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Saturday, April 20
The Indiana Daily Student

opinion

OPINION: Want to practice your music here at IU? Get in line!

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IU is home to the Jacobs School of Music, one of the most prestigious music schools and the second best performing arts school in the nation and seventh in the world. One would think that with such an esteemed and large music school, the university would provide resources for students to be able to practice their instruments, whether or not they were admitted into the music program.  

This is not the case. IU lacks practice spaces for musicians outside of Jacobs, leading to issues for musicians when they want to practice. IU offers piano practice rooms for all of the dorms, which they claim are soundproof, but are not. These practice rooms cannot fit more than one or two amplifiers, which are devices one plugs their instruments into in order to increase volume. Guitars and basses are often quiet when played without an amplifier, so they become necessary when rehearsing with other instruments. If you were to practice with others in these rooms, you would have no space, and in addition, these rooms have no drums. In addition, these rooms are only offered in the dorms, so if you choose to live in an apartment or house past your first year, you are on your own for finding a place to rehearse.   

Some musicians are still unable to practice with the rooms availble in dorms. These practice rooms lack one of the most important instruments within bands and music in general: the drums. If you are a drummer, it is extremely difficult to find places on campus to rehearse. The only place I know of is in the basement of the East Studio Building, which has locks on every door and only the students of Jacobs have the key. You can take electives through Jacobs in which you get a key, but you still would have to reserve the rooms. This is difficult since Jacobs students get first pick on reservations.  

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Even though the music school is a big part of what IU is known for, music practice rooms shouldn’t be only accessible for those who make it in, but rather extended to everyone at IU. It only makes sense for IU to add more space to allow individuals at IU to experiment with music, not limit practicing music to those who were able to make it into Jacobs.   

Students and professors continually search for an area to practice their instruments. The dorms have rooms, but what help are they truly if they are not soundproof, lack space and are only in dorms? Where can students and professors go to practice their music? How can someone practice with others, if the space is only permitted for one person?  

Some may suggest that everyone has an issue with practicing their outside interests. Where does one go to practice their art here on campus? Where can one go to play their sport if they are not on a D1 team?  

There are options for a lot of extracurricular activities, except for music. When I walk through the Fine Arts Building, I often see posters advertising various ways for non-art majors to practice their art. There are also open studio nights at the Studio Art Annex, where students can go and work on art with the materials offered.  

The Rec Center offers all sports for individuals and groups, and anyone can participate. You do not have to have experience, or have to provide any materials. You can rent basketballs, tennis rackets and even pool materials. 

[Related: OPINION: Being in a band isn't just fun and games] 

But what about music? There are rehearsal spaces for musicians here at IU, and this is ironic to me since we have such an excellent music school for those admitted.  

As a musician, the only place I have found to rehearse outside of a dorm or apartment is Jefferson Street Music Studio. Here they have chords, drum kits, amps, a huge practice space and even a recording studio. It costs money, but it is the only place I have found where musicians outside of Jacobs are able to practice nowadays.  

Finding a practice space here at IU is difficult. While there are alternatives, the issue I have is should we have to go through different resources in order to practice music, when IU is home to one of the top music schools in the nation?  

Kate Hutner (she/her) is a freshman majoring in journalism and minoring in marketing and fashion design.

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