Teacher Tip: A happy space is a creative space…..or is it the other way around?

August 20, 2021

While studying music in college, I visited the Cleveland Institute of Music’s annual “viola day.” While there, I had master classes with some great viola professors including Jeffrey Irivine and Peter Slowak.  What struck me most wasn’t the master classes or the music making—of course those were great—but the practice rooms.  Located in the basement, they had solid concrete floors, painted cinder block walls, and a heavy door with a single, small window.  Here I was in one of the finest conservatories—a place where students practice 6-12 hours a day—and the practice rooms were more depressing than a prison cell! You’ll spend most of your free time pursuing your passion: cooking, music, painting, sports, etc.  So, it’s critical to have a space you love.  Think about what is important to you, use what you have, and start small.  You may only have a closet, but you can set up that closet so every time you open the door, it puts a smile on your face as you think, “This is my favorite place to be!”

Here is a quick list of some things to improve your space:

– Ideal lighting
– Inspiring art work, pictures, mementos
– Clean and tidy have a place for everything
– Fresh air
– Ideal acoustics
– Room to work
– Easy access to your tools and materials

Find the right balance among all these things and you will have achieved: Funk Shoey!
Jesse Griggs, Violin/Viola Artist-Faculty

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