I forgot how much I love music buildings. Today I went to Shenandoah’s, it’s called Ruebush Hall. I have to admit, it’s not as nice as Bowling Green’s building. So many hours spent in the Moore Musical Arts Center. I have to admit, the beige walls started to get to you. The piano majors got keys to the 12 locked practice rooms on the second floor with the really nice pianos. And there was that little lounge area in between them where I would wait to meet my vocalists or set my phone alarm for 10 minutes while I took a snooze because I couldn’t possibly go over those 4 measures of the Prokofiev again.
I absolutely love the sounds of a music building. On the outside walls are the (usually very small) offices or studios of the faculty, staff, or that one small room for the 6 TA’s. The inside rooms and upstairs are full of practice rooms where you can hear anything from a trumpet to a soprano to a clarinet to a barbershop quartet. The saxophonist is playing something ridiculously hard and the flutist just has to practice that passage that is barely below what your ear can hear. Over and over again. I love the polyphony.
I remember at Bowling Green you started having favorite practice rooms. For me it was the Steinway second to last on the second floor. But you had to get there early or the grad students would camp out all day with their 2 foot high stack of music and their orange juice because they were sick. You would start to know what people were working on and what the hard parts were because you heard them over and over again. (Case in point: me and Debussy.)
I practiced today for a couple hours and it immediately brought me back to 6 years ago at BG. A small room with a piano and a music stand. It’s not always pretty. Sometimes you have to air out the room or wipe off the greasy keys from the last person. But when I practice at a home where there are other people there, it makes me really uncomfortable because I know they can hear the piano anywhere in the house and I know it’s not the most pleasant thing to listen to the same 8 measures for 20 minutes. Scales get old. And sometimes *coughRachmaninoffcough* I have to worry about being too loud. I don’t have to worry about any of that in a music building. I’m expected to be loud, to mess up, to have to go over something 20 times. A music building is a catalyst for messy and loud and growth. Oh how I’ve missed it.