The holidays are upon us! Here are a handful of ideas to help you shop for the adult cello students in your life. For additional ideas, check out our gift suggestions for young cello students, cello teachers, and cello enthusiasts.
Gifts for Adult Cello Students
Adult cello students cover the largest range by far. Some took cello lessons as kids and are once again picking up a bow after a hiatus. Others are lifelong learners who have crossed a threshold. Several are proficient in a different instrument and maybe decided to try something new. They can be beginner, intermediate, advanced players, dedicated amateurs, or even professionals.
Whatever their background or stage of learning, here are five cello-themed gift ideas for the special adult cello student(s) in your life.
1. Items from our Museum Shop
We’ve got a range of cello-themed gifts in our online museum shop. Be sure to check delivery times.* If you want to keep it simple and send a holiday card, we’ve got cello-themed postcards:
Here are a couple of new additions to our shop.
We’ve got half-liter (17 oz) water bottles to help stay hydrated when practicing, rehearsing, or going about everyday business.
International Cello Day 2021 Gifts
We’ve got T-shirts, long-sleeved T-shirts, mugs, stickers, and cards to help celebrate International Cello Day 2021 (29 December):
Purchases from our online shop help support The Cello Museum.
*All of our products are print-on-demand and subject to supply chain delays beyond our control. Order early.
2. Gift Card or Concert Tickets
Maybe they want to purchase some of the scores they’ve read about in Erica Lessie’s monthly postcards or Dr. Leonovich’s editions. Or, they may want to try a book of popular holiday songs or carols. They might want a new collection of cello pieces like the one below. Perhaps they need more rosin (alright, no “perhaps” on this one), new strings, or a sturdy rock stop. Whatever their needs, a gift card can support a local music business while giving your favorite cellist access to items they need or want.
Don’t see a gift card from your retailer of choice? Make your own and send a cash gift to go with it.
Although many cellists began offering online concerts over the past couple of years, several are returning to the stage. If one of those stages is near your favorite adult cello student, why not treat them to a night out with one of their (new) favorite performers?
3. Books by or about Cellists
Cellos show up in a surprising number of literary works. Some have even been featured in our Cello Book Club or reviewed by our staff. Give your special cellist the gift of seeing their beloved instrument in a whole new setting with some of these titles.
For Fans of Sheku and Those Who Love Memoirs:
Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason – House of Music: Raising the Kanneh-Masons
We couldn’t put this one down. (Read our review here.) This is a wonderful book about a remarkable family, written by a brilliant and understanding mother. Read what it’s like raising not one, but seven musical prodigies. This is a great gift, especially for music parents.
For Those Who Love Spy Novels:
Daniel Silva – The Cellist
This was one of this year’s bestsellers – and features a cellist! If your cellist enjoys spy novels or Daniel Silva’s books, this is a great choice. Read our review here. One note – this book has definite political leanings. We love it for the cellist, but some have criticized it for being left of the political center.
For Those Who Like Novellas:
Kittie Lambton – The Cellist’s Notebook
This novella is a charming story about the positive influence of music on a multi-generational family. It centers around ten-year-old Emily Peters and her love of a family cello and mysterious fragment of music. We don’t want to give you any spoilers, but we enjoyed this quick read. It makes a great stocking stuffer. Read our review here.
For Anglophiles and Those Who Need a Laugh:
Isabel Rogers – Life, Death and Cellos
The title says it all – Life, Death and Cellos. This is the best title for any cello fiction we’ve ever read. The novel is a wonderful romp through the lives of members of a community orchestra in London and what happens as the result of food poisoning, one dead conductor, and a stolen Stradivarius cello. This book made us laugh out loud, and we were thrilled to meet with the author, Isabel Rogers, in the 2021 Cello Book Club.
For Those Who Love Memoirs or All Things Irish:
Maureen and Leora O’Carroll – Maureen O’Carroll: A Musical Memoir of an Irish Immigrant Childhood
This beautiful memoir is difficult to put down. Please see our review here. Read what it was like to grow up as an Irish immigrant in Sydney during the 1930s and 40s, as experienced by the young cellist, Maureen O’Carroll.
For Those Who Love Romance Novels and/or Bridgerton:
Julia Quinn – The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy
Love Bridgerton? Love the cello? Here’s a book – possibly a whole series! – to add to a holiday reading list. This novel is the fourth book in the Smythe-Smith Quartet by the award-winning writer, Julia Quinn: The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy. Read our review here.
For Teens Who Love K-Pop and the Cello:
Axie Oh – XOXO
Classical cello meets K-Pop in this book about high school junior and gifted cellist, Jenny Go, who finds herself falling for a K-pop star. This book came out in 2021 – review coming soon!
For Those Who Love History and/or Short Stories:
Gill Tennant – Mellow Cello
This is a creative collection of short stories about the cello. Mellow Cello is a fascinating collection of 17 short stories about the cello and its predecessors. Tennant manages to impart an impressive amount of historically accurate information while still entertaining the reader. Read our review here.
An all-time favorite cellist for many is Yo-Yo Ma. Here is a fantastic collection of many of his albums at a very reasonable price.
We’re so happy this next album was released in time for the holidays. Brother and sister duo, Sheku and Isata Kanneh-Mason are two of our favorite young superstars of the music world, and they are playing some of our favorite cello repertoire on this album: Muse.
5. Sheet Music
Of course, sheet music for adult students will vary according to their level and interests, but here are a couple of ideas. Here’s a new sheet music collection we love that was released this year by one of our favorite star cellists, Sheku Kanneh-Mason:
Know someone who loves Celtic music? Here’s a brand new collection by cellist Clíodhna Ní Aodáin. They can be played as solos or as duets. Be sure to check shipping times – but it will be worth the wait, if there is one.
Enjoy your holiday shopping!
What is your favorite cello-related holiday gift you’ve ever received? Please tell us in the comments.
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