I have had to increase prices of some strings for violin, viola, cello and double bass. This is the third time this year that I have had to adjust these prices - it's all down to the drop in the value of sterling, as strings are imported in either euros or dollars. This time the price increase is in the region of 10%.
The fall of our currency over the last year has added significant costs to all retailers. It's not just the price of the stock, but also the delivery charge. A proportion of my stock comes from Germany - prices for music are set at a particular point in time, but as they are charged in euros, they now cost more in sterling than they did a year ago. I can't sell them for more, though - well I suppose I could, but wouldn't have many customers buying them, would I? Most retailers stick to the RRP for books, so we can't pass on the true cost, instead we take a hit.
As for delivery charges, as you might expect delivery from Germany is not cheap. In December 2007 it was under £8, now it's over £11. Again, a cost which cannot be passed on.
Added to that some items have become more expensive for other reasons too - clarinet and sax reeds have gone up by 50% in the last year - some of that is due to supply reasons rather than just the economy. I don't deal in instruments, but those retailers who do have got the same problem there - huge inflation in prices.
All in all it's a difficult time for retailers - if your local music shop ceased trading recently, this is one of the reasons why.
Yesterday we had the news that Kemble pianos would cease production in the UK later this year - a sad day for a long standing business. Unfortunately most instruments now are made in the far east, and that looks likely to continue for some time to come - it is quite simply more economic for companies not to produce or be based in this country.
Having said all that, let's be more upbeat - music is a great hobby and relatively cheap compared with other entertainment. More and more people are playing instruments and making music together, long may it continue!
I will be closed for the bank holiday (thought you can order online 24/7 as usual) - have a great weekend and enjoy the good weather!
Friday, 24 April 2009
My walks to the post office are now increasingly dry and sunny. A few days ago I discovered these little buddies on my path, sitting in a sunny and sheltered spot. They were only a couple of days old and weren't sure what to make of me. Their mothers had gone off into the fields either side of the path, but returned sharpish when the lambs started bleating, wondering what to do. I gently shepherded them up the path to the gate where they came in, they went off with their mothers and I carried on my way. A few days earlier I found a herd of cattle sitting on the path - such are the hazards of taking my parcels to the post office on foot!
- euphonium/baritone - much increased section of repertoire
- bassoon - more repertoire
- clarinet - more repertoire, still in progress
Thursday, 16 April 2009
I have now taken care of most of the price changes on the website, so now I have added new products to the gifts and greeting cards sections.
Here are pictures of some of the new products - ringbinder, post-it style sticky notes, and keyring.
- Classical guitar - CDs and books for the ABRSM exam syllabus, also guitar repertoire
- Harp - a brand new section which I hope to develop further over the summer months, it's rather thin at present!
- Harpsichord - another brand new section which contains all the ABRSM publications for the instrument
- Piano - I have massively expanded the piano repertoire and there is a lot of it! I can now supply all the pieces by the major composers such as Beethoven, Mozart, Schumann, etc., published by ABRSM publishing - that's an awful lot of music!
- CD recordings of the ABRSM syllabus for oboe, viola, saxophone, cello, bassoon.
- ABRSM jazz syllabus for trumpet, trombone, saxophone, flute, clarinet.
- an improved section for percussion
- more generally, I now list almost all ABRSM publications
In June/July the exam boards will be publishing the new syllabus for a number of instruments, along with several new publications and these will be added then.
As usual during school holidays, business has slowed down a bit (hence why I have been able to add so much to the website) but I am gearing up for the start of the new school term next week!
Thursday, 2 April 2009
I hope everyone enjoys the nice long holiday over the Easter weekend.
Wednesday, 25 March 2009
In the run-up to exams, I experience a surge in demand for some of the most popular exam pieces, mostly because students have been playing from (illegal) photocopies for months and they are not allowed to take these into the exams! So I get lots of queries from people asking how quickly I can get the music out to them, because their child has the exam next week.
The use of photocopies is a topic of regular discussion among publishers, and a sore point. I've never played from a photocopy myself, but maybe that's just because I'm old and photopiers were new-fangled technology when I was young!
Leaving aside the rights and wrongs of the issue, what I don't understand is why, when the child is entered for the exam, the teacher and parents don't ensure that they have the music ready. Why wait until one or two weeks before the exam and then be in a rush? They have to buy it anyway, so why not do it in good time?
Then for those who have already bought the music, there is the old problem of losing the piano part. It is sensible to keep both parts together, for safety but you know what kids are like - they take out the instrumental part and forget where they put the rest of it. So I have had some people buy second copies of music they have already purchased as their offspring has lost it/left it on a bus/fed it to the dog. An expensive business.
Anyway, I wish all the students in exams at this time the very best of luck!
Friday, 6 March 2009
One year ago the bulk of the work on the website was finished and VS Music Supplies began to pick up new customers all over the world. So I thought that it might be good to see where our customers come from.
Friday, 27 February 2009
My daily walk to the post office no longer requires me to muffle up in scarf, gloves and hat, so spring seems to be on the way now.
Wednesday, 18 February 2009
Monday, 2 February 2009
Friday, 23 January 2009
Friday, 16 January 2009
Each week I check out what people have been looking for on the web, and which instruments or pieces people most often visit.