family sing_christmas

Uh oh. Out of time? So maybe it’s too late to pull off these great gift ideas. But don’t worry! We’ve got your back. Read on for ways you can still be a Yuletide hero this year.

Do your child’s music studies make you want to pull out your old horn and give it another try? Before you give up on it, get rid of the rust using SmartMusic. Practice in the comfort & safety of your own home before you take your show on the road. (Someday, I may even take my own advice.) It’s licensed to your computer, so everyone in your family can use it. You purchase SmartMusic online as well, so it’s never too late!

 Laura Lamere, AMPassador and founder of, had some great ideas. She needs some help organizing and digitizing her music collection. You could volunteer to spend some time importing CDs into iTunes. She added, “I would love it if my kids or husband took the time to create a list of songs they thought I would like and either burned a CD (old fashioned, I know!) or created an iTunes play list and give me a gift card to buy the songs!”

emeals logoEmeals provides weekly meal plans for busy families. Forget cataloguing recipes and creating shopping lists; Emeals takes care of all that for you! “That won’t work for me,” you might think. “My family eats vegetarian/paleo/gluten-free.” Chances are, they have the perfect plan for you: ten different plans ranging from “classic” meals to low fat and simple gourmet. Since it’s all online, you can even pick up this gift on the way to Grandma’s!

handmade couponsHomemade gift certificates & coupon books are always the best, according to moms I talked to. They could be valid for such tasks as chores, practicing every day without being told, or even paying for a couple of weeks of lessons out of the student’s pocket. There’s a great tutorial here by designer Patti Milazzo.

Of course, if you and your friends haven’t seen the light and taken the plunge to join AMP as a member, it’s never too late! For the price of a few lattes, you can help us make sure that our children will always have access to quality music education in our schools. A group membership is a great way to say thank you to the team that pulled together to help create an amazing marching season, plus it’s on sale through December 31st!

New Exterior_2If you’re already a member, maybe it’s time to take the next step and join us in Anaheim next month! The National Music Parent Symposium will be in conjunction with the NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) Show January 25-27. We’ll have great speakers and cover topics like fundraising, organization and advocacy. Buy a ticket for yourself and a friend, and turn it into a great post-holiday getaway! Register by Saturday, December 22 to save $25 per person.

letter collageBack to basics: the gift of gratitude always tugs at a parent’s heartstrings. Compose a well written and thoughtful thank you note to Mom and Dad for giving you amazing opportunities.

AMPassador Marc Whitt has a very simple idea. “My last-minute music parent gift is simple: my children playing their instrument or singing for my wife and me. That may sound corny or perhaps like an episode from The Andy Griffith Show or The Waltons, but it’s true! Watching them enjoy the fruits of their many lessons, rehearsals, and performances that then culminate in an unprepared musicale in our living room just is a thrill and blesses both the hearts of my wife and me. That’s a perfect gift for Jennifer and me!”

I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the holiday season. From all of us at AMP, we wish you and yours the very merriest of Christmases!