Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts for the musician

Whether a pianist, guitarist or someone who enjoys listening to great sounds, these gifts for musicians will bring a happy note to the holidays.

1. The Otamatone Musical Instrument from Maywa Denki is an easy-to-play electronic musical instrument. Perfect for someone to dabble in an unusual gift idea. Just push on the stem to play a note, slide fingers up and down the stem to change pitch, and give a squeeze to the face for dramatic vibrato. Has three octaves and two volume settings. Practice sheet and three AAA batteries included. Recommended for ages 15 and older. $31.50 for members and $35 for non-members from the Museum of Modern Art.

2. When picking out that perfect gift why not consider The Beatles Picks by Planet Waves. Nicely embedded in a pop-art colored cardboard, the faces of your favorite Beatle -- whether John, Paul, Ringo or George -- are displayed on four picks, with one pick showing the word "Beatles" with musical notes. $8 at Bill's Music on Frederick Road in Catonsville. and

3. Let the listening begin with Americana: Patterns in American Music. This classic collection includes great American music: voices of Robeson, Smith, Armstrong, Horne and others with rich orchestral compositions of Copland, Gershwin and more. $14 for members and $16 for non-members at The Baltimore Museum of Art and

4. A perfect host or hostess gift would be the guitar-shaped Strum Cheese Board and Cheese Knife Set with three brushed stainless steel tools -- pointed-tip cheese knife, one hard cheese knife, and a waiter's corkscrew -- a rubberwood cutting board with bamboo inlayed strings, swivel feature for effortless storage, and rubber feet for safe display. Arrives gift boxed. $40 from

5. Decorate the tree with a metal hand-sculpted (from recycled soda cans) festive musicians ornament. Made by the artisans of African Home in Cape Town, South Africa. Comes with red cord for easy hanging. $14 at Ten Thousand Village locations, including Hutcraft in Historic Ellicott City, and

6. The music-motif Long Piano Keys Black & White Scarf will look lovely draped around the neck of your favorite musician. Made of a silky-soft sheer poly fabric. 58 inches by 13 inches. $20 from

7. For someone to set atop the baby grand or displayed in the music room would be Tile Art with a blast of deep bold red colors for drama, along with colors of black and white for sheet music and keyboard. This contemporary shimmering piece is very eye-catching and very artistic. Comes with a frame easel back. 16 inches by 13 inches. $55 at the Gift Shop within River Hill Garden Center on Route 108 in Clarksville.

8. The set of four silicone, dishwasher safe 45 Adaptor Record Coasters will be a hit this holiday season. Available at $15 for non-members and $13.50 for members from The Kennedy Center giftshop at

9. For the eco-conscious strummer, try the Totally Bamboo cutting board in the shape of a ukulele. This raffia ribbon topped board will look lovely hanging on the wall or will nicely grace the holiday table. Made to protect the environment. $32 at Su Casa on Main Street in Historic Ellicott City.
10. Musicians love music whether performed by them or appreciated by listening. The Gift of Christmas Holiday CD offers 14 favorite songs including "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!" by Michael Buble, "Jingle Bell Rock" by Lou Rawls and "Blue Christmas" by Chris Isaak. $10 at

11. These gift ideas will make excellent stocking stuffers -- not to mention noise makers, too, when New Year's rolls around. The Rhythmix plastic chick-itas come in blasts of color including green, yellow, pink, purple, blue and red. About 5 inches long. And regulation-sized colorful maracas painted with an island theme will do the trick, too. $3 and $15, respectively, at Bill's Music on Frederick Road in Catonsville.

12. Keep those tapping feet happy with Albert Elovitz musical-themed socks. Choose a black pair with white treble clefs or a white pair with black treble clefs. Or for the saxophone players in your life, the black pair with white lettering of "Feeling Saxy" will be a pleaser. And then there's the black, blue or brown pair festooned with guitars. Prices range from $7 to $8 at Music & Arts in the Chatham Station Shopping Center in Ellicott City.

13. Here's a gift for a Harry Potter fan wanting to learn the basics of playing an instrument. The Harry Potter for Recorder by Alfred Music Publishing comes with a plastic recorder along with big and easy-to-read sheet music with songs such as "Nimbus 2000," "Hedwig's Theme," "Hogwarts March," and more. $10 at Music & Arts in the Chatham Station Shopping Center in Ellicott City.

14. Another suggestion for a host or hostess with swinging musical talent is the Cool Jazz Freeze, Stir & Chill ice cube tray from The set includes three large ice cube guitar-shaped trays -- perfect for the punch bowl -- and small quarter note shapes. $12 from Su Casa on Main Street in Historic Ellicott City.

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