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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Music Land

For quite a while I have been meaning to write a blog post on that magical place many people refer to as the "ASU School of Music." The first thing that struck me when I walked in that very first time is how big it is. The west wing has a lobby that has a terrace on the second level. I have since spent many hours on that terrace reading and/or studying. This is also an opportune spot because you can easily access both the east and west wings from here. The west wing second floor has the music therapy classroom and the music lab.

The classroom is a big classroom with a piano. The biggest detriment it has is that I can see Chipoltle's so clearly from there. Not good when I'm hungry. The lab on the other hand is amazingly cool. The books are all right, more geared toward education then therapy, but there are some good songs for teaching. What makes it useful for therapy is all the instruments. We have guitars, omnichords, autoharps, recorders, violins, tone bells, all sorts of drums, and a whole bunch of instruments that I don't know what they are. They are for people to play and enjoy.

If I want good music related study material, I go to the music library. It takes up the west wing of the 3rd floor and both wings of the 4th floor. The 3rd floor has all the recordings, videos, computers, and all written documents, as well as cd players, record players, tape players, head phones, and anything else one might need to access recorded sound. The 4th floor of the music building is all sheet music. Both wings are packed to the brim. I get lost in their so easily because they all look they same to me, but they hold so much good stuff. You can get full orchestral scores or solo parts, you can get chant or rock and roll. Basically anything a music student could want is there.

For the times I want to make music, not just study it, I go to the practice wings. Yes, that is plural. There are two practice halls on the first floor, and they are unique because they do not all have pianos. Some do and others don't. They also have really big windows and that throws me off because it distracts me when other people can see me play. I usually go to the 3rd floor east wing. These all have pianos, either uprights or baby grands. Some even small grands. For piano performance majors there are the practice rooms in the 2nd floor west wing. I can't get in because they give piano performance majors a key and then keep those locked. I can get to the 5th floor east wing practice rooms though. They are almost as good as the second floor ones and usually not as crowded as the 3rd floor ones. There are almost always lines to get in the practice rooms, even with 4 wings of them. What I like most is when 5th floor is when all the rooms are filled and I can practice in the recital hall.

There are 4 venues in the music building. The one that gets used the most is the 5th floor recital hall. It is the smallest and it has a balcony reception area right outside. It has both a grand piano and an upright. I use the upright when I'm there because I have the distinct feeling that I'd be in for a sever dressing down if the profesors caught a therapy undergrad messing with the really good piano. For all the pretty big performances, we use Katzin. It holds a lot of people and is basically the same idea and technology as the recital hall, though there is no outdoor balcony or lobby. My favorite to attend is the Organ Hall. It has wooden benches and very little soft surface. This makes it a little more uncomfortable, but it also makes it so the music really does vibrate inside you. I love the fullness of sound in there. Last but not least is the Smith Musical Theatre Auditorium. That's where all the musical theatre stuff happens (go figure!) It looks almost like my high school auditorium, but the decline is steeper. I really haven't been in Smith very much so I can't say any more about it.

Most of the east wing is the teachers offices. My favorite thing about officies here is that they all have upright pianos, and some of them actually work in the ethnomusicology library. Never been there, even though it sounds like the coolest spot in the whole building. I have my lessons in the east wing and all my teachers offices are there. Each one of them have a piano. I want my office to have a piano in the future. That would make a great office.

The social center of the music building is the fountian outside. It is pretty and I enjoy the sound of the water. I even enjoy being splashed a little on windy days. When I'm thinking and/or putting my hand in when I'm waiting. When I get out of class my back hurts and the most helpful thing is to lay flat on the fountian and feel my back pop. I've even dozed off there. People do homework, talk, and jam. I love to lay there and just listen to the general comings and goings.

Last but not least, my favorite place to hang out in the music building is the hidden hall. For some reason there is a balcony in the 3rd floor hall. When the weather is nice it is the best place to be, and relitively private. I can have a private conversation there, or just relax. I can use the tiny window holes to watch the art studios, of hide and relax.

Music people do have their own special insanity, and putting them all in the same place makes for fun times.