Being a musician is amazing. But it can also get expensive. As the holidays approach and your wish list grows, consider this gift guide for musicians.
And if you’re not a musician, consider getting one or more of these things for the musician in your life. You might just save them some hassle and stress.
Gift Guide for Musicians
It’s the end of 2019, and that means that the holidays are here! If you haven’t already, you’re probably thinking about making a holiday wishlist.
And I’m right there with you. It’s been a crazy year, and I’ve bought a lot of musical things for myself. However, that doesn’t mean I can’t ask for stuff I need and receive them as gifts.
For this gift guide, I’m going all out. I’m sharing tons of ideas for what to put on your wishlist or to get for other musicians in your life.
Now, I’m going to link to some of these things, and those links will be affiliate links. That means if you click through and make a purchase, I’ll get a small commission at no extra cost to you.
You can read my full disclosure here.
So without further ado, let’s get into the gifts!
For the Music Student
As a music student, you’re probably pretty broke. From textbooks to tuition, you have a lot of expenses.
And unfortunately, your more fun music purchases might get put on the back burner. So here is a small gift guide for musicians in school.
Every musician needs a music stand. While most music schools provide stands in rehearsal rooms, lesson rooms, and practice rooms, they belong to the school.
If you ever want to practice in your dorm or apartment, you’ll need something to prop up your music. So why not use a music stand?
You can also bring your own music stand when you have an off campus performing gig. And unless you’re a beginner, you should choose something heftier than those folding wire stands.
The perfect accessory to your music stand is a pencil holder. When you have to make marks in your music, you need a pencil.
Sure, you could rest your pencil on your stand in front of your music. But what if you have a quick page turn?
A separate pencil holder keeps your pencil right there without disturbing or covering any part of your music. And of course, you need some pencils to fill that pencil holder.
In music school, you play your instrument a lot. Even if you don’t major in performance, your instrument will get a lot of use.
I’ve played my flute in as many as three ensembles at one time. And that doesn’t even cover lessons or individual practice time.
With all of that playing, I need to keep my instruments in shape. There are tons of instrument accessories, from stands to cleaning cloths to screwdrivers.
Any instrument accessories are the perfect addition to a gift guide for musicians in college.
While the exact accessories will vary, you can’t go wrong with something to clean your instrument after you play it.
For the Music Teacher
Once you get out of school, you’ll probably start teaching to some degree. Even as a performance major, you may need or want to teach private lessons.
And just like music students, a lot of music teachers don’t have a ton of extra money to spend. So if you’re a music teacher, consider adding some of these things to your wishlist.
Here’s my gift guide for musicians who are also teachers.
I came across these this summer, and I’ve considered getting a set for myself. Specdrums are a music toy that comes with a colorful “keyboard” mat and two rings to put on your fingers.
You connect the rings to an app, and the rings recognize the different colors. They’ll produce the sounds through your device.
While you can start with the mat, you can also use the rings on anything with color. Think your shirt, bag, or items in a classroom.
I haven’t used them myself, but from what I’ve seen, they can be a great way to integrate music and color into one lesson.
Another must-have for many music teachers is instruments! While you probably have your own instrument from when you were in college, I’m talking about instruments to use with students.
Of course, the specific instruments will vary based on the music you teach.
As a flutist, I may have to teach recorder or fife to a young student. Since the flute can be difficult for younger players, these “basic” instruments allow the student to learn music without having to wait until they can hold the flute.
Clarinet teachers may need to teach recorder, and percussion teachers may need to teach various percussion instruments. It all depends on related instruments.
Music method books
This one’s primarily for a gift guide for musicians who teach private lessons. Every teacher has to use at least one method book to teach students.
While you can come up with lessons on your own, a method book adds some structure. You can look and see what is next in the book to determine what to work on.
Method books also let you see how your student has progressed without having to log everything.
As a flute teacher, I have tons of options for method books, from band books to special books. The Flute 101 series and Trevor Wye beginner books are some great choices.
For the Musician on the Go
Whether you’re in or out of music school, many of us have to perform or teach outside our homes. And if you travel a lot, even within the city, you don’t want to lug around a ton of stuff.
However, some things can be helpful, even when they take up some space. I know, it sounds backwards, but every musician needs some things to stay organized on the go.
That’s why I wanted to include a gift guide for musicians who travel a lot.
iPad (+ accessories)
This year, I started using my iPad more and more for sheet music. It started as a tool for sight reading, and now I use it for almost everything.
I currently use the regular iPad, but I know multiple people who prefer the larger screen of the iPad Pro.
If you decide to switch to an iPad, I’d recommend getting as much storage space as you can so that you’ll have more storage for sheet music. Thanks to an iPad, I don’t have to carry tons of sheet music and books everywhere.
I just grab my iPad, and I have my sheet music library in my hand.
You should also consider getting some accessories, like the Apple Pencil. Yes, it’s expensive, but the Apple Pencil works very well with the iPad.
Serious about the switch? Check out my tips for using an iPad for sheet music!
Sturdy music/instrument bag
When you’re on the move so much, you need a good bag to protect your instrument and music. There are tons of bags out there and some have more pockets and features than others.
One of my favorite bags for flute and piccolo players is the Protec case cover. It has enough space for both instruments, and it has a nice outer pocket.
The bag also has tons of straps and handles that you can use to carry it.
Currently, I use a Fluterscooter bag, which has some of the same features. You can’t go wrong with either bag!
Another must-have when on the go is an instrument stand. When you’re at a gig or teaching lessons, you may need to put your instrument down.
And you want to make sure your instrument is safe.
That’s where an instrument stand comes in. When you put your flute on a stand, it can stand upright. You won’t have to worry about it rolling around.
They’re especially helpful if you have to get a drink of water or use the restroom. You don’t have to ask some to watch your instrument. And you also don’t have to put your instrument away.
For the Health-Conscious Musician
As musicians, we’re athletes of the smallest muscles. Because of this, we have to take care of ourselves.
You don’t have to be a body-mapping specialist to know that bad habits can cause problems. But good habits can be quite helpful.
Luckily, I have the perfect gift guide for musicians with health concerns.
Whether you play piccolo or bass guitar, you need to protect your hearing. Musicians are around loud sounds a lot, and too much of a good thing can damage your ears.
Once you lose your hearing, it’s gone. Yes, there are surgeries and implants. However, you need to protect your hearing when you still have it.
When I play piccolo, especially for a while or in the high register, I wear earplugs. As much as I love the smaller flute, it sits pretty close to my right ear.
And I don’t want to ruin my hearing just to play the instrument that I love.
As a wind player, I use my lips a lot. Without my lips, I wouldn’t be able to make a sound on my flute.
And playing with dry or cracked lips can be painful. So, I make sure to apply lip balm regularly.
I typically put some on in the morning and evening. If I need more during the day, I’ll put some on. But I make sure to do so a little bit before I have to play my flute.
That way, I can let the balm soak into my lips. And I can rub off any excess without making it a total waste of time.
Still, you don’t have to be a wind player to appreciate lip balm as part of a gift guide for musicians.
Reusable water bottle
Aside from saving the planet, using reusable water bottles can be a great motivator for drinking more water. Drinking enough water can help you keep your throat from drying out.
Water can also help you get rid of a cold (along with rest and sleep).
Still, buying plastic water bottles can add up in cost. But if you have a reusable water bottle, you can fill it as many times as you need.
For the Young Professional
As you graduate music school and go into the professional world of music, you’ll need some essentials. The job search can be difficult. And don’t get me started on finding students and clients as a freelancer.
Here is a small gift guide for musicians at the start of their careers.
Of course, even music students need concert black. But you’ve probably worn the same thing for years and years, right?
As you hit the audition scene, you should look your best, even in blind auditions. A new set of concert black can make you feel more confident.
Plus, some groups may have special requirements for concert black. You may not be able to show any skin. Or ladies may be required to wear a skirt at times.
So now’s the time to diversify your collection of concert black outfits.
Cell phone plan
I know, you probably already have a cell phone plan. But as you travel the town searching for jobs and gigs, you need to stay connected.
So if your plan doesn’t have unlimited data, you may want to upgrade. That way, you can look up directions and search for jobs. No more sneaking into coffee shops to use their wifi.
And if you travel a lot, you need a plan with good coverage. You don’t want to head out of town only to find that your data coverage is slim to none.
Career development resources
Let’s face it. Orchestral jobs aren’t as popular as they used to be, which means they’re more competitive.
And college teaching jobs are just as hard to come by. That’s why you should be flexible in the career you pursue. And for that, you need a few career development resources.
If you’re on Facebook, there are a few music career groups you can join for advice. And if you’re set on the orchestral route, you can read books on the subject.
For the Amateur Musician
Not all musicians go into the field professionally, and that’s okay! Luckily, there are some gifts that amateur musicians would probably love to receive this holiday season.
Here is a small gift guide for musicians who have no plans of a career in it.
Fun music books
When you play for pleasure, you get to decide what you play. You don’t have to worry about learning standard repertoire, like Mozart or Bach.
Of course, you can learn those pieces, but you can also learn other stuff. If you’re a Disney fan, there are tons of music books with Disney songs.
The same is true for movies and TV shows. These music books tend to give you the melody, which makes them even more fun.
Even if you have no plans of playing music professionally, anyone can benefit from some private lessons. A teacher can ensure you don’t develop bad habits.
Teachers can also suggest music that’s at your level. That way, you can learn pieces that will challenge you but won’t make you want to pull your hair out.
A few private lessons can do a lot of good for your playing. So if you want to learn, consider adding some private lessons to your wishlist.
And if your family balks at the idea, you can send them to this gift guide for musicians.
Admission to a music festival
More and more music festivals and conventions have events for amateurs players. The NFA convention lets you search for events for amateur flutists.
So you don’t have to be a current or aspiring professional to get a lot out of these festivals. If there’s a music event in your area, consider attending it.
You can ask your family for help paying the admission fee.
For the Musical Family
In this gift guide for musicians, I’ve covered about every situation I can think of. However, there are some gifts that non-musicians might enjoy.
If you have a musical family, there are some perfect gifts that you can all use. Whether one of you is a musician or you all are, family gifts can be as special as anything else.
Music streaming service
If you and your family listens to music a lot, you need a music streaming service. Streaming music means you don’t have to download everything to your device.
You can use the service to find new music as well as enjoy old favorites.
There are tons of music streaming services out there, so do some research to find the best one for you.
What better way to enjoy music as a family than to attend a concert together? Going to a concert can expose you to even more music, and it can be inspiring for any musicians in the family.
You can go to a classical music concert, a jazz show, or a pop concert. Or if one of you is in a performing group, the rest of the family can attend that concert.
Along with concert tickets, you can even get your family a getaway to see a concert out of town. That means including travel and accommodations along with the tickets.
While that may not always be feasible, it can extend the family bonding outside of the concert.
Home recording equipment
Have you ever wanted to start a family band? If so, you’ll need to record yourselves.
You can do this at home with your phone or computer and a mic. And if you’re on a tight budget, you can start with a small lavalier mic.
As you grow your home studio, you can invest in bigger mics and other recording equipment. But you have to start somewhere!
What would you include in your gift guide for musicians? Was there anything I missed? Share your holiday wishlist in the comments!