I had a nice time playing for Harvard Group for New Music with Argento New Music Project and am now home drinking tea to combat a cold. While practicing one morning, I thought it would be interesting to objectively report on the types of practice facilities available and how those facilities are managed at schools.

the rooms:
According to their website, the basement area of Harvard’s music building contains 15 practice rooms. A different section of the website counts 14. The practice rooms are all Wenger SoundLok Sound-Isolation Rooms containing either a grand piano or an upright piano, a music stand, a light switch, a ventilation fan, power outlets, and an ethernet cable connection. Rooms contained no garbage cans or signage.

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management of rooms:
All information is available on this website, including information about spaces outside of the Music building. Practice rooms are available on a first-come first-served basis to all Harvard students with an ID. During the day, practice room keys hang on a corkboard in the office. To receive a key, you swap your ID with the key and then enter some information into a paper log book. This information includes your name and level of schooling, the room number reserved and the start and finish of your time slot. Once the office is closed, the board of keys and logbook are moved to the center of the practice room area and supervised by a guard. According to the website there is a two hour limit, but many entries in the logbook showed this rule was not always followed.

end comments and miscellaneous observations:
I only intend to describe the practice rooms and how they are managed and won’t talk about very much else in these posts. I can, however, offer a little bit of context from my perspective:  what I saw of the log book showed there were people ranging from medical students to law students using the facilities throughout the day. Any other information you may want to know about the school is most likely available on the internet somewhere.