Holiday gift ideas for your musical friend
There are 2 types of gift givers: those who love gifting, and those (like me) who think a root canal would be more enjoyable than holiday shopping. Giving gifts is a skill that comes to a few graced souls, and if you are not one of the Chosen it can be exceedingly hard and stressful during the end of the year!
Whether you celebrate Christmas, Chanukah, or simply partake in end-of-year gifting, I can at least give you a few ideas for your singer or instrument-playing friends. This list includes all budgets so hopefully you can find something!
None of these links are sponsored, and I do not receive any reimbursement from any of these companies. Any links are here simply because I truly believe in the product.
This item is a staple of most instruments, and there are several different types! Consider checking first to see if the person already has a professional folder (though having an extra is certainly handy!) For singers, in my personal opinion hands down the best folder is this one.
This is a close second. I like each each for the following reasons:
It holds 2 pencils! It’s good to bring an extra pencil. The first one is my favorite mostly because the pencils are stored horizontally on the top, generally very easy to access. The other one also holds 2 pencils. I do find the holder on the right hand side drops standard pencils. It’s great for mechanical or something with a big eraser. The elastic holder on the left works great for standard pencils.
Protected name tag! Folders do get left places or loaned out a lot. It’s important to know who each folder belongs to!
Elastic strings instead of 3-ring binders. Some people do prefer 3-ring binders, but for most choral musicians the elastic strings hold music best. If you know this person prints their own music out or uses staples to hold it together, they make these adapters that slide into the elastic straps. This way they can choose what works best for them!
FYI the hand strap and the strap at the bottom are not negotiable for a singer. If you decide to shop around, for the love of everything you hold dear, don’t give your singer friend a folder without these 2 straps! The hand strap makes it so much easier to comfortably hold the folder, and the bottom strap saves a lot of extra work holding the folder together. It’s surprisingly exhausting holding your music up during a concert, and those 2 straps are lifesavers.Plus, the angle is designed to open the folder to the exact same angle for everyone, which just looks classy.
If your recipient is an instrumentalist, a lot of the same concepts apply; however, they won’t need the straps. You can’t go wrong with something like this.
For instrumentalists a music stand is a must! For singers it’s optional but nice. There are all kinds of stands depending on use. The main question here is whether the person will be using it to practice at home, or transporting it.
The best music stands are nice and solid and just stay where they need to be. No drama, just nice and sturdy. I’d say this one is probably the most common.
If the person is going to be taking the stand to performances and rehearsals, it’s still best if possible to get a stand with a solid rack. I’ve used these for performances. They are nice because they are solid where you put your music but collapse down with a foldable base.
The final option is the absolute most portable stands, which are foldable wire frame. These are great in concept, but the slightest bit of wind tends to knock them over and they are so flimsy that music flies off them all the time. However, they do fold down nicely and fit in a nice little bag. I’d probably recommend something like this.
Again for singers, this is a great tool to be classy when finding your first note when starting to sing! If they are in an ensemble without any instruments (barbershop or a capella) this is an excellent gift.
I like this one, specifically in black. When performing you want to be discreet when you give the pitch, and the silver ones can reflect light and flash. Black is classy onstage!
This is great for anyone who has picked up guitar! If they’ve been playing for a while they may have opinions on what style they like, but if they’re new to the instrument you can’t go wrong with Snark. We used these little guys at the school.
These simple little things have tons of uses for musicians! From finding initial pitches to practicing interval training and working with resonance… they are crazy useful and not very expensive. Great stocking stuffers!
THE BEST PENCIL
I know it seems weird to give someone a pencil as a gift, but I’m not kidding when I say this is THE BEST PENCIL. Musicians need to make marks in their music and those marks NEED to be eraseable. NO PENS, EVER.
This pencil is beautiful to write with, easy to erase, and the eraser it comes with doesn’t smudge. I’m in love.
If you want to go ALL IN, get your musician friend a good chair for practicing! These can be pretty pricey. Wenger chairs are pretty good, especially with the padding.
There’s also a more standard chair here. This one is designed specifically for wind and brass players, which will also work for singers. Posture is important and being able to sit forward and take good breaths is a big part of these instruments.
If your musical friend takes lessons online (or teaches, in my case!), this little stand is great! I use it almost daily. It also works as a music stand if they prefer to use their laptop or other device instead of printed sheet music.
For performances and rehearsals, all musicians need a bag large enough to carry their folders without ruining the corners or spine… which means an oversized bag! You won’t go wrong with this gig bag.
I admit that I don’t have this exact one, but it fits all the boxes of what I require: water bottle holder, large enough capacity for my folder, divider to keep extra music safe, plus room for a change of clothes or shoes (or a jacket, or whatever). Plus it has an extra pencil holder and an organizer pocket for sundries like cough drops, tissues, etc.
The list goes on...
There are lots of other items, this is just a quick list to get you going! Feel free to let me know what musical gift you have given or received in the comments!
Hopefully this takes some of the burden off your shopping list. Happy hunting!