When thinking of the many accessories one could have for an instrument, it really varies depending on the instrument. However, one important accessory that initially gets overlooked is the music stand. Sure, you can prop up your book on a chair or lay it on the table, but both of these "methods" promote bad posture when playing and make it harder to read the music. When we enroll new students, we encourage them to buy a music stand that meets their personal needs.
Generally speaking, there are four levels of music stands.
The first is the folding music stand which is usually silver or black, although it may come in various colors. These are typically the least expensive option ($10-12) and are easy to fold up and take with you. However, they are also the hardest to use, as they tend to fall over easily, especially when you are reaching to turn a page in a lesson book. This can be very frustrating and a waste of valuable time (picking everything up off the floor!).
The next type of music stand is only slightly more expensive than the cheaper folding stand. This one is what I call the heavy-duty folding stand. Like the regular folding stand, it folds up to a small size and is very portable, yet it is made from a stronger metal and tends to stand more firmly. This one is often sufficient for home use and costs between $15-20.
The next quality level of music stand, and the one I personally prefer, is called the portable music stand. While not entirely compact, this stand's legs can be folded up and the length shortened so that it is more transportable. It is made from an even heavier metal and can be found at most local music stores, Guitar Center, and online at various places, such as Musician's Friend. It typically costs around $30.
The last stand is the symphony or concert stand. This is usually the sturdiest and highest quality stand and, therefore, costs the most. These cost anywhere from $40-60. These stands are not collapsible. They are best used in one location, and for that reason, not recommended for the beginner student who may need to travel with his or her stand.
The type of stand you choose may depend on how your student will be playing his or her instrument. If your child shows commitment to long term playing, you will want to invest in a nicer music stand. If your child needs to transport the stand to school or elsewhere, you may want to get a sturdier folding stand.