The holiday season is here! But in addition to the holidays, the new year is a chance to start something new. Many folks take up music lessons, or come back to their music lessons. I'm compiling several AMAZON lists of my favorite gifts for musicians (starting with my own books, of course!). These recommendations will help you alleviate some of the decision overwhelm. I've listed current prices, but prices do fluctuate on Amazon.
Music Manuscript Notebooks
Music Theory Staff Paper $10.99 - for all musicians. This is a hybrid music manuscript paper for music theory classes, music lessons, music rehearsal prep, and all music study. Great supplement for music students.
Deluxe Manuscript Paper $10.99 - for all musicians. If you want only the musical staff, I would get this manuscript notebook from my publisher, Hal Leonard. I like the cream paper (I don't like bright white manuscript and sheet music); it's spiral bound like my Music Theory Staff Paper; it has nice spacing between the staves. For kids, I would get the Wide Staff Manuscript $4.99.
Music Theory & Method Books
Visualize Keyboard Scales & Modes $14.99 - for musicians with some experience, both readers and non-readers, piano students, and theory/aural skills music students. This book is a reference that helps students construct, sing, and play all Western scales and modes from one tonic. Unlike other scale method books, this one includes theory lessons and visual piano graphics for the non-reader and visual learner. It's best when used as a supplement to lessons or in class, but the determined self-learner will get a lot out of this book.
Music Journals, Journaling
The Musician Artist Journal - $21.99 - for all creative types. This journal is full of famous fine art that is musically-themed, along with inspiration quotes by composers, artists, and creative thinkers. The journal lined pages are thinly spaced and every single page is different with lots of surprises throughout.
Music Lesson Notebooks
Music Lesson Assignment Book $19.99 - for music students taking lessons on any instrument, or voice. This assignment is not only vibrant and fun, but super functional with specific prompts for weekly practice: repertoire, scales/modes, theory, musicianship. It gives the student a chance to interact with a practice log and practice tracker. Your music teacher will really enjoy the organization of bonuses (likes scale charts and Circle of 5ths) included. These are KEEPSAKES and will be a joy to look at years from now. Comes in 3 colors!
The Piano Lesson Book $19.99 - for piano students of all levels. The difference between the Music Lesson Assignment Book is that the practice trackers use piano key graphics, and music of the book is piano-centered. This is a MUST-HAVE for piano students! Document and journal recitals, musical progress, and track scales.
Mindset Musicianship Improvement
Atomic Habits by James Clear $14.99 - for musicians to understand that slow and steady wins the race. I would recommend this to high school music students and above. Practicing is not always fun. But there are many lessons in this book that reference musicians, although it is not all about musicianship. I believe the life lessons in this book will fundamentally change how much progress you can make in music by just practicing and working with intention, rather than mindless drills that are timed.
Effortless Mastery $18.99 - Berklee instructor and renowned jazz pianist, Kenny Werner, writes about letting go and how to open up your mind when it comes to spontaneous musical creation: improvisation. I think this would be a great book for classical musicians who generally don't focus on the art of improv, but we should.
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert $19.99 - Anybody that is a creative should read this book by Eat, Pray, Love author, Elizabeth Gilbert. The process for a creative is just as