Helping Music Teachers and Students During Covid-19


J.W. Pepper & Son, Inc. Creates a New Tool to Overcome an Unexpected Barrier to Music Education

Update: This service is now being extended. Teachers will be able to use the Share Music feature through December 31, 2020.

J.W. Pepper & Son, Inc. has found a solution to a problem many music teachers, directors and students have during this difficult time – most of their sheet music that allows them to keep making music was left in closed schools and facilities. To make things more challenging, if a teacher had a copy of a composition, it often could not be shared electronically with ensemble members because of licensing restrictions.

Pepper, as the world’s largest retailer of sheet music in the education market, utilized its relationship with hundreds of publishers to find an answer. Within days, more than 500 publishers contacted by Pepper agreed to join an initiative that allows Pepper to electronically share with its customers and their students any pieces that had been purchased in the past four years, as long as a digital version was available. More than 200,000 compositions are included in the list.

“Pepper was the first company in our industry to launch a Share Music feature, and it has been extremely well received by our customers and by the publishers,” Glenn Burtch, President and CEO of J.W. Pepper said.

The option enables teachers and directors to give access codes to their students or ensemble members, so the music available can be viewed online. The number of shares allowed depends on the amount of copies originally purchased, so if a music director originally bought 30 copies of a piece, 30 online versions can be shared. The free service is available until June 30, and it also works for any new music bought between now and then.

The response from the music community has been immediate and overwhelmingly positive. Hundreds of teachers have expressed their gratitude in social media groups for online learning. Comments include, “This is fantastic”; “I could cry”; “This is amazing” and “game changer.”

Pepper has been a leader in the music community throughout its 144-year history. During normal operations, the company ships more than 3,000 orders per day to schools, churches, colleges and individuals across the country from their state-of-the-art distribution centers in Atlanta, GA and Salt Lake City, UT. Headquartered outside Philadelphia, PA the privately held company employs over 250 people in 12 locations around the country and curates over one million products from leading music publishers.

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Mary Rogelstad
Mary Rogelstad joined Pepper in 2018 as the company’s Marketing Content Coordinator. Previously she worked as a journalist in the international media and as a communications specialist at various nonprofits. In her free time, Mary has enjoyed singing in various choral groups and performing in musical theater.