15 Gift Ideas for Musicians | Holiday Gift Guide 2020

Having trouble finding a gift for the musician in your life? If you want to get them something music-related, look no further! Here are my 15 gift ideas for musicians this holiday season!

Watch the video here!

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Stocking Stuffers

Let’s start with some smaller items!

Clef Necklace

I received this beautiful necklace from my boyfriend’s mom as a graduation gift last year. There are lots options from many sellers, and it’s a fun little touch I like to wear when performing with my boyfriend, a bassist!

Jewelry relating to someone’s instrument is a nice piece they can wear everyday or just for performances!

Ear Plugs

While we may not be performing in extremely large ensembles, ear protection is very important no matter what instrument you play. I bought these earplugs from Amazon last fall, and they’ve come in handy many times in the last year, in both musical and non-musical situations!

I’d recommend these as a basic pair, but if you’d like to purchase a more advanced or personalized pair of earplugs, I’d suggest doing a bit of research to see what’s best.

What I like about Eardial is that there’s a matching app that lets you see the decibel level of your environment, if you should use earplugs, and how many hours you can safely stay in that environment with and without the earplugs.

Rep Deck

This is a fun gift I gave my boyfriend for Valentine’s Day earlier this year, although it feels like a lifetime ago now. These playing cards have excerpts for your chosen instrument printed on them, and there’s a website that lists different games you can play with the cards!

These would be a great gift for a musician who is auditioning for orchestras–you could make a game out of it where they choose a random card and play the printed excerpt! You can find them on Amazon here.

Larger Sized Gifts

Silk Instrument Bag

Picture from https://carmenbrunadesigns.com

I have a silk instrument bag for my viola by Carmen Bruna Designs! She makes really beautiful handmade products including instrument bags, bow bags, and handkerchiefs.

It’s made very well and does a great job at protecting my instrument!

Headphones

With so much music being shared over the internet, it’s important to have good audio quality. For lessons and monitoring recordings, I use the AKG K240 Studio Over-Ear Headphones. I don’t think they’re the ultimate, best headphones, but they do work really well and they’re on sale right now! They are not noise cancelling, and since they are meant for monitoring, the sound does bleed out of the headphones and others may be able to hear what you’re listening to. I do find that the audio quality is higher than my AirPods, which I love for their convenience!

Strings

I can’t even tell you the number of times I’ve received strings as a gift! A lot of us haven’t changed our strings in a long time due to cancelled concerts, so I’m sure many string players would love to receive a set! Strings are very personal, so I’d suggest only buying strings for someone if you know exactly what they want, or if you know they’d like to experiment with different brands.

Sheet Music

I also can’t tell you the number of times I’ve gotten sheet music as a gift! I enjoy receiving both music I’ll play for fun (for example, folklore by Taylor Swift for piano/vocal/guitar), and pieces I’d like to seriously learn (ex. Shostakovich Viola Sonata).

Vinyl

If you’re shopping for someone with a vinyl obsession or even just a record player, a recording of a favorite piece is always fun! I’ve found so many classical records at thrift stores for a dollar or less, so if you’re comfortable going out thrifting right now, you could find a really great gift! You can also buy records of most new music, since vinyl is in right now!

Stand Extenders

If you’re shopping for someone who does a lot of gigs and doesn’t use an iPad, stand extenders can be a real life saver! They almost double the length of the stand, making a lot more real estate for long pieces with no good page turns.

They’re available on Amazon here!

Peak Portable Music Stands

Although we’re not traveling around performing all that much right now, I still highly recommend getting a Peak music stand! These portable stands are game changers compared to traditional wire stands. Mine lived in my instrument locker my first two years of college and then in the trunk of my car when I lived off campus, since I used it at least once a week for chamber music rehearsals when we couldn’t round up enough stands, and I didn’t even miss having a nice Manhasset stand. They also look so much better and more professional than wire stands at gigs!

You can buy just the stand here, or you can purchase the stand with a carrying bag!

Nice metronome or tuner

Even though I have metronome and tuner apps on my phone and iPad, I do still love using my real tuner, and some musicians swear by Dr. Beats. Using the “real” items can help keep us focused and avoid accidentally wasting time on our phones.

I couldn’t find my exact Korg tuner on Amazon or Shar, but I found a similar one here!

Books about music

I love receiving books about music and biographies on musicians, as long as they’re not dull! Here are a few of my favorites:

Music for Silenced Voices by Wendy Lesser

Call me a nerd, but I read this book on the beach a few years ago. This is an excellent and very, very informative book on all of Shostakovich’s string quartets.

It’s available on Amazon here, but you’re likely to find it cheaper used!

The Art of Quartet Playing by David Blum

I had to read this book for a class earlier this year, and it was full of so much great information! If you know someone who plays in a string quartet, this book would be so helpful! The author, David Blum, followed the Guarneri Quartet on tour and interviewed them about how they rehearse, their musical ideas, and how they play quartets together. It’s a very important, informative read for any chamber musician!

If you’re shopping for a violist…

Alto Clef Gifts*

I’ve been following Alto Clef Gifts for years now, and I actually just won a giveaway from them and will be receiving this Rebecca Clarke Viola Sonata mug that I’ve had my eye on for years!!!

Lisa, the shop owner, has so many creative viola-related gear, and I’m kind of obsessed. I’m sure any violist would be happy with a gift from her shop!

Use my code ELIZABETHKNAUB for 10% off your order!

*referral link – I may make a small commission if you make a purchase here

Gifts you can easily give from afar!

While most of my suggestions can be bought on the internet and shipped anywhere, these are completely virtual and you won’t have to worry about shipping!

Yoga for All Musicians

Yoga for All Musicians (YAM) is a fantastic virtual yoga studio and community for musicians! They offer gift cards for their classes, and they also offer merch! If you’d like to try out their classes, they offer a free YAM 101 class every Sunday!

The Aligned Musician

I’ve been a Patreon member of The Aligned Musician (now The Aligned Musician Studio) for a few months now, and it’s been so fulfilling! I really enjoy the way Kim teaches, and she has many different types of class offerings. She is a trauma-informed yoga instructor and a fellow violist! Since she’s on Patreon, there’s not a gift card option, but maybe you could start a membership for someone and then give them the login information. She also offers merch!

Sheet Music PDFs

If your recipient uses an iPad to read music, you could always buy them a pdf copy of a piece they’d like to learn, rather than the physical sheet music. You can buy pdfs of sheet music on Sheet Music Plus!


I hope you were able to take away a few gift ideas for musicians. Let me know what’s on your wishlist this year down in the comments!

Elizabeth

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