Practice Rooms

Practicing goes hand in hand with any musical endeavor. It is a way of passing traditions from generation to generation, and it is a necessary factor for achieving an elite level of musicianship. As music students at University of North Carolina School of the Arts, practicing takes up the majority of our time. It can take many forms whether it is spent in a communal rehearsal or a personal practice, which is a solitary act between you and your instrument. This personal time with your instrument usually takes place in a practice room. These rooms are found on the UNCSA campus on the first floor of the Gray building. This hallway is entirely dedicated to music, containing music class rooms, lockers for instruments and music, and many practice rooms. These rooms are typically placed in clusters along multiple hallways, creating a sense of community and comradeship among your peers. However, once behind the closed doors of your sparse practice room, the music student is faced with a different situation. They are isolated from society, time moves at a different speed, and music is perfected.

At the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, practice rooms are typically known for being small and isolated, and have features such as: sound barriers, stands, pianos, and mirrors. These specific items are essential for a successful practice session, allowing the musician to excel at their craft. Because practice rooms are grouped adjacent to one another, sound travels quickly from room to room, resulting in a lack of concentration. This is where sound barriers come in handy, because they help dampen the drifting sounds. Due to the different angles of the conjoining walls, each room is not a perfect square. This aids the acoustics in the room, and also helps prevent sound entering other rooms. Stands hold the music we play, and mirrors are used to correct posture and alignment while playing. Pianos serve multiple functions such as providing a set pitch to tune with, and is used as an accompaniment instrument as well as a solo instrument.

The sounds collected here are recordings to represent what takes place in and around practice rooms. Our first recording illustrates the community felt while walking around the practice area. A cacophony of sounds is a normal experience as a musician that gives an incredible feeling of motivation to practice. At the start of every practice session, students tune their instrument, which is represented in our second recording. Tuning is necessary to have accurate pitches. In our third and fourth recordings, warmup exercising are presented through percussion, and flute scales. These exercises are typically done following tuning. Warmups help the fingers to move quickly in preparations for the more difficult pieces to come. Our final recording involves practicing efficiency. In these challenging pieces, difficult sections within are solved through isolating the mistake and repeating it until its solved.