Check out this post for some excellent tips on saving money on sheet music.
Some things I do personally:
- Only buy copies of books you know you will use frequently. For me, this is usually the primer level of a piano book (kids forget all the time) or a vocal book I intend to use with multiple students. I both volumes of the “Folk Songs for Solo Singers” books in both high and low voice, but I don’t buy every Broadway book a student wants to sing from.
- If a student wants to learn one song from a book (such as a Disney or pop song) I might have them look up the words to it rather than buy the entire book. If it is a foreign language song (getting their feet wet the first time at a young age) I write out a pronunciation guide for them and then in the lesson I use the version that is for their voice (high or low) and then they use the other one to follow along.
- I often make recordings of myself singing a student’s song so that they can practice more effectively and memorize it more quickly. If I can do the same version of their song, or find someone performing it online, that helps greatly.