We are in the midst of the holiday shopping spree (or as I like to say, it's a marathon not a sprint) and that means finding gifts for the most difficult people to shop for: musicians. Each year our families find themselves Googling "gifts for musicians" in hopes of finding something for my husband and me. They are not alone. I'm sure many of you do the same thing (perhaps that is how you stumbled upon this blog post!). To aid in this endeavor, I have compiled a list of really great gifts to give musicians.
1. Gift Certificate for Sheet Music
Sheet Music Plus offers a variety of styles of music for anyone and allows the customer to purchase a gift certificate right from their website and have it emailed to your loved one.
It's amazing the number of musicians, especially singers, who do not own a metronome. This is an ESSENTIAL piece of equipment for EVERY musician. They are relatively inexpensive (many for under $20) and there even metronome apps for the iPhone. Metronomes can be purchased anywhere instruments are sold or online. Amazon has a wide selection.
3. Subscription to Magazines
If you have a musician in your house, you're bound to find at least one magazine they would love. Not sure which one? Take them to Barnes and Noble or Borders and let them browse the magazine aisles. Write down the names of the ones they pick up. Some of my favorites include, Opera News, Classical Singer, Broadway Magazine, and American Songwriter Magazine.
4. Music Lessons
Music lessons are the single best gift you can give a musician. Not sure if they're going to stick with it? Want to try a few teachers before choosing the best one? Not a problem! Most teachers and schools offer sample lessons.
5. Digital Voice Recorder
I recommend my students record their lessons for many reasons. Being able to hear your own voice, checking your progress, bringing your teacher home with you, and practicing purposes are all examples of how recording your lessons can help. In the old days we used cassette tapes. NOW we can record our lessons with a digital voice recorder. Not only can you play your lesson back on your device, but you can also upload it to your computer, save and email files, and much more! Target is a really easy place to find a variety of digital voice recorders for any budget.
I know what you're thinking. "I don't have thousands of dollars to spend on a piano!" I'm totally with you! But please don't fall into the belief that your musician doesn't need one, especially if said musician is a singer. Can't afford a baby grand? No problem! Check out digital versions or better yet, ask family members if they have a piano they don't use. Check Craigslist in your area, or other classified services. Many people are selling their pianos, or giving them away if you pick it up. The cost of minor repairs and a tuning isn't nearly the cost of buying a brand new piano.
7. CD Spending Spree
This is quite possibly one of the greatest gifts EVER! Musicians NEED to hear music, and a lot of it. Don't know Coleman from Coltrane? Take your musician to the store with you so they can pick out the discs. Gift cards are also great. Have too many CDs in your house already? Find a CD trade store where your musician can bring in 20 CDs of his own to trade for new ones!
8. Tickets to a Live Show
Nothing speaks louder to a musician than seeing a live performance. Broadway tickets, a Symphony concert, the latest singer-songwriter, etc. And be sure to go WITH your loved one. You might just love it too!