I know, I know…it’s barely November, and here I am already talking about Christmas gifts! But in my opinion, it’s never too early to start thinking ahead and brainstorming. I tend to enjoy the holidays more when I’ve managed to get an early start on my to-dos. :)
I don’t think it’s necessary to give your piano students gifts at Christmastime, but it’s a nice gesture if you feel so inspired!
And so, I thought it’d be fun to do a flashback post today, taking a look at the Christmas gifts I’ve done over the years for my students. Some of these gifts were pretty time intensive (certain years, apparently I was inspired enough to be willing to take on a big project!), and other years were simple, but thoughtful gifts. I hope perhaps these photos will give you a useful idea or two, if you’re looking for ideas for something to do for your own students!
2011: Personalized Glass Sheet Music Ornaments
Back in 2011, I created personalized glass sheet music ornaments for each student, with their name and the year written with a gold paint pen. They turned out so pretty! I love how they turned out, and would like to use this idea again in the future. Each student also received a chocolate Symphony bar. Read more here.
That year, I gave my adult students something else: a copy of the book “The A to Z of Foreign Musical Terms” by Christine Ammer. I learned about this book during grad school, when one of my professors recommended it as a music dictionary that actually contains all the words we commonly see in our music. (Have you ever looked up a word in your music dictinary, only to find it wasn’t included?!) This book is a nice slim volume, and a great price — I’d recommend it to any piano teacher or student! I use it not infrequently during lessons, to have students look up the terms in their pieces.
2012: Iced Sugar Cookies
The following year, I baked sugar cut-out cookies using my music cookie cutters. I topped them with icing, and I think they turned out pretty cute!
The music cookie cutter set I own is no longer available on Amazon, but this set looks pretty similar!
I bagged them using treat sacks and a topper I designed in Microsoft Word. Read more here.
2013: A home-recorded CD of favorite student classical repertoire
The next year, I home-recorded a CD of a few favorite classical teaching pieces. This was quite a big project, but it turned out pretty neat! Read more here.
2014: A Printed Composition (or two)
This year, I composed two pieces (one mid-elementary level and one late intermediate level) and give them to my students for Christmas. This was a fun project! Learn more about the details of this project and download the elementary level piece for free here.
2015: Sheet Music Ornaments
This is one of my favorite gifts I’ve done! If you like doing crafty things, this idea might be for you. I recycled old, tattered sheet music to create these lovely sheet music ornaments. Learn more here.
2016: Iced Sugar Cookies (again)
In 2016, I made sugar cut-out cookies again! I usually put three cookies per treat sack, for each student.
Making cut-out cookies is one of those things that I love doing around the holidays! I have good memories of making holiday cookies with my siblings growing up.
2017: Rice Crispy Treats in a Cookie Cutter
The next year, I tried something based on a picture I had seen (probably on Pinterest?) — with my own twist. I made Rice Crispy Treats, inserted music-shaped cookie cutters, and then decorated using red and green M&Ms.
I found out it was kinda tricky to remove the Rice Crispy Treats from the pan while keeping them inside the cookie cutters, but I think it turned out alright overall!
2018: Snowman Sheet Music Resin Ornament
Last year, I bought these adorable resin snowman ornaments on Amazon and added a ribbon scarf to each one (thanks goes to Sara Campbell for the recommendation!). I personalized them by writing each student name, the year, and a few music notes on the back using a permanent marker.
I paired each ornament with a bag of homemade cinnamon popcorn, made on the stovetop — a healthy snack I was really into last year!
What’s in store for 2019?
I have a couple of promising ideas in mind…stay tuned to hear the results! :)
Update: Check out my 2019 gifts here.
Your turn: Do you have any ideas to share? I’d love to hear what favorite gifts you’ve given to students in the past! Please share in the comments below.