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Winter-Spring 2010 Table of Contents

Practice Made Perfect

New technology transforms those little basement music rooms

| From Commonwealth | By Devin Hahn

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In the video above, hear some auditory alchemy in one of the newly renovated music practice rooms on campus.

New practice spaces in the College of Fine Arts have changed the way musicians on campus hear their own playing, with innovations intended to better prepare them to face the music, publicly.

Caitlyn Perry, a College of Fine Arts graduate music student, in one of CFA’s new practice rooms. Photo by Kalman Zabarsky

Last spring, in a renovation that cost $15 million and doubled the number of usable practice rooms, 120 rooms were fashioned along a narrow corridor that now accommo­dates every conceivable style of musicianship.

The makeover also included new lockers that allow for storage of instruments such as tubas and cellos.

Tess Varley (CFA’10), a violin performance major, says the old practice rooms were cold and dark and not soundproof. The new rooms, on the other hand, use technology called a Virtual Acoustic Environments system to simulate the acoustics of a church, a concert arena, or a more intimate venue. So what does Varley have to say about the new rooms? “We’re spoiled.”

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