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gift for piano teacher (Read 6853 times)

Offline cwjalex

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gift for piano teacher
« on: December 12, 2014, 02:48:42 AM »
i was thinking it would be cool if i was able to talk to a bunch of my teacher's students and have everyone pitch in and get her a piano tuning or something for christmas.  she has two pianos next to each other and i thought it would be a good gift but it's way too expensive for me to buy alone. the only problem is i have no idea how i would contact her other students.  she sends out emails to her students and i wish i could get that email list but i don't want to have to ask for it and take away from the surprise.  can you think of anyway i can get in touch with the other students and see if they want to pitch in for something like this?  for you teachers out there do you think this is a good gift idea?   

Offline pianoslav

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Re: gift for piano teacher
«Reply #1 on: December 12, 2014, 02:52:42 AM »
have everyone pitch in and get her a piano tuning or something for christmas.

I think that you have good intentions, but this can come off as pretty insulting. Is her piano badly out of tune?

Offline cwjalex

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Re: gift for piano teacher
«Reply #2 on: December 12, 2014, 02:58:06 AM »
I think that you have good intentions, but this can come off as pretty insulting. Is her piano badly out of tune?

yeah this thought occurred to me.  her pianos are not out of tune but i thought maybe we could give her like a gift certificate so she could have it done whenever she wants.  hmm, the more i think about it the more i don't like the idea of her interpreting the gift in a negative way.  do you have any other cool gift ideas that are piano related?

Offline Bob

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Re: gift for piano teacher
«Reply #3 on: December 12, 2014, 03:05:02 AM »
I like that it would benefit everyone.  Maybe there's a way to spin that. 

Gift certificates are a gimmick.  You hand money over to someone else to "hold onto it."  If the gift receiver never picks it up, you gave money to that business.  That's why they're doing it.  Plus, you locked the gift receiver into that business.  Just give cash.  If you give cash and eventually the piano is actually tuned, then your cash gift actually made it to the tuning in some way.

But yes, that could be a bit tricky.
Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."

Offline 1piano4joe

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Re: gift for piano teacher
«Reply #4 on: December 13, 2014, 03:17:03 AM »
Hi cwjalex,

Personally, I would ditch the piano tuning idea but that's just my opinion. Also, I would ditch the idea of collecting a pool from the other students. Not a bad idea, just impractical.

I have received some gifts from several students over the years. My all time favorite was a check. Another favorite was a tin of home baked cookies. I did like receiving gift cards.

I did not like receiving bottles of wine and/or liquor which since I'm not a drinker I gave to family members to enjoy. I do have a bunch of #1 teacher crap. The first one I received early in my career I treasured but it got old real fast. And please no more coffee mugs!

So, yes by all means, honor your teacher by doing a google search which should yield several superior alternatives.

I always feel treasured, appreciated and respected whenever a student thinks of me, Joe.

Offline cwjalex

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Re: gift for piano teacher
«Reply #5 on: December 13, 2014, 03:21:17 AM »
My all time favorite was a check.

a check?  like money?  people enjoy receiving money the most but it is the most unimaginative gift and i really don't like giving money as a gift.  i also give her a check for 200$ every month already.

i found this for like 25 bucks.  circle of 5ths clock.  what about something like this?


Offline 1piano4joe

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Re: gift for piano teacher
«Reply #6 on: December 13, 2014, 03:55:13 AM »
Hi cwjalex,

There is a ton of stuff like that at pianosupplies.com

pianoslav, Bob and myself are all teachers. We all seem to be in agreement that we don't need socks or ties with notes on them. Ditto for napkins or towels with keyboards on them. We have enough of that stuff already.

However, 35 years ago I did buy my piano teacher a Christmas tree ornament which was a crystal grand piano which is why I can understand your desire to get something piano related.  

As a teacher though I can honestly tell you that I would much rather have a gift certificate to a local restaurant or better yet cash!

Lessons at $200 a month comes to $2400 a year. So, what's another $100 check or cash stuffed in an envelope with something handwritten on the inside? Your teacher's eyes will go wide open. Your teacher will probably say the word, "wow" out loud. Your teacher will read your PERSONAL greeting and PROUDLY put your card out on display.

I know I have, Joe.

P.S. If you know people enjoy receiving money as a gift why not make your teacher really happy?

Offline Bob

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Re: gift for piano teacher
«Reply #7 on: December 13, 2014, 04:52:07 AM »
Oh, I know!  How about a coffee mug? 


There's not a smiley that does that justice.


I really like the idea of gifting something to the whole piano studio, like the tuning.  Maybe if you knew for sure who the tuner was, you could do it that way.  The odd thing would be hiring a piano tuner/tech they didn't like.  But if it was their usual one, doing a, "The next piano tuning's on me," gift might be nice.  Or, except for the scheduling, getting the piano tuned once more often would be nice too. 

I'd almost go for that, the tuning idea, esp. if you find out who their tech person is.  Maybe you could ask them at some point... Except it's kind of close for time now.  Maybe next year. 

Even if the piano is out of tune...  It could be a nice wake up call too (and shows you're not deaf).


The crystal grand piano gift....  :'(  Mine fell off my desk just after I got it.  All the legs shattered off right away.  I felt bad about that.  Now I've got a pile of broken crystal.
Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."

Offline pianoslav

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Re: gift for piano teacher
«Reply #8 on: December 13, 2014, 06:01:29 AM »
I really like the idea of a piano tuning because, as Bob said, an extra tuning doesn't hurt. However, it depends on your approach.

I think a conceivable way to test the waters to see if this gift is appropriate would be to just ask her for piano tuning "advice". For example, start by asking how often she needs to tune her pianos. Follow by asking her who tunes her pianos, and finally, when is the last time she had them tuned.

In this scenario, she will not suspect anything because you are just the curious student who is asking for her expertise as usual. If she responds that she needs to get them tuned soon, you can call her tuner for an estimate and surprise her with this gift. However, if she had her pianos tuned recently or considers her pianos to be in tune, you can write her a check for the amount of money that her tuner charges with an accompanying note that says something like "Merry Christmas. The next piano tuning is on me." In both cases you are "tuning" her piano, by either bringing the tuner to her or giving her the money to tune it.

Offline outin

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Re: gift for piano teacher
«Reply #9 on: December 13, 2014, 07:26:25 AM »
I myself don't really like receiving gifts because they mostly are something totally unnecessary or even something I want to get rid of at once. So I find it difficult to choose gifts for others as well.
Around here giving cash used to be normal when I was a kid, but now I think it's not really appropriate anymore, except in certain situations (like graduation)... So I play it safe and give my teacher some kind of a flower/plant thing. Of course not everyone cares for plants, then it's more tricky...

Offline ted

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Re: gift for piano teacher
«Reply #10 on: December 13, 2014, 09:34:41 AM »
Nice big bottle of whisky. That's what I used to buy my old teacher at the end of term when I was a kid. Funny thing though, fifty years later his daughter told me they never had any drink in the house. He must have hidden it somewhere and consumed it surreptitiously. Another of life's little mysteries because I know he loved his whisky.
"We're all bums when the wagon comes." - Waller

Offline Bob

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Re: gift for piano teacher
«Reply #11 on: December 13, 2014, 02:47:21 PM »
Actually, no gift is easier, yes.  Because then the teacher is obligated to send a thank you.  Multiply that by the number of students... It's some work.

I think a  Bösendorfer or Steinway would make a nice actually.  I wouldn't mind that, esp. with tunings and moving included over the lifetime of the piano.  I'd probably send a nice thank you if someone got me that.
Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."

Offline dcstudio

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Re: gift for piano teacher
«Reply #12 on: December 13, 2014, 03:18:43 PM »
As a teacher of 20 years--I love all the Christmas gifts I receive from my students...even the wine :)   which I enjoy very much.   I have received many miniature glass pianos and musically themed pieces of jewelry over the years...they are nice--but I have a box full of them.  Gift cards are always appreciated.  My personal favorite would have to be the spa treatment.


Offline cwjalex

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Re: gift for piano teacher
«Reply #13 on: December 13, 2014, 06:21:35 PM »
  My personal favorite would have to be the spa treatment.

what kind of spa treatment?  you got a gift card for it? 

Offline dcstudio

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Re: gift for piano teacher
«Reply #14 on: December 13, 2014, 08:10:54 PM »
I had a student whose mother owned a local day spa--so I got a massage, facial, mani/petti, and a skin treatment--and it was awesome.   ;D   They all have gift certificates though and with several different packages.   If she is someone who would enjoy that sort of thing and probably not do it for herself--it is a great gift.   

A gift card for a manicure would probably be appreciated and not too expensive.  Maybe a note saying that her hands deserve some special treatment after all that time spent at the piano--...  (my spa treatment gift came with a similar message).

Like I said... I love the gifts from my students no matter what they are--as do most other teachers I know.  It is the coolest time of year to teach piano really--they have their recital, bring you a gift then you get to be off for the next two weeks. It's great!  :D

Offline cwjalex

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Re: gift for piano teacher
«Reply #15 on: December 13, 2014, 08:14:29 PM »
I had a student whose mother owned a local day spa--so I got a massage, facial, mani/petti, and a skin treatment--and it was awesome.   ;D   They all have gift certificates though and with several different packages.   If she is someone who would enjoy that sort of thing and probably not do it for herself--it is a great gift.   

A gift card for a manicure would probably be appreciated and not too expensive.  Maybe a note saying that her hands deserve some special treatment after all that time spent at the piano--...  (my spa treatment gift came with a similar message).

Like I said... I love the gifts from my students no matter what they are--as do most other teachers I know.  It is the coolest time of year to teach piano really--they have their recital, bring you a gift then you get to be off for the next two weeks. It's great!  :D

yeah i was thinking about a gift certificate for a manicure as a gift.  i don't give many people gifts, but when i do it is important for me that i put a little bit of time and effort into the thought process.  i only like giving gifts that are useful and i don't want to be that student that gives her another "no.1 piano teacher" mug that she probably has dozens of already.