I get asked about 50 times a year by my non-musician friends and family members what an appropriate gift would be for their child’s violin/piano/clarinet teacher, so I thought I would post a few ideas. You will notice one entire category that is missing from this list, and that is: ANYTHING that has music notes, treble clefs, or any music joke on it (Like a magnetic fridge pad that says “Chopin Liszt”). As I said to one disappointed friend who had sent me a link to a website dedicated to such atrocities: You’re an accountant; would you be psyched to get a pair of cheap mini-calculator earrings? No? Well, there you have it. Just remember, when the piano teacher in your life isn’t patiently teaching kids how to find inner discipline, listen critically and build the character skills necessary to bring about world peace, they are actually perfectly normal people. And please remember, as always, it is truly the thought that counts. It’s nice to mark this mid-point of the year with a show of appreciation and as a way to reflect on accomplishments thus far. That can be in the form of a heartfelt note and a hand drawn picture from the student, or it can be a purchased gift. Below, I have compiled a list that covers a large range of price points, and of course, gift cards are always adjustable according to one’s budget. Hope it helps, and please feel free to pass it around!
1. A Starbucks Gift Card
Seriously-I know it feels like a cheap and easy way out, but most music teachers will have a very long day of lessons with no time to run to the kitchen/staff room to make a fresh pot of coffee. These are like gold.
2. A box of delicious homemade treats (cookies, fudge, whatever your specialty is!)
I mean, yummmmm. My mom used to make about 8 different kinds of cookies and would hand out tins of them to our teachers and coaches. Voilá!
3. A nice bottle of wine or bubbly.
Something that they can open and really enjoy on that first night that they didn’t have to spend 8 hours in a row listening to excuses of why their students didn’t practice that week!
4. A gift card to a music store like Johnson Strings or Shar Music.
Because those post-lesson stickers get pricey!
5. A pretty dish to hold clips, mutes, stickers, etc.
6. A gift card towards a massage or mani-pedi.
Because they deserve a little pampering.
7. If you know they celebrate the holidays with a Christmas Tree, a beautiful ornament that represents your family’s culture.
8. A plant that can add a little bit of life to their studio space.
Like this pretty Christmas Cactus. The lack of light in most teaching studios will help it bloom longer!
10. Cool looking desk accessories like this:
Happy Shopping, Everyone!