Easy Last Minute Gift Ideas (Musician Edition)


30 years ago when I was a child my mom spent months before Christmas shopping. She wanted to make sure she had everything in place before stores sold out and sales ended. I'm so grateful to be a mother at a time when I can take advantage of cyber Monday and same day delivery to my doorstep! On the down side, these luxuries have not helped me overcome my tendancy to procrastinate or absently forget that 'one last thing' until it's too late. If anything I still find myself at the computer on December 22nd exclaiming, "What do you mean it can't be delievered it by Christmas Eve?!"...First world problems, I know. If that describes you as well, then I think I have three awesome ideas for the violinist on your list that will save your face this December 25th. Not only are they purchase and print sort of gifts so there is no wait time, but they are also thoughtful and a little outside the box. 

First gift, is a downloadable computer software program that will improve your intonation. Ironically, or not so ironically, it's name says it all....INTONIA. This program is super easy to download and set up, and is a totally reasonable price of $25.00. Set the key that you will be playing, and then hit record. It runs while you play and shows you what notes are off and whether they are too high or too low.  Lately I've been loving my Intonia to work on vibrato. It shows you spots where you didn't vibrato and also shows how many vibrato turns per second as well as how big or shallow of a vibrato you have. Not only do I use and love Intonia, but my 8 year old uses it as well.  It's for all ages and levels and is a fabulous tool to improve your playing skills.  Go, and register for it today and make it part of your practice routine.  When you go to purchase, there will be a 'this is a gift' option. Click that, complete the order, check your little musician off your gift list, and still have time to drink some hot chocolate while you watch a sappy Hallmark Christmas movie. This is a great gift that every violinist should own and use! 

My second "tis the Season to not stress" gift is the gift of inspiration. One of the best things little musicians can do to ensure a lifelong love of music is to witness and listen to talented artists perform. Concert tickets make an excellent stocking stuffer, AND it's one less toy you have to store, buy batteries for, and bandage emotions when it breaks. Back in August we took our kids to see The Piano Guys. It has been one of the best things we could do to help them become better musicians. Many ticket websites allow you to print your own tickets the day of purchase (even if that's 4am Christmas Day). While you are at it buy one for yourself to give your child/loved one the gift of your time!

If you need recommendations here is a list of some of the violin greats of our day.  I would also recommend LIndsey Stirling, for something a little more outside the box. my young girls like her; think high energy, dancing, costumes, stage effects.

Remember it doesn't necessarily have to be violin soloist. Many cities will have a symphony, string ensembles, and local universities with regular performances. 

Last but not least (insert squel of delight because I'm pretty excited) is this brilliant gem that is making a comback. Vivaldi's Ring Of Mystery

was originaly published in 1991. I actually remember listening to this when I was a child and really loving it. Nothing like cuddling up by a warm fire together with your child and listening to a great story, or having something to listen to during that long drive to visit family, or best of all putting the kids to bed early (because they will be begging to listen to this) while you and your spouse have a nice relaxing evening free of screaming children (remember they are all snug in their beds listening to CLASSICAL MUSIC). Vivaldi's Ring of Mystery has some pretty sweet shipping options from Amazon, depending on where you live. For some areas you can get it same day. The other way you can quickly get your hands on this amazing gift is the free MP3 version you get when you purchase the book or CD (it may take up to 48 hours after purchasing the CD for the MP3 version to be dropped in your account), or you can purchase the MP3 version for a little less without also purchasing the CD and download it right away. Driving 8 hours 'over the river and through the woods' never sounded so good!

Merry Christmas from our home to yours. May this season be filled with too many delicious cookies, crazy amounts of time spent with family, and continuously streamed holiday music. If you have any other great gift ideas PLEASE leave it in a comment below. As a mom of 5 I am ALWAYS looking for last minute and easy gifts to give!