Gift suggestions for my teacher?

October 2, 2019, 10:45 PM · Next week I will have my 100th violin lesson with my teacher. I'd like to give a small thank you gift to her. Suggestions? Thanks.

Replies (11)

October 2, 2019, 10:49 PM · What a thoughtful idea!

A pretty note card with a note from you expressing your gratitude is always welcome, but if you wanted to include a more tangible thank-you, a gift card is a nice thought. Starbucks, restaurants, or Amazon are all-purpose, or maybe a gift card to your local violin shop.

October 3, 2019, 1:18 AM · i tried getting my teacher violin strings, turned out he only uses evah pirazzi gold.....
Edited: October 3, 2019, 2:01 AM · I do not recommend buying strings as a gift for your violin teacher unless you are absolutely, positively, 100% sure of which type of strings your teacher uses. And probably not even then. If you want to go that route, a gift card to the local violin shop is a better idea.

It would feel very strange if a student were to give me a set of strings, not least because my preferred make is over $100 for a set and that is an awkwardly extravagant gift.

October 3, 2019, 2:13 AM · A nice word or a few words written on a nice card is probably the best gift a teacher can get.
Stay clear of piano shaped notepads, music mugs etc.
Edited: October 3, 2019, 2:32 AM · Because I’m never quite sure what to give, as he’s a very private person, ( I don’t know if he drinks, likes chocolate , or even celebrates Christmas,) I bring him whatever I have some of, ie fresh eggs, apricots once a year when my tree produces about a ton all at once, or orchid stems when they’re flowering. Or if I’ve made a big batch of some kind of treat.
I would avoid violin’y things, as I suspect he either has enough already, and could get them himself at wholesale prices.
October 3, 2019, 6:25 AM · Nothing wrong with a handwritten card and a box of chocolates. He can pass the latter on to his wife, in any case.
Edited: October 3, 2019, 7:39 AM · The handwritten note and handmade card says that you valued your lessons -- their wisdom and their warmth. If you want to give a gift card or some other value-bearing bonus, I'd do that (additionally) at holiday time. Nothing says "happy holidays" quite like the portrait of Ulysses S. Grant. (Especially in the American South! LOL!)

The problem with violin strings is that you can plainly see your teacher has Dominants, so you buy him/her a set of Dominants, not knowing they have been hating their Dominants and were planning to change to a different brand...

Sometimes my students (I teach university chemistry) give me a gift card or something like that, if I helped them with something significant. I am not allowed to accept it, but our higher-ups have granted us permission to "accept" the gift from the student and then deposit it in the department office, where we re-gift them to own staff, or use them to help defray catering costs (e.g., Starbucks & Panera cards). Likewise coffee mugs (of which we always have too many) can be transferred to the faculty lounge.

Cotton, read the OP more carefully. That's her wife, not his wife.

Edited: October 3, 2019, 7:50 AM · Ha. I have given my teacher a guitar/uke stringwinder (she plays guitar and uke and has Wittner geared pegs on her viola). And I gave her a pure graphite artist's crayon, which might have been more useful had she not got Wittner geared pegs on her viola, lol.

Dammit - they're musicians: if you give them cash for lessons, that's going to mean more than any present (lol).

October 3, 2019, 8:21 AM · Whoops. To her husband, then?
Edited: October 3, 2019, 12:09 PM · Thank you. A simple gift card sounds like the best way to go. I was an English and Theater teacher for 37 years, and for some reason students felt compelled to give me coffee cups. I certainly don't want to sound ungrateful, but I ended up with quite a hefty collection. Now that I'm retired, I still have a few (One Scarlet Letter cup, one Shakespeare cup, one Banned Books cup, etc.) but the notes students wrote held the deepest meaning.

As a side note, one year, on the very last day of a school year, a student teacher gave me a bottle of single malt Scotch. I hid it in a desk drawer. Once school ended, I opened the drawer and looked at it, trying to rationalize having a little sip. After all, school was out for the year. In a technical sense, it was over, school was out, so what harm would there be in having a taste? I took one of my many coffee cups, poured a little into the cup, put the bottle back in the drawer, raised the cup to my lips. . . .and a parent walked into the room. Immediately I put the cup on my desk, and escorted the parent to the far end of the room. We talked for a few minutes, she left, and I closed the door. Whew! Murphy's Law, right? The one time I break a rule and I almost got caught. In the end, after the parent left I downed the small sip, put the bottle in a bag and took it home. As thoughtful as the Scotch was, perhaps a note would have been a better idea.

Edited: October 3, 2019, 9:02 AM · Cotton, not necessarily! We shouldn't make any such assumptions.

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