Music Reading Tools

When it is time to start reading music, we may first work with flashcards to identify the notes and where they are located on the instrument. Music students would need to purchase the following: I Can Read Music by Joanne Martin, volume 1, a metronome or a metronome app, and a music stand. My preferred place to order these items is, although you can purchase them from other websites and inside a physical shop.

Music Stands

There are several considerations for the purchase of music stands: cost, sturdiness, and your desire/need for the stand to be portable.

The Least Expensive: A wire music stand such as this one: Wire Music Stand Example

Upside: Inexpensive and portable

Downside: Awkward to write on because there is no backing, tend to be flimsy

If you buy one: look for one with a sturdier base, such as the one pictured (from You can also find them on Amazon. By the way, these are common garage sale items! New, expect to pay $12-$16

Portable but Sturdier: A plastic or metal folding standing with a solid back such as this one: Peak Music Stand

Upside: Sturdier, a little easier to write on, portable

Downside: While easier to write on because of the solid back, you will still need to support it with one hand when you do.

If you buy one: look for highest rated with a truly solid back (no holes) if you want to easily write on it. You will need to choose all plastic or one with some metal (sturdier but heavier). Expect to pay between $35-$93. The $93 one is the sturdiest of the portables: Manhasset Portable

Not very portable, but sturdiest of all: Manhasset Music Stand

Upside: Very durable-the one I have from 25 years ago is still in great shape. You can write on it! Easy to move higher for standing, lower for sitting. If you are super tall, they make extra tall ones. You can find these with an extra shelf for putting things like pencils and metronomes Manhasset with Extra Shelf (around $73)

Downside: Not portable.


There are three options available: an app on your phone or Ipad (free 0r paid), use a website (free), or buy a separate device.


Website: You can just Google "metronome" and Google's metronome is just fine! ; to use one of these, ideally you would have a second device

Separate Device: my favorite is the Intelli IMT-301, but a search for metronomes will turn up lots of options. I like the Intelli because it has a strong enough sound and is fairly user friendly.