Forte: Top 10 holiday gift ideas

Looking for holiday gift ideas this year? Look no further!

Give the gifts of MUSIC! Yes, I know, you’ve heard this before, but hear me out! There are more gift possibilities in music than buying a recording or a ticket to a concert — both good ideas, of course. If we begin with the premise that giving a gift makes the life of the person receiving it better, consider these possibilities.

My Top 10 list:

1. Support (and enjoy) live performance — buy tickets to live performances.

2. Already attend live performances? Buy tickets to another type of performance, like a school musical, dance recital, etc.

3. Already attend a range of performances? Buy a season ticket, perhaps to the Yakima Symphony.

4. Already have season tickets? Buy another one and bring a friend or relative who hasn’t attended a performance in a while.

5. Already attend lots of concerts? Buy sheet music of tunes you like for a child or grandchild and have them play it for you. (Bonus gift: Studies show that participating in music-making improves brain activity, physical, mental and emotional health, and even contributes to stronger academic performance.)

6. Already buying sheet music for children/grandchildren? Pay for some lessons with a great private teacher. (One condition: Make sure they practice so the lesson expense is worthwhile!)

7. Already paying for lessons? Send your child/grandchild to a summer arts camp.

8. Already sent them to camp? Make a donation to the camp in your child’s name to support another child attending.

9. Already helping other children make art? Make a donation to an arts organization in the name of someone you love. Everyone wins!

10. Still need more ideas? Invite some friends over and pay live musicians to come over and entertain you (call the YSO office for ideas).

See? There are lots of gifts of music you can give. And the best part of all? You don’t have to wait until a holiday season to give any of them.

Happy holidays!

• Jeffrey Snedeker is principal horn for the Yakima Symphony Orchestra. Learn more at

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