This gift guide was created specifically for music composers! I myself am mainly a media composer, so this was a fun to put together. Fellow composers, I'd love to know the things on your list!
Check out our other gift guide geared towards performing musicians!
PRACTICAL GIFTS FOR COMPOSERS
Let's start with a few practical things that composers can use daily. I could list copious of expensive gear, but let's save that for another post.
Personalized Wooden Headphone Stand - By Oakywood - Etsy - $59
This headphone stand looks great on its own, but this seller offers the option to engrave text or even your logo on it!
Cable Management Boxes - Amazon - $12
This is definitely not the most fun or sexy gift, but cables, wires and cords can easily get out of control in a composer's studio. This box can hide power strips and jumbled messes while giving a clean look.
Music Staff Pen - Amazon - $12
This pen allows you to easily draw staff lines on the go! Great for jotting down ideas or taking notes in music class.
FUN GIFTS FOR COMPOSERS
Make Your Own Music Box - The Music Stand - $23
The title says it all. The composer can punch in their own melody and the crankable music box will play it! This could also be great for a student learning to read music.
Vintage Composer Playing Card Deck - Warble Vintage - Etsy - $15
This [unused] vintage deck is from the 1970s and features 54 different classical composers. Click over to the listing to see who they put on the "joker" cards.
Nine Composers Art Print - Inkermezzo - Etsy - $40
Inkermezzo has been mentioned on the Gliss Prints blog before, but I needed to give another shout out here. Cellist/artist Megan Chartier is using her art to amplify the work of Black composers in classical music. All the proceeds from this print are donated!
EDUCATION FOR COMPOSERS
I have to give a shoutout to educator and composer Alan Belkin. His books and online content have encouraged me to not agonize over esoteric details when I write, which has helped me immensely. This book should be on every composer's bookshelf! Please do check out the free content on his website and Youtube Channel as well.
The War of Art by Steven Pressfield - Amazon - $13
The War of Art by Steven Pressfield is an essential book for everyone, not just composers or creatives. He very candidly talks about creative blocks and how to work through them. It's quick read that gives you a lot to think about when moving forward with anything in life.
A longer post on books for musicians/composers is coming soon...
Academy of Scoring Arts membership - $165 - $250
Academy of Scoring Arts members have access to a video library of score studies, composer interviews, and panel events. I'd recommend this to any composer looking to brush up on their orchestration or business knowledge. A membership also gives access to future events, online and (eventually) in-person. The community aspect is priceless. Full disclosure: I'm on the board of this nonprofit.
Hiring musicians to record your music is always a composer's first choice, but VSTs are the go-to when time and budgets are limited. Solo strings are, in my opinion, the instruments that sound the least realistic when working with VSTs. Without opening an entire can of worms, I wanted to add two affordable solo string libraries to this gift guide list. I've been impressed with their intimate, woody tone and expressive ability... and they're both on Black Friday sale right now (11.24.2020)! Composers, this is more of a gift you that can buy for yourself.