February 2019
Music Stand Enhancements
by ARS Board Member Carol Mishler
Here is an easy trick to becoming a better recorder player—organize your music stand! This article covers five music stand essentials : pencil holders, stand extenders, lights, wind clips and accessory shelves. If you aren’t using these products, you may want to consider getting some of all of them for your music stand.
Pencil Holders
As one pencil holder vendor notes: “there’s nothing more embarrassing than having to root around the floor looking for your pencil after it rolls off the stand--especially while the conductor is waiting.” My pencil was constantly falling off the stand onto the floor until I got the magnetic pencil holder (shown in the picture with the blue pen).
Often used by woodworkers and by pilots in cockpits, the magnetic holders cost only about $1 each if ordered in quantities of ten. An alternative is a clip-on version, shown in the picture with the green pencil. Search on "magnetic pencil holders" to see the variety of these products available to keep your pencil close.
Music Stand Extender
When you have 3-4 pages of music, a music stand extender allows you to display all the pages at once. You can buy extenders or make them yourself. I used the extender shown in the picture for several years. It has four panels made of heavy plastic that fold up into a compact unit about the size of a single page of music. Mine worked well for several years, then the seams began to come apart. I wanted something lighter, simpler and easier to slip behind the music to set on the stand.
I now use an extender I made out of poster board (shown in navy blue) in the photo. The poster board, bought at a crafts store, was cut to the size of a page of music. Simply, set it horizontally on your stand to display three pages of music easily. If you desire, tape three poster board pieces together for an even larger extender (see photo with blue and black poster board). Or, another variation calls for duct taping the poster board to your music folder (see photo with duct tape). If you set the duct taped panel about an inch from the edge of your music folder, it holds up even better.
A You Tube instructional video shows how to make an extender out of lightweight plastic. For more extenders, even some that attach to the stand rather than sit on it, search on "music stand extenders."
A wide variety of music lights are available, but the two pictured are my favorites. The cheaper LED light in the photo (under $20) attaches to your music stand and offers two flexible lights that do a good job of lighting up your music. Keep the batteries fresh! You need to take care in performances to makes sure the LED lights are not pointing into the eyes of your audience or players sitting across from you.

For slightly more money (around $35), I like the brighter orchestra light shown in the photo. It has two light settings and has a small ridge to keep its light out of other people’s eyes. As with its two-light counterpart, it requires fresh batteries occasionally.

Music Wind Clips
If you play outside or under an air conditioner or fan, you’ll want a music clip to hold the music so it does not fly off the stand in a sudden wind. The 10” long clip shown in the photo is less than $10. Attaching to the top or side of your music, it has a transparent body that lets you see the music right through the clip. 
Ordinary chip clips can be re-purposed out of your silverware drawer to hold your music in place, but clips with music-related themes are also available. Shown in the photos are some of my favorites. To see more, search on "music stand wind clips."

Accessory Shelves
Accessory shelves may have been invented to hold your glasses, pencils and other music paraphernalia, but they can be used to hold soprano, alto and even tenor recorders, as shown in the photo. I don’t personally use this shelf, but I see it often--not only in the double version shown in the photo but also the single shelf which, of course, would hold only one recorder. Some players stick a Velcro strip across the top surface of a shelf like this one. I have one on my music stand itself to help keep the music in place. Search on "accessory shelves for music stands."
Phone Holder
Why would you want a cell phone near your music stand, especially during group practice or--worse yet--performance? Yet your phone contains useful apps such as a tuning device, metronome, audio recorder, camera and video recorder. And if you ever forget to silence your phone for the practice, it’s right there if you have a phone holder attached to your stand.
Full disclosure: I have not actually used this product. But plenty of times, I have wished I or other people could silence a phone.  The phone holder is available from Amazon for about $14. It fits certain Apple iPhones or Samsung Galaxy phones. Most online reviews were positive. Search: "phone mount for music stand."
While I am sure there are many more music stand enhancements out there, these are my favorites, most of which I would not be without. Maybe you will never be the best recorder player in the room, but you can be the best organized.
~ Carol Mishler
Carol Mishler is an ARS Board Member, president of the Sarasota Chapter of the ARS. She plays recorders in the Sarasota Earlye Musicke Consort and Recorders by the Bay in Green Bay, WI.
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