When I think back on my life, I often wonder why I became a musician.

It?s not for the love of the music, and it?s definitely not for the joy of sharing it with others.

Nope ? I would have to say that the reason I became a musician was for the prospect of spending hours a day in a practice room.Not just any practice room either, but the ones that are so very dear to myself and the other students at Eastman.

Not a lot of people understand the idea of a practice room.The ignorant ones think, ?Duh, it?s a room in which a music student partakes in the fine art of practicing.?

Sadly, those ignorami are not realizing the potential of the practice room. These rooms not only accommodate the average Joe Musicman, but serve as a convenient storage facility, a playground for the budding poet and even a makeshift bedroom.

If one were to travel to Eastman and enter the Annex, the big building that houses these multi-functional cubicles, one would discover a plethora of activities going on.

For instance, on the third floor, one might find a cello, dusty from days of inactivity, lying in a stationary position on the floor.The carpet around the cello would most likely be discolored and crusty with age.

The owner of this cello, being very clever, left it there on purpose.

He figured that if he reserved the room in this manner, a student passing by in dire need of a practice room would glance inside, see his cello ? which by now is collecting cobwebs ? and pass on by. The student, of course, would say to him or herself,?Hey, the owner of this cello will be back in a few minutes. He just stepped out for some water.?

Little do they know that the owner of the cello is actually in Missouri on vacation with his family.When he returns, that brilliant and sadly typical Eastman student can dig his cello out of the grime which has collected since his departure, warm up a bit and continue on his way to Carnegie Hall.

The practice room is to the musician as Walden was to Thoreau.In other words, some of an Eastman musician?s most profound thoughts are recorded in practice rooms.

You may be thinking that I?m being figurative, explaining that the beauty of the a practice room?s dcor is great, inspiring art.

However, I am not.Poetry and various philosophical quotes are actually written in the practice rooms, mostly markered or sculpted into the pianos and the doors.

What pearls of the English language have been sketched?I?ve seen Nietzsche quotes, feminist diatribes, and religious debates.On the fifth floor, I encountered such wisdom as ?Life sucks,?followed by ?Your mom.?

Another room on the third floor exhibits the sentence, ?Help! Help! We?re all beyond help!?

Some writers even include their names so that others will be able to compliment them on their words of wisdom.These writers seem to prefer the signature pattern of ?John Doe wuz hear,? abandoning the blas approach of correct spelling and showing once again the progressive genius that we have ?hear? at Eastman.

However, my favorite function of the practice room would have to be its service as a quasi-lovenest.

It?s so comforting to know that next door to me a couple could be in the middle of the beautiful act of copulation.They turn off the light and close the door, the universal sign of ?Do not come in ? the practice room is not empty. We just like to practice in the dark.?

If, by chance, some idiot sees the darkened room and presuming it empty, opens the door the general procedure is for the practice buddies to cough quickly or pound some notes on the piano.

The trespasser then realizes that some heavy-duty practicing is going on and proceeds to the next room.

So, come on over to Eastman and discover a new way of using our practice rooms.Whether it is to banish your aggressive feelings in the enclosed spaces, carve a novel into the upright pianos and doors, or merely escape for a romantic get-away with your sweetheart, the practice room has endless possibilities.

Director of Admissions Jamie Hobba declined comment.



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