The world of a musician or collegiate music major is often foreign and strange to those outside of the profession. Parents, family and friends are often at a loss as to what graduation gifts might be most useful to a high school graduate who plan to major in music, or college graduates pursuing music as a profession. The members of our knowledgeable staff at Stanton’s have all been in their shoes, and we recommend these gifts ( in a variety of price ranges,) we could have used when we graduated!
For high school graduates pursuing a degree in vocal music:
Don’t worry mom and dad, in this case IPA doesn’t stand for a type of beer. It’s the International Phonetic Alphabet, a system of symbols depicting vowel and consonant sounds across all languages. Vocal students spend a lot of time studying IPA, and this handy pocket-sized guide includes online examples of every sound spoken by a professional vocalist.
There’s a famous story about a music professor who looked at his or her entry level theory class of bright-eyed freshman on the first day and said, “Look to your left. Now look to your right. One of these people won’t be here by the end of the semester.” Success as a music major depends greatly on a number of factors, sometimes the least of which is talent or ability. Go in prepared with this book about how to make a successful transition from high school musician to collegiate music student.
All college students complain about the cost of textbooks, but music majors have to spend an amazing amount on the music that they learn and perform. These standard books are used by most vocal majors, and include online audio access to recorded accompaniments and diction lessons.
For college graduates pursuing a career in vocal music:
Useful to lots of musicians in a variety of situations, pitch pipes are especially important to vocalists needing a starting pitch when there isn’t a keyboard or other instrument around. Due to their diminutive size they are easily lost, so you can never have too many!
These are the go-to resource for quality literature at all levels. The books are a wealth of information, and the accompanying CD sets have high quality recordings of each piece. While a worthwhile investment, they can be out of reach for those on a first-year teacher’s salary. Available titles include Teaching Music Through Performance in Choir Vol. 1, 2 & 3 as well as Teaching Music Through Performance in Middle School Choir. Books and CD sets sold separately.
Rachel Steele has been at Stanton’s since 2013. She previously taught middle school and high school band and choir for 13 years, and holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in music education from The Ohio State University. Currently a member of the Heisey Wind Ensemble and a musician at Epiphany Lutheran Church (Pickerington OH), Rachel also enjoys reading, sewing, baking and the Pittsburgh Steelers!