Saturday, April 17, 2010

Teacher Gifts: For and From the Violin Teacher

Kelly's Korner today is a commentary on gifts to teachers.  Throughout the past 40 years of teaching violin students I have received some awesome gifts from students and their families. The gifts range in monetary value from very little to quite expensive. Here is a list of some of my faves.

1. More music--CD's of classical music or scripture songs or Christmas music. Itunes gift cards or Amazon gift cards also buy more music.  You can never have too much.
2. A ream of hole punched paper, ready to go from the printer to my students' notebooks.
3. A hand-crocheted angel for my Christmas tree
4. Gift cards to bookstores, Starbucks, Chili's, and movie theaters
5. Violin ornaments--my Christmas tree and garlands are loaded with them
6. Big coffee mugs with scriptures printed on them
7. Homemade cookie dough, ready to bake
8. Homemade bread.
9. Hand made tea towels with seasonal themes
10.  Soft ornaments for the lower branches on the trees that my children, and now my grandchildren, can touch safely.
11. Mechanical pencils--orchestra musicians never have too many.
12. A big bowl  filled with everything for a night "in" with my Muffin
13. Framed photos of my students posing with their best "violin posture"
14. One red rose
15. A handwritten note explaining why you love to make music

Gifts I love to give to my students
1. Gift of musical interpretation
2. CD's with my favorite music in a sampler
3. Ornaments with musical themes--miniature instruments or music symbols
4. Pencils
5. Mini rosin
6. Picture frames with photos of special moments we have shared
7. A harmony--the second, more difficult part to a song for which they have already learned the melody
8. Silly putty--It strengthens the fingers, and who can resist it?
9. Small silly objects they can use to learn a new skill--sticky frogs to hold under their "frog fingers"; small balls to balance on the strings to improve posture; stickers or objects they can use as a focal point
10. Games to improve memory skills
11. Hugs and praise

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