There’s a special place in my heart for the hard copies of the music in my iTunes playlists. I’m very much into thrift shopping and when I go usually my first stop is the CD racks. I have found a great many treasures there that now find their home on my own specially organized shelves of music.

What makes me buy an album? Well first of all they are usually about $2 each so you really can’t go wrong. It’s as cheap as it gets other than free. I generally buy an album if I already know the artist and I know I’ll probably like the music. For example, the latest album I bought from the thrift store was Jack Johnson “In Between Dreams.” It’s Jack Johnson and you can never go wrong with Jack Johnson. Anyway, as I expected I loved the album. It can really surprise me when I find really great artists on the thrift shop shelves. It’s a little bitter because it means that someone deemed the music not worthy of their collection but oh so sweet because I get to pick up and keep it forever!

There are also times where I recognize the name of an artist or a band because someone I know has talked to me about them. Then I’ll buy their album because there’s probably a good chance I’ll like it. Sometimes I’m disappointed but that is bound to happen with the vast amount of tastes in music. I’d share an example but somehow I feel like sharing something I don’t like is counterproductive.

Occasionally I will honestly just judge a book by its cover so to speak and buy an album because I like the album artwork and the packaging and hope that I’ll like the music. Surprisingly I’m often glad I invested the Toonie. You should know, however, that there is a method to my madness. There’s a lot you can find out about the music before you actually listen to it. If an album cover has intrigued me I’ll read their lyrics a bit and even go as far as reading their thank you note. The thank you note will mostly just tell me if the artist thanks God and any other important people. Not to say I like all the “Christian” music out there but at least then I know what to expect lyrically without actually reading all the lyrics. That being said, I’ll still sometimes read the lyrics. They tell me if I’m looking at a shallow album or if there is some real meat to what an artist has written. It also tells me if they’ve actually written it themselves.

My second stop at the thrift shop is usually the music books shelf. I’ll tell you right now there’s not usually a lot of selection there but I’ve found a decent amount of useful teaching materials on those shelves. I also keep my eye out for praise and worship books that I can use in church. Then there’s the movie theme song books that are fun to incorporate into lessons, depending on the level of my students.

Anyway, if you’ve never done some music thrift shopping, I highly recommend giving it a try. It can be a lot of fun and coming home with new music to listen to is always a good thing. Also, if your child is considering starting piano lessons you can often find the beginner books you need at the thrift store. I see them all the time!

Happy Thursday and happy thrifting!