Kiddo: "I want my own room!"
Pops: "So do I."
I've been sharing a practice space (or as we call it the "playroom") with my husband since we moved to our new house. It's great when we play together, but not so great when we both want to practice at the same time (which happens a lot). Do we need to start a sign up sheet to plan our practice times? Both of us are far too spontaneous when it comes to music. A while back playing in our breezeway, but it's a little chilly there now. Now I play in the living room when he's using the piano or his computer (which is also in that room), but all of my music and gear is in the other room... I don't like to leave a mess in the living room, so it just takes more time to take it all out and put it back away (sometimes several times a day.)
This is why I've decided to create my own practice space. We have an unfinished room upstairs next to our bedroom that has been used for storage. It's drywalled and wired, it only needs paint and flooring. It's kind of an awkward room because the chimney runs right through the middle of it. It certainly couldn't be a bedroom, but it would be just fine for my new studio!
All of us at on point or another have had to compromise when it comes to our practice space. Whether it was working with tiny practice rooms in college, or trying to play while your neighbor in the next apartment is at work. I feel very fortunate that I now have the opportunity to create my own space to work in. So I want to make sure I get everything I can out of it.
Even if you don't have your dream studio, if you think about what your needs and wants are you can address those to make your current space the best it can be! Here's the list I came up with for my own studio:
Needs include:~Good Lighting~Adequate open space: I move when I play sometimes and dont' want to hit my flute against a wall!
~good acoustics: Live rooms make you sound great but will sometimes mask areas that need improvement, dead rooms are frustrating because you can't hear yourself well. A room that is too live can be helped by putting down a rug or hanging curtains. Dead rooms will benefit from hard surfaces.
~ Temperature control. This one is tricky. This room is heated by the chimney running through it, if there is no fire going downstairs it will be chilly. We'll see how this works I may decide to get a small electric heater. If the temperature is too inconsistent I might leave my wooden piccolo downstairs.
~shelving for music, books, methods etc.
~seclusion: Personally, I need to be alone when I practice to really be effective.
~accessibility for pencils, tuner, metronome etc
~appealing: I have to want to be there! This includes adequate storage so I can keep the place organized easily, and a decor that is warm and energizing
~a mirror: Practicing in front of a mirror is really really helpful in many ways.
~a reading area for studying and reading the latest edition of "flute talk" :-)
~speakers to listen to the music I'm working on.
~a desk area for my computer. I've been learning and working on some electronic music lately. I'd like to do this in my new room too.
~calendar to remind me how much time I have until the next concert
~personality: I really would like this room to feel like MY space. I want to be comfortable and enjoy my time there.
~clock~a white board or chalk board for reminders and checklist (I work well with a list of objectives)
~a place for my dog to lay down... I know, I know that sounds ridiculous. Yes he is spoiled, but If I'm standing around doing what he perceives as nothing. He will want to hang out with me. If he has a comfortable place to lay down, he will do that rather than sit and stare and whine at me.
I'm so excited to get started on this. I haven't had my own room since I was a kid. I'm hoping that it can be my music sanctuary.