Gift ideas for people who love the cello. Whatever holidays you celebrate, here are suggestions to help you shop.
For Everyone Who Loves the Cello
It’s hard to believe the holidays are upon us. This year we’ve got recommendations from some of our Cello Museum team members and suggestions from our Cello Museum family. Please also see our previous holiday posts for more ideas – links below.
I asked our team members and newsletter subscribers for holiday gift advice, and they gave me an enormous list. Here are the highlights and many that appeared on more than one list.
Gifts Ideas for Cello Lovers from James, Cello Lover
James Vincent de Cadiz, our dedicated and hardworking Cello Museum assistant, loves the cello. When he came to us, he cited the theme from Game of Thrones as one of his favorites. Here are his suggestions:
1. Miniature Cellos
James gave us several options for those who love the cello and would like to have one on display at home or work.
I was given something similar in elementary or middle school – and I still have and love mine! Want to see real metal cellos? Be sure to check out our current exhibition, Innovations in Cello-Making Materials.
Want something a bit more traditional along the lines of miniature cellos? Here’s one:
This is a great gift idea for those who love 3D puzzles and the cello.
2. Cello Socks
To quote the great wizard, Dumbledore, “One can never have enough socks.” Plus, they make very practical stocking stuffers.
3. Cello Lamp
I hadn’t seen one before, but it would make a great nightlight in a kid’s room or a novelty piece in a music room.
Wall art can brighten up your space. Here is one colorful example that James found. We also have wall art in our museum gift shop.
Cellobrate with Renate, Cello Mom
“I have not tried this particular version, but for performers who rely on music stands, an expandable folder like this one might be useful. It doesn’t have to expand, so it is suitable for a smaller space, but it can expand for those times when it would be helpful to have a sturdy base for extra sheets. (An A4 version is available for everyone who uses metric-size paper.)”
3. Music Clips
“Technically, these acrylic music clips are listed as being for marching band, but since those musicians play outdoors in all kinds of weather, I figure they’d know about keeping sheet music steady in windy conditions.”
Gift Ideas from Erica, Professional Cellist
Erica Lessie, a curator, researcher, and writer at the Cello Museum, teaches and plays professionally in the Chicago area. She is very practical when it comes to holiday gifts – but is also very artistic. (She enjoys making jewelry!) Here are gift ideas from Erica.
1. Gift Cards
Not sure what to get for someone? Get them a gift card. Want to give a cello-related gift card? Get a Cello Museum gift card. (We’ll honor these at the Cello Guild, too – have the recipient email us.)
2. Something to Use When Cooking or Sharing a Holiday Meal
Holidays are times for friends and families to gather. Festive pot holders, holiday towels, napkins, and aprons (like this one from the Cello Museum store) make great gifts.
3. A Washcloth
As Douglas Adams tells us, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy says, “A towel . . .is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have.”
Erica agrees – she thinks washcloths are “massively useful” for cellists. She told me she always uses a soft one to clean her cello because one side has a design, and the other doesn’t – so you can use one side for the messy business of cleaning the rosin off your cello and the other, cleaner side, for generally wiping down your instrument.
Along these lines, one of our wonderful Cello Museum family members suggested a gorgeous micro-fiber polishing cloth from Linda West Cellos. (You might get other ideas while you’re there, too.)
Erica makes her own jewelry and has promised to make us some cello-related pieces for holidays in the future. In the meantime, you can check Etsy for some beautiful cello-themed jewelry. We also have a couple of necklaces in our online museum shop.
Cello Cellobration Ideas from the Curator
1. Homemade Gifts
Aside from cellos, cello cases, and cello strings (or money to afford these necessities), my favorite gifts to give and receive are homemade, whether a heartfelt card or baked goods, recordings, or artwork – these are always very meaningful.
2. Things to Improve or Facilitate One’s Cello Playing
One might argue the only thing that helps improve cello playing is practice. However, I’d say that having a comfortable cello chair, enough light to see the music (see Renate’s suggestion above), gadgets (such as a metronome, tuner – and perhaps an iPad with a foot pedal to turn pages!), a practice notebook, good pencils, and a good music stand are also essential.
Another great gift is a course or workshop. Our Cello Guild is opening in time for the holidays, and a course for a cello student in your life – or yourself – would be a gift that goes beyond any gadget. I’m excited to announce several of our new courses and fabulous instructors. We have courses launching soon on left-hand technique, bowing, and learning to play Celtic music!
Other online workshops I absolutely love are wellness and fitness-related. For example, I am a big fan of Shifu Yan Xin and all of the courses at kungfu.life. I’m looking forward to their upcoming Shaolin Qi Gong & Meditation Weekend over Thanksgiving. The breathing, stretching, and strengthening classes help me with cello playing – and life in general. Unfortunately, we’re not affiliates, but I wish we were because I recommend them so often. For wellness, guided meditation can be enhanced by cellos – revisit our interview with The Wong Janice and watch for courses from her coming on the Cello Guild.
3. Festive Decor or Attire
Although I am a bit of a minimalist when it comes to decorations, I love candles, and I love to give them as gifts. I’m so happy that we have holiday candles in our online museum shop this year.
While not absolutely necessary, having something to wear that gets you into the holiday spirit can change your state. One of my favorite cello designs of 2022 is a combination of the sign for “love” in American Sign Language and the word “cello.” This was created by Paola Beals, a deaf cellist. You can get one here.
James and I worked to create two “ugly sweater” cello designs for sweatshirts and T-shirts this year. We used the design on tote bags, puzzles, and cards, too. I love the doves and all the ornaments on the yellow one, and I love the front and back of the cello on this one:
4. New Recordings
This year we’ve had so many excellent new recordings, it isn’t easy to choose. Check out the interviews and recordings from this year for some ideas:
- Riccardo Pes
- Rain Worthington
- Clíodhna Ní Aodáin
- Jennifer Kloetzel
- Amit Peled
- India Yeshe Gailey
- Nancy Green
Holiday Cello Gift Ideas from Jonathan, Cellist, and Educator
1. The Lost Cellos of Lev Aronson by Frances Brent
Jonathan tells us:
“Written from a non-musician’s perspective, this book is a fascinating read for cellists and cello lovers alike. I could hardly put the book down while I was reading it!”
2. A Cello Museum Hoodie!
“It’s cold outside, so I love wearing my hoodie to stay warm and share cello at the same time!”
3. Cello Dampit
“Protecting your instrument from low humidity is important during this time of year. Make sure not to oversaturate, and use this only when the weather is cold and dry.”
4. A Cello Tree Ornament
These can be put up on a tree, garland, wreath, or Hanukkah bush. Jonathan notes:
“I have several on my Christmas tree each year. Keep out of reach of small children, as the parts can separate and become choking hazards.”
Strong Recommendations from Gill, Cellist, Teacher, Arranger, Author, and Researcher
Gill Tennant, our fantastic researcher and cello birthdays expert has sent some great recommendations. Her first choice was on my list, too, but since she sent it to me twice, and both times in bold and large font, I include it in her section even though I’m thrilled to review the book next month, having interviewed the author, Miranda Wilson, for the Cello Museum earlier this week.
1. Miranda Wilson’s The Well-Tempered Cello: Life With Bach’s Cello Suites
This is also available from Fairhaven Press.
2. Clip to Hold Music on a Stand
Great minds think alike because Gill and Renate both suggested clips. I’ve included both, as they are so different. Gill tells us that this was:
“given to me by a pupil, and used frequently both in concerts and outdoor venues. I’ve never found these anywhere else, just the one I was given! You can see it has a really strong clip to hold music on firmly without damaging the sheet music.”
Perhaps you could make your own!
3. Accessory Shelf for Music Stands
Cello Museum Family Members Recommend
1. Gifts that Support a Charity
In this category, you could participate in the Carol of the Bells Cello Project, performing and raising money for charity. Another idea from one of our Cello Museum family members was to support a group like Voices of Music. They sell mugs and phone cases on their YouTube channel.
2. Support a Small Business
We love this idea! Visit your local art galleries and craft fairs and buy from local artists. For example, I found a lovely cello mug in a local gallery in my town a few years ago.
One of our Cello Museum family members suggested supporting Linda West Cellos, “an all-cellos all-the-time cello shop” physically located in Santa Barbara, CA, USA.
Please consider supporting the Cello Museum as well – we are a small business run by volunteers. Every purchase you make from our online museum shop and the Cello Guild helps support our work.
3. Support Independent Artists
Several people wrote to suggest working with independent artists by searching for “cello” on sites such as Etsy, Redbubble, and Teepublic. These are great suggestions! Also, please keep the Cello Museum in mind. Our design work is nearly all done in-house. (Good thing I earned that art degree in addition to the cello degrees!)
Revisit Our Past Gift Ideas Lists
- 30 Gift Ideas for People Who Love the Cello
- Holiday Gift Ideas for People Who Love the Cello
- 5 Gift Ideas for Mothers (and Others!)
- Cello Teachers
- Young Cello Students
- Adult Cello Students
- Cello Lovers Who Don’t Play the Cello (Please see items 1-4 on this list.)
- Gifts from Cellists
Enjoy your holiday shopping!
What is your favorite cello-related holiday gift you’ve ever received or given? Please tell us in the comments.
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