The holidays are upon us! Whatever holidays you celebrate, here are gift ideas to help you shop for the cello teachers in your life.
Thank you, cello teachers!
I am so thankful to my cello teachers and always wanted to say “thank you” to them, especially during the holiday season and at the end of the school year. Having taught the cello for over 30 years now, although I never expect gifts from my students, I’m always grateful when they think of me. It really is true:
“It’s the thought that counts.”
It can definitely be challenging to get something for a cello teacher, but we’ve got some ideas to help you get started.
Think about your teacher
First, it’s time to do some detective work. Consider what you know about your teacher and think about some important questions:
- Is your teacher allergic to any plants or foods?
- Does your teacher have any health issues that would be affected by a gift of food or drink?
- Certain plants and foods can be toxic to animals – does your teacher have pets?
- Does your teacher drink coffee, tea, or alcohol?
- Is your teacher a minimalist, or does your teacher love knickknacks?
Knowing this information can be very helpful as you get started. So, especially when it comes to safety issues, ask. Just explain that you’re trying to do some holiday shopping.
Now that you’ve considered these questions, let the fun begin! It’s time to choose a great gift for your teacher.
Here are 5 Gift Ideas
1. Homemade Gifts
Some of the best gifts are homemade:
- Homemade cards and/or photo cards with student photos. One of the favorite mementos for any teacher is a thoughtful card. This can be handmade or store-bought, but heartfelt expressions of thanks are always well-received and often become treasured keepsakes. So take some time to plan your words and write with care – the joy you bring your teacher will be worth it.
- Baked goods (cello-shaped cookies, bread, cake, candy) – be sure to check food allergies. Gingerbread cellos are wonderful. Use a cello-shaped cookie cutter, and decorate them with black or dark brown icing.
- Homemade chocolates shaped like cellos. We wish these molds had better bridge placement and a tailpiece, but if the chocolate’s good, these details can be overlooked – or quickly consumed.
- A CD, complete with artwork on the jewel case, of the student playing pieces from that year (or the digital version of this!)
- Artwork made by the student
2. Gift Cards / Gift Certificates
Gift cards (or even cash gifts) are understandably popular among many teachers. Again, think before you buy. If you never see your teacher drink coffee, perhaps a card for a coffee store may not be the best choice. Remember: many music stores and large internet retailers offer gift cards or certificates – cello teachers need supplies, too.
Maybe you know exactly which card to get right away. If not, here are a few ideas:
- Your teacher’s favorite music store – just ask!
- A local coffee shop or bookshop
- A local movie theater or restaurant
- Big box (or online) stores
3. Food or Drink of Choice
Food and drink can make excellent gifts, but allergies and other dietary restrictions are real. So if you’re not sure that cookies/chocolate/nuts/mints/alcohol/coffee are safe for (or would be enjoyed by) your instructor, spend your time and money more efficiently elsewhere. In all cases, be sure to gift and consume responsibly.
Here are a few ideas:
- Chocolates. If you want to go with a cello theme, here is one example:
- A box set of tea
- A bag of coffee
- A bottle of wine
- A bottle of their hard alcohol of choice. (For example, my adult students know I prefer peaty single malt whisky.)
4. Plants or Flowers
Although many people love gifts of flowers or potted indoor plants, some have bad allergies or pets who could be poisoned. Other teachers love colorful arrangements to can brighten up their studio. Think about whether your teacher regularly has flowers or plants in the studio.
If you don’t know, ask if your teacher has pets, then check that the plants or cut flowers you want to give are safe. Here is a list of plants and flowers to avoid giving cat lovers and a list to avoid giving to dog people. This is another useful resource that also lists non-poisonous plants.
5. Cello-Themed Gifts
We’ve left this one for last as it can be tricky. Those who have been teaching or playing for many years may already have too many cello- and music-themed knickknacks, while some teachers actively seek new additions. Knowing your teacher’s preference on this point is helpful.
If you need a place to begin, our online museum shop has many great options for those who enjoy cello-themed gifts.
- Mugs are great for tea or coffee during or between lessons, and they can make great gifts.
- Water bottles: Does your teacher travel a lot for gigs and/or teaching locations? An insulated reusable bottle can be a thoughtful gift since it works for hot or cold beverages. Check out some of our designs:
- Decor: Be careful with this one as it’s very personal. But if you think your teacher would like something for their studio or waiting room, we have some options, including these cushions:
Our online museum shop has many other cello-themed options, and purchases help support the Cello Museum.
Enjoy your holiday shopping!
Teachers, what is your favorite holiday gift you’ve ever received? Students, what did you choose for your teacher? Please tell us in the comments.
Please note that some links provided are affiliate links. Please see our footer below for further details. (Affiliate links cost you nothing extra, but they help support the Cello Museum.)