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Music Arrangement That Helps Me

Posted by terrepruitt on April 29, 2016

I am not organized in all areas of my life.  Who is, right?  But I do find that when I am organized it makes things easier . . . faster . . . quicker.  And, most of us can benefit from that, right?  There is so much going on, if we can do something faster it helps.  Even if it is just to allow us time to slow down.  Hurry up and cook dinner so we can sit and relax.  Hurry up and clean up so we can go off to play.  Whatever . . . hurry in one area of life to make it easier so we can get to the OTHER things in life.  Well, I teach Nia, which is a cardio dance that is done to a variety of music.  Nia Teachers purchase routines from Nia Technique.  They are playlists and choreography.  Ok, really they are A LOT more than that, but if I got into ALL of what the routines are in this post it would be really long and I would probably not even get to the point of this post.  The point is some information on how I “organize” or arrange my music in iTunes.

So, Nia teacher purchase routines and for some reason sometimes the Album is titled the name of the routine and sometimes it is titled “NiaSounds”.  Sometimes it is the name of the routine-NiaSounds.  It is NOT consistent.  The artists are all over the place from the ACTUAL artist to “Nia Technique”.  It is not consistent.  And the genre is spotty too, sometimes it is “Alternative”, sometimes it is “New Age”, and I am not even sure what else.  This inconsistency does not make it easy to organize the music.  And it is very desirable, if not necessary, to have the music labeled consistently so that it can be organized consistently.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitWhat I do, is I make certain the genre is “Nia”.  The ACTUAL genre could be anything because we dance Nia to all types of music.  So what it REALLY is, is not what I am looking for.  I want my Nia Routine music to come up all in one spot when I look at it if I am looking at it via genre.

I change all the Albums to be the name of the actual Nia Routine so I can find music easily by the name of the routine.

I don’t bother with the artist because I like it when it is the ACTUAL artist, but I am not going to spend the time to correct all the music to be the actual artist.  As I said, the way Nia labels it is not consistent.

iTunes changes the way it functions WAY TOO often for me.  I notice that the length of a song doesn’t show any longer where it used to.  I have to go in and out of playlists to see the length of songs.  When I have a playlist pulled up, I have to go out of it into the list of playlists to see the length.  I have been delaying the update that is currently out there because I can’t even imagine the new changes they have done, the last time an update came out someone on Facebook asked a question about where the total time of the playlists had gone to and that made me think I had better not update because one of the things that makes an iPhone and iPad useful to me is that it can be used to create playlists.  And when you are teaching you need to know how long the playlist is.

One of my devices is on a really old iOS (6something) and the other one is at 9something.  I think my iTunes is a few versions behind.  But I am afraid to update because I don’t want to lose the function that I use.

Another way I organize the music is I have three separate playlists for the Nia music.  One is arranged by Album.  So I can easily see what song goes to which routine.  I can pick out a song that I know is in a routine, or identify a routine when I know the song.  Also, I have a playlist arranged by BPM . . . which means Beats Per Minute, but in Nia we don’t go by BPM we go by the 8BCs.  So once I figure out that count I try to remember to put it in my iTunes (under BPM).  I have not successfully remembered with all the routines, so not all of them show up properly in that playlist but enough to help me when I am trying to put a particular speed song into a routine I am trying to create.  Then I also have a playlist arranged by time because sometimes I need a LONG song and sometimes I need a short song.  When they are all clumped together by time it makes it easier to pick the length of time I need then I can just pop it into the correct Nia Class cycle.  So these three separate “playlists” allow me to see the music in ways that I need, in order to create playlists on my device that I will use in class.

That is what I do to help keep my music organized in a manner that works for me.  I am sure there are different ways that other Nia teachers do it as this is not the only way.

Whether you are a teacher that uses music or not – how do you organize your music?

15 Responses to “Music Arrangement That Helps Me”

  1. I have a difficult time with iTunes- so actually I listen to Spotify way more. There it’s all displayed either in my playlists or by artist. I also use the search and listen to new stuff.


    • Does Spotify allow you to import music? Is there a monthly fee? Is it online or in your computer? I had thought Spotify was like Pandora.

      iTunes is frustrating when they change it. But I would guess Spotify changes things, too, because as things get more popular they change.


      • Spotify is a streaming service. There is a free version that I believe has ads or a monthly fee which is what we have that allows you to save music to your phone. I haven’t really noticed any changes they’ve made – the interface stays the same. Itunes, however, I cannot figure out.


        • Ahh, yes, so it is like Pandora. So you can save music from the stream to your phone? iTunes seems to need “figuring out” with every update, but . . . as teacher who needs music I have to have something that allows me to import, arrange, and play routine music. So . . . I gotta keep trying. I am surprised that Spotify has not changed ever. I know the short time that I used Pandora it changed within that period. In fact, when it changed to requiring a password that is when I stopped using it. I know a lot of people that like the online services. My husband often plays it through our TV.


          • On Spotify you can listen to anything you choose (as long as they have it – and they have most everything — except for Prince. And Taylor Swift.) You can also connect your itunes to it. So you would have access to all your Nia music and then could organize your playlists in Spotify. If you’re not happy with Itunes, it may be worth looking into. I think a lot of instructors use Spotify as it gives them access to so much music whether they own it or not.


            • But . . . it is an online service correct? So even if I had all of “my” music on it, I would have to be online to play it? When I am in class I try to turn my phone to “airplane” mode so phone calls and text don’t interrupt my class. (I don’t always remember to do so, but it is a goal.) So could I still access my music? One reason that iTunes is so annoying and frustrating is because of the TIME-SUCK when it changes. It takes time to learn the “new”. Ha . . . so I have not taken the time to look into something else. And, yes, though, you are right I have seen some of the other Nia teachers on FB mention using Spotify, but thought it was just for personal use and I didn’t realize they might be using it in their classes. Why doesn’t Spotify have Taylor Swift or Prince?

              Also, you mentioned it was free but there were ads. So do the ads pop up while the music is playing? Because that wouldn’t work in a class situation. I already pay for iTunes, I’m not able to pay a monthly fee for music. Can ya tell I am not really being sold on the “benefits” of Spotify? 🙂 I don’t clearly see them.


              • Per Spotify:

                ” Listen offline

                For: Premium subscribers

                Take your music everywhere you go. You can play up to 3,333 songs offline (i.e. without internet) on three different devices.” So for $10/month So music can be accessed offline!


              • You can listen to spotify on airplane mode, but I think this is only with the monthly paid subscription. I subscribe, therefore I don’t have ads and I listen to my saved playlists on airplane mode. I’m pretty sure there are ads for the free version, and if you don’t want to subscribe then this would not be a good fit. I don’t see how an instructor could use the free version with ads, and not being able to listen offline. In my opinion it’s either subscribe to itunes or spotify, but not both. And this is probably why I don’t like itunes is because I don’t subscribe. therefore, I don’t have access to all the music I own (when on my phone). So I listen to that stuff on Spotify. I tried to get into itunes when they relaunched with streaming etc…but I was already settled into spotify and had it figured out. Another reason I think instructors like Spotify is for the sharing capabilities….they can share playlists. I follow one of my yoga teachers and get to listen to all her playlists that she makes public which is fantastic.


                • Yeah, I looked it up. You can listen to 3,333 songs in airplane mode for $10 a month. Well, i-anything users have to be a part of iTunes so . . . to me I would be using it even if I had Spotify because that is what we update the i-devices through. So, I’m kinda stuck that way. And since we are paying for it I don’t want to pay an addition $10 for something else.

                  Ahhh, sharing playlists. Definitely a draw for some people. Thank you so much for all the information about something new-to-me! I have learned so much this week about so many different things. An incredible week of learning!

                  Liked by 1 person

  2. Liv said

    If I start to organize it and look at it too closely, all those inconsistencies you mention drive me crazy too. So I categorize it by mood. I have a bucket for running music, I have a bucket for happy music, I have a bucket for mellow music. It’s very vague and not really organized but It saves me from going type A on the whole thing. 😛


    • Yes, if I were to look at my “listening” music like this it would drive me crazy. But this is my routine music so I HAVE to have it organized or I would BE crazy.

      Mood is a very interesting way to organize your music, but for me “mood” would translate to genre. Or descriptions “loud”, “quiet”, “guitars”, etc.

      There are just somethings that have to be less organized so that you can spend time organizing the things that matter more!

      Besides “happy” and “mellow” what other music moods do you have?


      • Liv said

        “kid” and then Wicked the musical gets its own bucket b/c I love it and sometimes you just need to sing along. 🙂 I’m going to have to give some thought to yoga playlists though I like not having music right now, it’s one less thing to stress over!


        • Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! “Kid”. I am sure we could catch you playing that kid list . . . . singing your heart out to Barney or the Wiggles! Yes, I am surprised you don’t have one called “sing-along”. 🙂

          Ha, I just have playlists and don’t worry about it. Although today my music finished before I did which was odd. And I thought it was playing but just something quiet and hummie, but it was off.

          Some people like changing MUSIC, ya know different songs, but I often use my app called Nature Sounds. And it is probably about a 3-5 minute loop. I have never timed it, but it plays then you hear it loop. And it just loops over and over for the hour and I like it. There are pre-made ones and ones I have made. Also a lot of my Nia music works for yoga. There are actually some free albums of nature sounds or meditation on Amazon if you are interested.


          • Liv said

            Ooo thanks for the tip about free albums of nature sounds! Actually I do have a sing along playlist but it’s mostly churchy music. Wicked though is my default sing a long…best musical ever!


            • Yeah, you can find free stuff on iTunes and Amazon.

              Have you seen it? We didn’t see it this last time around, but we’ve been three other times. So great!!! Laugh and cry every time!


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