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Practice Made Perfect

New technology transforms those little basement music rooms


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

With eyes closed, sound wafting, it’s like transporting from a cavernous concert arena to an intimate venue — while never leaving the College of Fine Arts basement. New technology in new practice spaces has transformed the way musicians on campus can hear themselves, innovations intended to better prepare them to face the music, publicly.

From May 2008 to June 2009, 120 practice rooms were fashioned along a narrow corridor that now accommodates every conceivable style of musicianship. The renovation cost $15 million and doubled the number of usable practice rooms.

“We also have all new lockers that allow for storage of instruments such as tubas and cellos, which we didn’t have before,” says CFA public relations associate Jean Connaughton. Formerly restricted areas have been added to the mix, constituting, she says, “the largest installation of Wenger modular practice studios in the country.”

The upgrade is undeniable. The proof is in the sound.

Devin Hahn can be reached at dhahn@bu.edu.


11 Comments on Practice Made Perfect

  • Terra Anthony on 12.04.2009 at 2:38 pm

    Wish we had this here....

    I attend the University of Michigan and our practice rooms are not on-point at this level. Maybe it’s just the Dearborn campus, as I can’t speak for the others. I do happen to envy you though.

  • Anonymous on 12.04.2009 at 7:52 pm

    Tess is awesome! Loved the intro sequence.

  • Anonymous on 12.13.2009 at 9:56 pm

    go tess!

  • Alumna on 12.27.2009 at 12:56 pm

    I graduated in 2002 and the practice rooms were moldy, frequently flooded and almost unusable. I am so happy to see this reportage!

  • Rick S. on 01.04.2010 at 9:47 pm

    The new practice rooms, et al

    As a 1975 SFA (the former CFA) student I can attest to the fact that not only were the rooms terrible but I’m reasonably sure that various hazards would likely occasion various legal claims, in the present day.

    Moreover, obtaining BSO players as teachers whether they cared to teach, or, in fact, could teach, was a short-sided, superficial strategy.

    I’m glad the school has made significant progress.

  • Anonymous on 01.16.2010 at 10:00 am

    "various hazards would likely occasion various legal claims"

    As i recall back in the late ’70’s the biggest hazard in the basement practice rooms was encountering a bass player way at the back of of the dungeon

    • Alumni 78 on 01.09.2012 at 10:07 pm

      That’s a fact, Ozium forever!

  • Anonymous on 01.17.2010 at 1:27 am

    Yes, those old BU practice rooms were terrible, but did we ever have some fun in them! Any legal ramifications would result from the activities indulged from within the practice rooms back in those days!

  • Erica Miner on 02.01.2010 at 6:54 pm

    Practice Rooms

    I suffered with those practice rooms back in the day (hint: decades ago), then attended a reunion in 2007 and was absolutely appalled at the state of the rooms and in fact the whole atmosphere down there in the ‘dungeon.’ I am now completely blown away by the improvements, and I must say, even a bit envious. But how great for today’s students to have this kind of facility. Well done.

  • clavier arabe on 03.20.2010 at 6:01 am

    I attend the University of Michigan and our practice rooms are not on-point at this level. Maybe it’s just the Dearborn campus, as I can’t speak for the others. I do happen to envy you though.

  • susan turner on 05.18.2012 at 12:54 pm

    WOW, the transformation is amazing. When I was in grad school there (voice major) I couldn’t believe how poor the practice rooms were. I remember leaving my BU id with the “guard” and thinking, “HMM, why would anyone WANT to be down here?” I am so proud and JEALOUS! Congrats!

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