Looking for a special gift for the child, grandchild, niece or nephew who is studying music? Here are five affordable suggestions that will help encourage them along their musical path — all with retail prices of less than $500.
The music made by a brass instrument starts with a single, soft breath — but the sound that comes out the other end is LOUD! Students of these instruments quickly learn that it’s not always so easy to find a place where they can practice without disturbing others.
Yamaha SILENT Brass provides the perfect solution. Available for trumpet, tenor trombone, french horn, flugelhorn, tuba and euphonium, this remarkable technology allows anyone to play whenever and wherever they like. It consists of a lightweight Pickup Mute™ and a portable Personal Studio™ playback module (similar in size to a personal music player) that utilizes Yamaha Brass Resonance Modeling™. Used together, the two deliver the “feel” and natural acoustic tone that is heard when playing without a mute.
The SILENT Brass pickup mute is easy to attach and remove, fitting neatly inside the instrument’s bell. Its specially designed mini microphone, mounting position and surrounding mute design are all optimized to bring out the device’s full potential. The resulting sound is so realistic, it’s hard to tell whether or not the instrument is muted! The playback module even provides an external device input that allows students to connect their portable audio players or smartphones, enabling them to play along with their favorite tunes or practice with “minus-one” backing tracks.
For more than 50 years, Yamaha FG guitars have been the choice of millions of guitarists, with extraordinary playability, musicality and build quality. Today’s FG guitars are better than ever, with the entry-level FG800 model offering a traditional look and well-rounded tone at an affordable price. It utilizes an advanced scalloped bracing design that maintains the durability of the solid Sitka spruce top for a structural strength that is rarely found in guitars at this price point. This same technology leads to a more focused and clear sound, with better sustain and improved projection — important factors when your budding guitarist is ready to go out and start performing.
Other features include a full-size dreadnought body available in a number of different finishes, and a satin-finished slim rosewood neck that is perfect for a beginner’s hand, with rounded frets for a smooth feel and easy “action.” The lightweight and well-balanced FG800 is not only an outstanding beginner guitar, it’s one that any student will be proud to use for years to come.
The Yamaha PSR-EW300 provides a fun way to learn how to play keyboards — without breaking the bank. With 76 touch-sensitive keys that capture every nuance of playing for full expressivity, this full-featured yet compact and portable instrument comes with a library of 574 realistic instrument voices that allow students to enjoy playing a wide variety of musical genres, as well as 150 arpeggio phrases that enable them to play rich, musical passages with the press of a single key. One hundred and sixty-five auto-accompaniment styles round out the picture, adding real-time backing tracks that are based on the chords being played.
There are onboard reverb and chorus effects to add ambience and warmth, as well as a master EQ that ensures optimum sound whether listening through headphones, the built-in speakers or an external sound system. A special duo mode allows two people to play together on the same instrument, so your student can enjoy playing along with friends and family. The PSR-EW300 can even be connected to devices such as smartphones, tablets, and computers, enabling the use of a broad range of interactive apps — the perfect way for today’s student to master the keyboard!
HS5 studio monitors
The power of modern computers has allowed today’s young musicians to act as their own recording engineer and producer too, and the Yamaha HS5 powered studio monitor gives them the ability to hear every nuance of their recorded performance with full accuracy, and without unwanted coloration. This advanced 2-way speaker system combines a 5″ cone woofer and 1″ dome tweeter with dual built-in amplifiers, so there’s no need to buy an external amp.
Full-range frequency response ensures that every aspect of the music is faithfully reproduced, from room-shaking lows to crisp, clear highs. Balanced XLR and unbalanced phone jack inputs allow the HS5 to be used with all kinds of audio systems, and rear panel ROOM CONTROL and HIGH TRIM response controls enable the sound to be customized to the particular listening environment. These monitors deliver that big signature Yamaha sound, yet are compact enough to move between the practice room and dorm room, or can be easily brought to other student’s recording setups to help facilitate collaboration. This is one gift every music student can appreciate!
WXA-50 MusicCast Wireless Streaming Amplifier
The Yamaha WXA-50 MusicCast wireless streaming amplifier is the perfect addition to any dorm room, with a slim design that allows it to be placed horizontally or vertically, so it fits anywhere. Simply connect a pair of speakers, then use the existing Wi-Fi® network to play all of the music in your personal library from a single app that works with both Apple® iOS and Android™ devices.
The WXA-50 allows access to all major streaming services, including Pandora®, Napster, TIDAL, Deezer, Spotify, SiriusXM Internet Radio, plus there’s support for Bluetooth® and AirPlay® for even greater wireless flexibility. It sounds great, too, with premium audio components such as digital-to-analog converters (DACs). Even when your student is ready to move out of the dorm and into a home of their own, the WXA-50 can serve as the heart of a complete system, integrating with other MusicCast products and allowing wireless connection to speakers and sound bars in up to nine rooms.For more information about these and other great Yamaha music products, click here.