By the time your music students graduate, you share a special bond. Together, you've spent countless hours around instruction, private lessons, rehearsals, and performances. You've seen them at their best – and their worst – and have helped to cultivate their love of music and good musicianship. And, as most teachers acknowledge, you've probably learned more from them than they could ever learn from you.
Are you looking to give a special gift to your favorite, graduating music students? Here are 7 personalized and affordable ideas.
1. A framed portrait of their favorite artist or composition
Is there a particular composer or composition your student loves – one s/he worked exceptionally hard on before a performance? Consider purchasing a framed picture of the composer, or a piece of the composition itself (particularly if you're willing to spare a page containing your notes/instructions). Use both and take them to Michael's or a professional framing shop for creative layout ideas.
In addition to capturing a particular moment in time, it's an ideal "usable" gift that will adorn their future dorm room, apartment, co-op student housing, etc.
2. Music(ian)-inspired, graphic tees
There are as many inspiring, wacky, humorous, and artistic music-themed graphic tees out there as there are music student personalities. Sites such as cafepress.com have a multitude of options to choose from, allowing you to streamline your shopping experience while still selecting different themes that match the personality-type, instrument, musical interests, etc. of each of the individual graduates.
3. Music accessories they need
Many of the music accessories required by the starving music student graduate are extremely affordable. Take advantage of that and purchase one or more of the instrument accessories you know they do (or will) need.
Examples include things like:
- Humidity protection
- Magic Rosin
- A personalized cleaning cloth with their initials, name, or nickname
- Portable music stand
- Extra set(s) of professional-grade strings
Every time they use it, they'll think of you.
4. High-quality travel mug
Travel mugs are all the rage but some of the "gift-oriented" versions are a cheaper quality and don't keep beverages hot/cool for any length of time. Your graduating student will appreciate a high-quality mug, music-themed makes the most sense (like these ones we found on Amazon), and the price differential isn't all that much so the extra investment means giving them a travel tea/coffee mug they can use for many years to come.
5. Gift card to a local or online music store
One thing you know about your student is that s/he will need to purchase music tools and accessories for as long as they still play. Thus, a gift card to a local or online string instrument supply store is a gift that keeps on giving. The ability to use the card for whatever they want provides plenty of personalization opportunities, and your ability to purchase all the end-of-the-year gifts in the same spot is a bonus at this busy time of year.
6. Gift card to their favorite place
Again, years of teaching the same students mean years to learn all about their likes and dislikes, their favorites and least-favorites – and that includes their preferred places to eat, hang out, shop, etc. Use that knowledge and purchase a gift card to a favorite spot. Not only will students appreciate using it when they graduate and move on, your attention to their preferences is a touching reminder of your ability to see and care about who students are beyond the world of music.
Your local grocery or pharmacy has racks dedicated to these types of gift cards. You can also visit giftcards.com, that offers cards for companies and/or specialty locations that may not be available at a local store.
7. A subscription to The Strad
The Strad has been a must-have subscription for string musicians since the 19th century! Now, The Strad is largely read online. However, many of their interviews, articles, research findings and other "note"worthy musings are unavailable in their entirety without a paid subscription.
You can Click Here to purchase gift subscriptions to The Strad, available in print or digital forms. Odds are, today's students will prefer the digital option, which can be read on their device or gadget of choice, as well as on laptop or desktop computers.
Not sure you're student would appreciate The Strad? Visit savvymusician.com to view a comprehensive list of magazines and publications specific to musicians. Then of course, there's always The Rolling Stone...
Read, 13 Gifts for the Aspiring Violinist, for more music student gift ideas.
Congratulations on being a formative mentor and role model for your graduating students over these past years. Finding just the right, personalized gift is a wonderful way to send them off into the world feeling inspired about their ability to move forward as competent string musicians.