Building a new band room… Suggestions?
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Anyone have any advice (or regrets) from your own experience with a new or old room?
Took a graduate course with Peter Boonshaft this summer. He advises against the ‘tiered seating’ design with different levels. Also, if you set up so that students are arched out and facing a corner instead of a front wall, it allows for easier storage of percussion, and more seating. Plus it gives you more flexibility to ‘mix it up’ with walking around the room, changing seating locations, etc.
Lots of storage! As your band room goes through the various stages of planning, keep your presence known and check periodically to make sure that needed features aren’t suddenly subtracted. A friend was part of the process of building a new middle school, but didn’t keep on top of it, and by the end of the process his band room was half the size and the storage was almost all gone. Of course, that’s life in California at 48th in the country in education spending. It’s probably better where you are.
I agree that the tiered seating is a pain! I can’t fit in my room anymore because of the tiers they built here 30 years ago or something for a 30 piece band… And the percussion have no space on the top tier! I ended up switching my kids to going sideways on the tiers anyway because it wasn’t working. Maximize space as much as possible! Are you getting practice rooms? Make sure they have internet drops and a couple outlets… And get internet drops around your room, you never know when you’re going to want to switch up the “front” or if you need a computer hook-up somewhere near the timpani or something… I never had an opportunity to build a room, but we can all dream, right???!!! Haha!
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