Survey Reveals Americans Consider Gifts that Offer an Experience Such as Musical Instruments a Top Pick this Holiday Season

Carlsbad, CA  (  According to a new holiday retail survey commissioned by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM), more than one-third of Americans prefer to give loved ones gifts that offer meaningful, life-enriching experiences.

Perhaps telling of which experiences consumers may likely share with their families this year, the survey also found that 58 percent of those surveyed regretted not learning to play a musical instrument.

“The only way a retailer is going to drag a consumer away from their PC or mobile phone this holiday season is by offering a compelling experience, one they don’t want to miss,” said Robin Lewis, CEO, The Robin Report and co-author of The New Rules of Retail. “Whether it’s Lululemon’s yoga classes, cooking classes at Macy’s or music lessons at their hometown music store, these are life-enriching experiences that consumers cannot get online.”

Of those surveyed who do play a musical instrument, the most common benefits citied were that it’s fun and reduces stress.  And contrary to popular belief, learning to play a musical instrument does not have to break the bank.

Instruments such as harmonicas, ukuleles and keyboards can provide training for the same skills needed to play their larger counterparts and cost much less, as well as help burgeoning musicians learn to read music and recognize different tones.

Buying used instruments versus renting can actually save more money, and many local music merchants provide warranty protection and trade-in programs should interests change over time. Additionally, many retailers offer free music lessons with the purchase of an instrument during the holiday season. Visit your local music retailer for advice on which instrument best suits your budget and musical interests. To locate your nearest local music retailer, visit

About the Poll

Findings are the results of a nationally-representative telephone survey of 1,049 adults ages 18 and over, conducted by Toluna Research, October 27-31, 2011, on behalf of NAMM. The data was weighted by demographic variables to ensure the sample accurately reflects the U.S. adult population.

About NAMM

The National Association of Music Merchants, commonly called NAMM in reference to the organization’s popular NAMM trade shows, is the not-for-profit association that unifies, leads and strengthens the $17 billion global musical instruments and products industry. NAMM is the sponsor of the Wanna Play? campaign, a public awareness initiative designed to get more people connected with the proven benefits of playing music. For more information about Wanna Play?, please For more information about NAMM, please visit

Elizabeth Lascaze or Amy Hamaoui – GolinHarris
Public Relations | Phone: 213-623-4200 or