The holiday season is here, and Christmas is right around the corner. If you have a special viola player on your list, and have no idea whatsoever what to get them, you’ve come to the right place. Whether you need to pick up a last-minute gift or have some time to plan, here are some easy, simple, and useful stocking stuffer ideas for viola players of all skill levels. In fact, many of them are so easy to find that you won’t even have to leave Music & Arts to purchase them! From mutes to hand lotion, here are a few stocking stuffer ideas for the viola player in your life.
Every viola player should have at least one mute in their arsenal. Ideal for performances and practice, a mute attaches to the bridge of the viola and, as the name implies, dampens the intensity of the sound produced. If your viola player lives in an apartment or has a baby brother or sister arriving shortly, a mute will enable them to practice without disturbing their neighbors or family. Due to its small size, a viola mute not only makes the perfect stocking-sized gift, but it can easily be transported in their gig bag or case. And, at prices that range from $1 to $40+, finding a mute that falls within your budget won’t be a problem. Plus, we’ve heard this gift goes over well with family members of viola players, so this gift will help you win points with the entire family.
If the skin on your hands dries out and cracks during the winter months, imagine how painful this is for musicians who use their hands to play their instrument on a daily basis. This is why hand lotion is the perfect stocking stuffer for string musicians, viola players included. When shopping for lotion, skip shopping at Bath & Body Works and choose a no-frills, unscented lotion, instead, as lotions with lots of perfume can strip away the top layer of coating from instruments over time. In fact, there’s an entire line of hand care called Guitar Hands that’s developed for musicians by musicians. And yes, even viola players can use this line of high-quality hand care items.
Although a metronome isn’t the most interesting gift in the world, it’s important that your viola player has a few in their toolbox. Metronomes are considered to be an essential accessory by virtually every musician for one core reason: the entire point of playing an instrument is to play in tune and in time. Metronomes, like tuners and mutes, come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some are smaller than a cell phone, while others are rather large and are intended to be kept in a recording studio or practice room. Some are super simple and produce a tick-tock sound at different speeds, while others are more elaborate and include tuners and/or other tech within them. Even better, metronomes are something every musician needs, so if there’s a pianist or guitarist on your list, buy them one, too!
Music Stand Light
If your viola player practices their instrument in one of the darker rooms of their home, they’ll appreciate the thought that went into this gift. A music stand light is an efficient way for your viola player to better see their sheet music they’re practice and, since they’re smaller items, most music stand lights run for a very long time on a set of batteries, which you can also throw into their stocking. If you’d like to combine a stocking stuffer with one of your viola player’s larger gifts, purchase them a music stand light in addition to a brand new music stands. Many music stands are portable in nature, so even on-the-go viola players can take both items with them whenever they please.
Christmas Song Book
If you don’t know the personal preferences of your viola player and are concerned about purchasing them the wrong thing, you can’t go wrong with a collection of Christmas sheet music. Available for a variety of skill levels, you can purchase a book of Christmas sheet music for everyone from a friend or family member who just started taking a viola lessons, to a family friend who has been playing the viola for years. When purchasing sheet music, pay close attention to the instrument. Many publishers print books of sheet music that’s arranged exclusively for different instruments. Alternatively, you can purchase them a book of sheet music from your favorite composer or music genre so the two of you grow closer in the process.
Still stuck? Worried about purchasing them something they already have, or don’t really need? Fortunately, there’s a way you can still purchase them something music-themed without buying them something they don’t want: gift certificates. Whether you purchase a gift certificate from their favorite retailer (may we suggest Music & Arts?) or a more general store, a gift certificate is truly the gift that keeps on giving. While the amount is purely up to you, here are some baseline prices to help you get started: mutes average about $6, a single string is about $10, and humidifiers are about $10. If you prefer to do the shopping yourself but still aren’t sure what to get, make them a card with an IOU and make a plan to browse Music & Arts with your viola player and purchase them exactly what they need.
Need more gift ideas? Check out Cases, Mutes, and Other Viola Accessories.
Photo via Andrew Malone, CC