Your mom, sister, father, brother, or third cousin distantly removed who lives near Ayers Rock has taken up the piano as an adult and is now taking piano lessons! Perhaps you—a cool indie-pop fan with a dusting of a beard or sleek leather booties—could not care less as to who came first, Bach or Beethoven. Thus you may feel ill-equipped when it comes to what to give this piano nerd in your life as a Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, or Christmas gift. I’m pleased to offer my insider’s gift guide below—although perhaps don’t take it too seriously.
1. Does the adult piano student in your household leave soup warming on the stove for just “a few minutes to practice a scale,” only to return 15 minutes later to scalded bits of food and a burned pot? Protect your investment in your cookware. This apron reminds us how easily we can create “treble” in the kitchen.
2. Fingernails clicking on the ivories is the pianistic equivalent of chalk scraping on a blackboard. We often find ourselves caught short with long nails, just before a piano lesson, or even worse, a recital. Buy a bunch of these clippers as stocking stuffers and casually suggest storing them in various locations, such as on a table next to the piano and in the car’s glove compartment.
3. A pair of shearling gloves, for him or her. Piano students around the world agree that we can’t allow our digits to get cold or chapped.
4. Adult piano students consider time all of the time. We scrounge for practice time, regulate our music’s time on in the metronome, and divide time into minute pieces, such as 32nds or 64ths. Need I say more?
5. Apparently an effect similar to that of beta blockers results from eating this cheerful yellow fruit, and can help us stay calm before a piano soirée, recital, or even audition. However, up to three bananas may need to be eaten to realize the full effect. This gift recommended for those with high metabolisms only.
6. In this world of blaring pop music at the mall and kitschy easy-listening tunes in the elevator, sometimes we need to literally wrap ourselves in classical piano music as a form of protection.
7. A silk scarf for women, while for men, a snazzy Bach tie. My only hesitation is that the designer (conveniently also named Bach) does not specify which Bach composition decorates the tie. A two-part invention? A prelude? You might suggest that the composition name is a minor detail. I think not.
8. Yes, I really am recommending these microfiber dusters. No chemicals or scratchy cloths on the piano’s lacquered surface, please. Practical, I know.
9. These silver rings with cut-out piano keys could come in handy if two in the tribe decide to elope together over the holidays.
10. This article started out as a humor piece, but now it’s turned serious. I have long hair that I like to wear clipped back when I perform. What could be more appropriate than this elegant black and white fused glass barrette? Note to family: I want this in my stocking!
What else would you suggest for this holiday list?