Gift Guide for Piano Students
Are you looking for the perfect gift for the piano student in your life?
If so, I've got you covered with my gift guide for piano students. I have organized this list with the earlier suggestions for less experienced and younger piano students and the later suggestions for more advanced piano students.
1. Piano Sheet Music
What can be more fun as a piano student than to receive a book of new thematically themed piano books? Many students find great joy in practicing and playing familiar non-lesson book music.
A gift highlighting their favorite musical artist, movie, or style is a wonderful way to bring the joy of music into their heart and home.
Tip, when purchasing, check to see which method books the student uses during their lessons. Most method books series have graduated Pop, Jazz, or Christmas-themed books that pair perfectly with their basic lesson books. Also, You can also take a look at the best sellers piano list from Amazon for additional ideas.
2. Stand Alone Metronome
A metronome is a vital tool in the life of a piano student ensuring that their pieces maintain a consistent tempo and are rhythmically correct. Metronomes sometimes feel like an archaic tool in the day and age of phone apps.
However, I still recommend that all piano students own a stand-alone metronome. Separated from the distraction of a phone, tablets, and other devices that receive notifications, a small metronome is a great low-cost gift for the serious (or not so serious) piano student looking for distraction-free practice tools.
3. Universal Sostenuto Pedal
For many beginning students, using the sostenuto pedal is a novelty. Unfortunately, many basic keyboards and digital pianos do not come with a sostenuto pedal. However, within the first year of lessons, students often begin making use of the sostenuto pedal (if they can reach it). For those students who do not currently have a pedal, the gift of one can be a fun, affordable, and eventually necessary addition to their creative and musical explorations.
4. Digital Piano
If your beginner pianist has been playing on a keyboard, the holiday season is a great time to gift your budding pianist with a full 88-key digital piano with weighted keys. As a pianist and piano teacher, I will almost always advocate for the use of an acoustic piano. However, realistically that is not always in the budget for families. A digital piano, however, is much more in reach. Never needing to be tuned and volume control are two great advantages a digital piano holds over an acoustic piano for busy families.
I recommend visiting a local piano store to try out some options and to better understand how a digital piano can serve as a tremendous upgrade from a keyboard for the beginner student. In the absence of a trip to the local piano store, several options are available online.
5. Music Dictionary
As students begin to play intermediate to more advanced pieces of music they will encounter a variety of musical terms in their repertoire. A basic music dictionary serves as a helpful tool for the student to do their own research on the repertoire they are preparing for lessons. I prefer the pocket-sized versions that can easily be tucked into carrying cases or the piano bench.
6. Sheet Music Subscription Service
Gone are the days of perusing sheet music at a brick-and-mortar store. Today, downloadable sheet music can be found through a variety of websites. Music within the public domain can be found for free, however, if your piano student enjoys more modern selections or, for example, wants to learn how to play the theme music for Animal Crossing, a subscription to a sheet music service might be just the gift. Sheet Music Plus, Sheet Music Direct, and Virtual Sheet Music are three of the numerous available options.
7. Audio Subscriptions/Gift Cards
Critical to any student's musical development is the acquisition of listening skills. As students listen to high-quality music, they begin to be more curious about the style, rhythm, harmonies, and melodies of their favorite tunes. Listening to expert performers, across a variety of genres, can inspire the student to learn a challenging piece of repertoire or to even create their own musical compositions.
Audio streaming services provide the student with the opportunity to listen to their favorites ad-free and download their favorites to travel with them wherever they go. Look to Spotify, Pandora, Amazon Prime Music, or Apple’s Itunes for options that best fit your needs and devices.
8. Composition Software Subscription
Speaking of the budding composer, as students grow in their abilities it is natural for some to develop an interest in composing their own music. An excellent first step is to provide the student with composition paper, either downloaded from the internet or in a composition notebook. However, pencil and paper musical notation can be a tedious process, to say the least.
A gift option for the more serious composer is a subscription to music compositional software. There are a variety of free options available as well, but the paid versions provide more options for the mind and heart to endlessly create. Musescore, Sibelius, and Finale are a few of the many available options.
9. Music Books
For the more cerebral piano student, perhaps they would enjoy a light (or not so light) read on the history of the great pianists, the art and practice of performing piano, or a deep dive into the life and work of their favorite composer. The options are limitless! You could even pair a book about their favorite composers with a collection of their music, ex. A Biography about Chopin paired with a collection of his Nocturnes and Polonaises.
10. Prepaid Adult Piano Lessons
If you are looking for a musical gift for the budding adult musician in your life, consider gifting them a month or two of piano lessons with a local (or virtual) teacher. Even a few months of lessons can help kick start a renewal of interest in maintaining their music skills or help them finally master that classical piece or jazz progression they've been trying to nail down!
11. Piano Lamp
For the adult student, the addition of a quality piano lamp not only accentuates one's home decor but enlightens and enhances one's ability to see the score while practicing, especially during the long and dark winter months. My personal favorite time to practice is at night using the piano lamp as my only source of light. It creates an even more intimate musical ambiance I enjoy, even if practicing home alone.
Happy Music-Gift Giving!
May these suggestions bring the joy of music into the hearts and homes of your loved ones this holiday season!
If you need additional suggestions or want to gift piano lessons to yourself or a loved one, contact me today!