Last year as a little holiday gift, I gave all my students music-themed ornaments. This year I’m going a different route, but I can’t reveal the details just yet since many of my students and their parents read my blog :) But I will say that I am hard at work on them this week.
Giving and receiving gifts is one of the topics Kimberly, Michelle and I will touch on this month over at Music Therapy Pro. We each have different viewpoints and issues to consider in our own practice — I think it’s obvious where I stand! But there are a few parameters I set for doing so:
- Keep it inexpensive. This is a must, not only because I have almost 50 students, but also because I don’t want my students and their families to feel obligated to give me elaborate gifts (or anything at all!).
- Keep it simple. Back when I had fewer students, I had the luxury of making crafty gifts for each student — and one year, even all of their siblings! That’s not the case anymore, so I try to stick to less work-intensive gifts.
- Be consistent. For the most part, I choose a gift that I can give all of my students no matter their age or instrument. My music therapy client gifts do sometimes differ from the gifts I give students to whom I teach lessons.
- Make it personal. Although the gifts may not be unique from student to student, I like to add a little note and gift tag to set each apart.
What is your stance on giving gifts to clients and students? And if you do go the gift-giving route, feel free to share the considerations you make for doing so, or better yet, gifts you have given. It’s never too early to start thinking about next year!
My gift to students this year is a holiday CD filled with their own recordings and some original songs. They can then enjoy listening to it over the holiday break and share it with their family. It also offers a great way to talk about other students in the program and their skills. Through social song interventions, I am also able to provide them ways to initiate a conversation with others about the CD.
Great idea, Wade! I love this! Leave it to you to come up with a gift that is both enjoyable and therapeutic at the same time :) Thanks for sharing!
I have given gifts for the past 15 years. This year I didn’t. Not sure why. I just didn’t know what to get 60+ students and have it be anything but a piece of junk and I don’t bake. And to be honest my students are really scaling back on their gifts to me. In years past I would get very expensive gifts and bonuses. Sometimes $50-$100 gift cards. This year it is smaller gifts but still really really generous like $10 to Starbucks! Those are the best gift of all. Nothing like going to Starbucks and getting a hot latte for free. On the other hand, I have gone overboard on the gifts my students give their teachers. Everyone is getting a Lands End Scarf and two are even getting Monogrammed Lands End blankets. (Thank you to Cyber Monday deals)
Lisa – I totally understand…it is overwhelming! I stress over student gifts every year, it seems. I have to agree with you on the Starbucks gift cards; they are my favorite gifts as well :) And WOW, those teachers must be reeeally good to be getting such nice gifts from you!