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Present for Piano teacher
#1546954 10/30/10 01:11 PM
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I'm trying to get a head start on my Christmas shopping this year. I find it very difficult to purchase a present for my piano teacher. I set the budget for this at $50. Last year I scoured the internet for many hours trying to find or at least think of that perfect present. In the end I had to settle on a gift card to the Olive Garden. She loved it but it wasn't really what I wanted to give. Gift cards, to me, seem like something you give when you don't want to put to much thought into a gift. I was disappointed because I did try real hard to come up with a good gift and finally settled for the gift card. I would like to avoid that this year if I can. I thought of a few things and I'm curious what you all think about them. There are con's to all of them so I'm not really sold on any of them. I thought of perhaps purchasing two tickets to a local theater show. Or maybe having Omaha Steaks delivered to her home (I have friends that do this and they love it) but I'm not sure if she eats meat or not. Nice bottle of wine or something, but again I don't know if she drinks wine. Perhaps a gift card (which I don't really want to do) to the local massage therapist or something like that. Are these gifts appropriate? How would you feel to receive one of these or do you have any better suggestions? What's the coolest gift you have ever received from a student?

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Re: Present for Piano teacher
MrHazelton #1546971 10/30/10 01:50 PM
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The best gift I ever received was from one of my college students who had tried and tried to prepare to audition for the piano program but just didn't have a musical bone in her body. She gave me a beautiful silver piano shaped music box with my name engraved on it. The thing that really touched me, though, was the note she wrote. She said that she knew she was not musically inclined, and knew she could never do anything with music, and had appreciated the 2 years I had spent with her, trying to get her to "feel the beat", and working with her on things like gross motor skills. We marched, danced, clapped, tapped, and every other motion you could possible imagine. She had the strongest desire for music that I have ever seen in a student! She saved all of her money during her teen years and purchased a Baldwin grand piano (with cash!) at age 19. It broke my heart because she had zero musical ability. She couldn't sing on pitch, clap on beat, or hear the difference between major or minor. The night she gave me the gift she told me that she decided to quit trying to get into the music program and get a business degree (which she was VERY good at), something I had been urging her to do all along. It was very nice to read in words how much she had appreciated my help and patience. I really loved this student, and was heartbroken with her as she realized she couldn't fulfill her heart's desire.
So, in answer to your question, I'm a big fan of a nice, heartfelt note. Whatever gift you give is just a bonus.
Laura


Dan and Laura Larson
Fazioli and Ibach grands
Larson Piano Studio
http://www.stoneformsart.com/
Re: Present for Piano teacher
MrHazelton #1546975 10/30/10 02:00 PM
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For me the biggest gift would be a genuine "Thank you" and hard work practicing. But I understand what you are wanting to do. I think that a Borders or Barnes &Nobles, or a Vanilla Mastercard giftcard is fine. When students buy objects, I don`t have enough place in my home to put it because it is small and full of things. I normally transfer the Vanilla Mastercard into a grocery store giftcard so that it does not expire. Restaurant gift cards are fine too. A box of chocolates if your teacher is not on a diet (I am!!). I get gift cards all the time and I think that it is thoughtful of the parents to give one to me. Gift cards never crossed my mind as a gift that no one gave much time to think about.


LEARNING AND IMPROVING NEVER STOPS. It would be boring if it did.
Re: Present for Piano teacher
MrHazelton #1547131 10/30/10 06:56 PM
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The most precious thing is always the card with the students own words and it's a bonus if the card is homemade. I am a little embarrassed by expensive presents and would prefer something smaller, and it's important too that my tiny home doesn't end up too cluttered with gifts.

I like:
Anything homemade ( by you or someone you know ) eg biscuits, cake, jar of pickles or preserves, homemade craft, a propogated plant.
Anything that can be used in piano lessons - any stationary even just a few nice pencils, or 'eraser', notepad, stickies, piano or music themed things are fun.

And if you really want to give something more expensive I have to say some of the ads on this site often catch my eye - that circle of 5th clock looks great! and there are other novel things that catch my eye (trying not to look!). Perhaps with these things you could try and find out whether they would find a happy home with the teacher first; nothing wrong with that I don't think. A student family once took me to the opera as a present but they asked in advance if I would like to. It was a goodbye present and was very much appreciated!


[Linked Image]
Composers manufacture a product that is universally deemed superfluous—at least until their music enters public consciousness, at which point people begin to say that they could not live without it.
Alex Ross.
Re: Present for Piano teacher
MrHazelton #1547189 10/30/10 08:28 PM
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I agree with the personal note/card. And Canonie! The opera! Terrific one!

I always love:
- book/CD vouchers. A nice touch is if you hand-write a gift sticker to put inside whatever book it is that the teacher buys.
- musical things like pencils, mugs etc
- photo frame. You can never have too many photo frames.
- did I mention book vouchers?


Du holde Kunst...
Re: Present for Piano teacher
MrHazelton #1547207 10/30/10 09:04 PM
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Gifts aren't really necessary - saying something is enough.

The best gifts I have ever gotten from students were home-made food (cookies etc) from adults, and hand-made cards from little children.

The ... well, not worst, but maybe most inconvenient ... gift I ever got was a pound (or was it two?) of beautiful expensive coffee beans. I don't drink coffee more than once a week, and I don't even have a coffee grinder! smile I asked around, and gave the still-sealed bag of beans to a very appreciative friend, so of course there was nothing bad about it - just not quite what my students intended.

A side note: Don't buy a long-established piano teacher any things to put in their piano room. They already have twenty of the same one in a corner of the attic. smile


(I'm a piano teacher.)
Re: Present for Piano teacher
MrHazelton #1547219 10/30/10 09:22 PM
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that's a lovely story Laura. i've been buying piano novelties for a couple decades now and have superfluosity.

i give my students gifts.


accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)
Re: Present for Piano teacher
MrHazelton #1547253 10/30/10 10:22 PM
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That's why I suggested to check first (re novelty items)!

The 'opera' family I mentioned also gave me a card containing a note from parent and a note from the child. I used to read it every week it made me feel so good. There was also a beautiful piece of glassware from their country of origin and some sweets. Feeling overwhelmed just thinking about it - and she came for only 7 months or so.
PS they picked me up and drove me to the opera too smile I really shouldn't post about this should I, because ppl may stop believing that the homemade card is the most treasured of all BUT IT IS smile
I do miss that child, she was soooo talented and quick :'(


[Linked Image]
Composers manufacture a product that is universally deemed superfluous—at least until their music enters public consciousness, at which point people begin to say that they could not live without it.
Alex Ross.
Re: Present for Piano teacher
MrHazelton #1547309 10/31/10 12:34 AM
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I appreciate cash the most. If you put $50 in an envelope, it would mean so much! The cards are nice too but they go into the recycle. I never forget people who've given me cash.

Last edited by Candywoman; 10/31/10 12:35 AM.
Re: Present for Piano teacher
MrHazelton #1547660 10/31/10 01:32 PM
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The thing that makes gift giving so hard, is that folks are so different! It is hard for strangers to say what someone else might or might not like.

I personally don't care for cash gifts. Too impersonal. My family appreciates the edible gifts, but I don't usually eat them myself. The only gifts I currently have displayed in my lesson room are a small piano-shaped photo frame, and a handmade piece of "pottery" (the term is used very, very loosely) with a then brand-new student's attempts at creating notes on a staff in the bowl of the piece.

I have a file folder with every homemade card or hand-drawn picture any student has ever given me.

I have received some nice things over the years - a fancy box with gift soaps, hand towels, Christmas ornaments in music shapes, stationary, unusual kitchen gadgets, etc. Most of these smaller gifts are usually accompanied by hand written notes. Mainly, I believe it is the "thought" that counts, so small gifts that say, "We thought of you" mean the most to me.


piano teacher
Re: Present for Piano teacher
MrHazelton #1548024 10/31/10 09:48 PM
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I'm always touched just by the gesture. Some of my parents think I should love tea, so I get it by the boat load. Being Dutch, I'm a coffee lover, but my wife, who loves tea, is thrilled, and I certainly appreciate the thoughtfulness. And yes, after 30 years of teaching I still love piano oriented gifts. So don't worry too much about it. I'm certain what ever you decide will be graciously received.


"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA
Re: Present for Piano teacher
MrHazelton #1548040 10/31/10 10:23 PM
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The best gift in many cases is the one that is thoughtful and comes from the heart.

Any gift would be a nice gesture to show your appreciation of your teacher's hard work. Knowing a bit more of your teacher helps.

I remember getting my violin teacher some vynal? records for classical music after stumbling into them in a book shop during a work trip because they are hard to find and she prefers it over CDs. Then I got her a cat figurine in another work trip because she loves cats. I think a note that comes with the gift is best as it serves as a positive feedback to your teacher.

I have now left my violin teacher and moved back to learning the piano with another teacher. Even so, I'd write to her and tell her about my progress, send DVD of our concerts so she sees how I play (violin), let her know when I have a new video up on YouTube etc. She would welcome these and provide constructive feedback. I still see her as my teacher even though I no longer taking lessons from her. I hope she feels the same, that I'm still her student.

I'm suppose to help with your question. Sorry it turned out to be a story of me missing my violin teacher!


Be yourself

Re: Present for Piano teacher
MrHazelton #1548171 11/01/10 05:28 AM
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Hi

I dont know what the prices are where you are from but maybe a Sid Dickens Memory Block - one with the music theme.
They are a very nice gift.

BB

Re: Present for Piano teacher
MrHazelton #1552994 11/07/10 04:06 PM
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Got a Borders gift card for piano teacher. I dont know much about teacher after only 6 month with him but know he likes to read. As most suggested, will write a one page appreciation note to go with it :-)


Be yourself

Re: Present for Piano teacher
MrHazelton #1552999 11/07/10 04:13 PM
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an apple =$


music to me is kind of like putting together pieces of a puzzle
i call it the paino because its where i put all my pain
Re: Present for Piano teacher
MrHazelton #1553261 11/07/10 09:56 PM
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I understand what you mean about gift cards. Maybe you could stealthily find out where he likes to hang out and get one for that place. That wouldn't be impersonal since it's his hang out. I really don't like/want musical gifts like mugs, mini-pianos etc...too many over the years. Paper products would be sensible though, like music stationary or note cards. Food is good, but like everyone else said, be sure to find out a bit about his likes before you do that. It wouldn't be too hard to find out his favorite restaurant or store either. I don't have a problem with cash, it always comes in handy!

My favorites are the homemade notes and cards. Just the gesture is so appreciated and I have them all on the walls smile $50 is a lot, the most I ever got was $40 and that was from 2 sisters.


It is better to be kind than to be right.

Professional private piano teacher since 1994.
Re: Present for Piano teacher
MrHazelton #1553308 11/07/10 11:09 PM
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If your teacher loves Beethoven, there is a wonderful set of CD's of master classes with Daniel Barenboim coaching some very advanced students through the major sonatas. My teacher really loved it.


Best regards,

Deborah
Re: Present for Piano teacher
MrHazelton #1554047 11/09/10 01:33 AM
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I'm thinking about getting a really good recording of all the pieces that we did this year and put them on a mini USB card for my piano teacher. I'm not sure if he'd be happy to get them... Well, even if he doesn't care for it, at least he can reuse the USB card.

Or... maybe I'll get lazy and just do the very first and very last ones we studied this year so he can hear my progress from Minuets in the Notebook for AMB to Bach's Inventions and feel that at least we didn't waste each other's precious time.

Re: Present for Piano teacher
MrHazelton #1554150 11/09/10 07:34 AM
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How about a framed piece of music? The ones with great graphics. Or copies of an antique music magazine? Both can be puchased on ebay or from antique dealers. At one PW piano party, the owner had several large graphic music framed in her guest bathroom. It was beautiful.

One favorite gift from a student was a book of classical music. Oversized, musty, no cover. But the young girl had found a stack at a yard sale and was so excited that it had Chopin in it and the music was so big! It showed me that she now had interest in looking a music without it being handed to her and I cherish it.

Another idea would be tickets to a local concert. If you keep your ears open, you might find out the teacher's likes or desires.


"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything."
Re: Present for Piano teacher
MrHazelton #1560703 11/19/10 11:38 AM
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I was thinking about purchasing two tickets to the show "Rent" at one of our local theaters for my teacher. The prices fall within my budgeted amount. Do you feel that this would be a good Christmas gift? Thanks.

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