Christmas Gifts for Music Students: Who Couldn’t Use Another Idea?

When it comes to this time of year, I usually whine a little. Not because I don’t love Christmas or giving gifts, but because I have to figure out something different to do for my students once again.

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE giving gifts to my students. It’s just the process of making my brain think about what to do this year that makes me often procrastinate.

After cutting it a little too close a few years ago, I vowed to stop waiting until the last minute. (Year-ahead purchases have even become normal.) Bye-bye stress!

Crafts are not my strong suit so my kiddos will most likely never get a hand-made craft from me. Since I love to cook, however, homemade goodies have made it into the mix frequently.

The gifts I do each year often have to do with where life is in the moment. Don’t you agree? Some year’s money may be tight so gifts may be bulk-homemade and less costly. On the flip side, if time is more of a commodity, I just purchase an item – even if I end up spending more.

My comfort zone is anywhere between $1 – $5 per student with $3 being my sweet spot. With a full studio, the cost can add up quickly!



Hershey’s Symphony Creamy Milk Chocolate Bar is a really great and easy option. Depending on your budget, there are two sizes:

The XL size is about $1.50 apiece and can be found on Amazon 12 for $18.

The GIANT version is also fun to give and is around $2.50 a piece. (At the time of this post, they were not available in bulk on Amazon but can likely be found in your nearest grocery store.)



Decorate your studio Christmas Tree with student Christmas-gift ornaments. Let them choose their ornament off the tree at their last lesson before Christmas Break.

One of my favorites from over the years is these Resin Sheet Music Snowman Ornaments.

At the time of this post, the price on Amazon is $22.99 for a dozen. You can get these at Oriental Trading for $15.99 but may end up paying more depending on shipping.

P.S. Sara’s Music Studio made a fun suggestion to add a ribbon around the neck like a scarf. How cute would that be? 


Homemade Hot Cocoa

Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix is a perfect gift. What kid doesn’t love hot chocolate?

Ball jars are so easy to make look decorated with something as simple as a colorful ribbon. Be sure and include the directions!

Consider recipes that are made with powdered milk so students only have to add hot water.  Along those same lines, don’t do the layered-type cocoa mix where you have to dump the whole container into a pot to mix.

My favorite recipe is from Cook’s Country, but since it’s a paid recipe service, here are some other versions you could try from Pioneer Woman and AllRecipes. 


Japanese Erasers

Will the Japanese Eraser craze ever go away? I would be surprised if it did – they’re just too cute! Students will love these grand piano erasers.

Purchase a mixture of black and red and let students choose. Based on what my students chose, I would suggest purchasing 30% red and 60% black. Or if you want to keep it simple, just go for the black!


Puppy Chow

To me, just handing them a small Japanese eraser didn’t seem like quite enough, so the years I did that as my gift, I also made Puppy chow and attached the eraser to the bow.

I don’t even remember what specific recipe I used at that time but it was definitely a white chocolate one.

A couple of my other favorite puppy chow recipes are Cookie Butter Muddy Buddies and Peanut Butter Brownie Puppy Chow




Lastly, an Organization Tip!

Before we go, let me give you one organizational tip regarding student Christmas gifts:

Keep a list of what you give your students each year!

The first year I opened my studio, I didn’t record the gift I gave and I regretted it because it is SOOOO nice to be able to look back and see what you’ve done recently.

Keeping a list means that you can easily repeat gifts with confidence.

This year, I’m cycling back and giving a gift that I did six years ago which means I’m confident a large majority of my students haven’t received this gift from me!

It’s a simple as writing it down in your favorite note-taking app (like Evernote, of course!).

  • 2017 Resin Sheet Music Snowman Ornament
  • 2016 Grand Piano Japanese Eraser and Puppy Chow
  • 2015 Black sparkly music ornament (no longer available)
  • 2014 Bag of puppy chow
  • 2013 Homemade hot chocolate mix
  • 2012 Hershey’s Symphony chocolate bar


What are you giving your students this year? Share together in the comments!


  • Thanks for the ideas. I normally spend $1-2 per student because with 35 students it adds up quick! I try to steer away from giving sweet stuff, but sometimes end up doing that…

  • I usually find cheap classical music CDs on Amazon and gift those to my students. I find that many of my students don’t listen to a lot of classical music, so it helps connect them with some of the music we play.

  • This year I had my logo printed onto spinners for only $ each and then I am adding a little booklet from a purchase I made from TPT with rhythm challenges that you do with the spinner as a “timer”. I hope they don’t all already have them ! I am coming in late on this trend!

  • I bought inexpensive black stretchy gloves on clearance last year at Target for $2.50 but have seen them at Walmart this year for $1.50. Took some puffy white fabric paint and squeezed out a bass clef on the left hand glove and treble clef on the right. Quick and easy.

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