At long last, our new music room is complete! When we received word from the building inspector that we could officially make use of our new room, there was an immediate rush of excitement. The kids poured into the room to check it out, sprawling themselves out on the floor, looking out the new windows, curling up with friends (and iPads) in the empty corners. A handful of staff and teenagers immediately starting moving all the musical instruments and gear into the new space, eager to get everything set up in its proper place. By afternoon, the empty room had been transformed into a beautiful, welcoming space for making music. It is an amazing space, far more exciting and impressive than I could have imagined. It brings a new sense of importance to our musical endeavors, a kind of seriousness that affirms the value of making music. You feel like you’re in a real music room, which makes you feel more like a real musician. Best of all, the room is set up for playing music together. It invites you in, and someone who is just learning guitar can benefit from someone keeping time on the drums, or someone who likes to sing can experience the thrill of singing along with live accompaniment. Great things are happening there already.
When we moved all the music gear into the new space, the old room was left mostly empty, and the main room needed to be rearranged to accommodate the new pattern of foot traffic. With all these changes, it has been really exciting and interesting to see how our kids have settled in and created new little cozy spaces for playing and socializing. The old room near the main doors has become a great space for quiet activities or classes, art-making, and conversation. We put a couple of tables in there, reorganized the art supplies, and suddenly kids were in and out of there grabbing scissors and paper, making masks and swords and chattering away together. They did those things before, of course, but it’s easier and more fun when there’s a wide open space for you and a friend to spread out all your supplies and make something. It’s also really nice that people can practice music while other people are having a quiet group activity, and both groups have the kind of space they need. As I write this, a group of kids and staff are practicing songs for the upcoming Spring Show (April 9th, mark your calendar), and another group of kids and staff are having a biochemistry class in the other room. Meanwhile, the usual hum of activity carries on in the main room, with some kids eating and others huddled around computers and still more having important conversations about light sabers and Minecraft servers. We still have very much the same range of activities happening with the completion of the new room, but the exciting thing is that we can have more of our different activities happening at the same time. With so much going on at once, all the time, there is a new kind of energy and hum to the place. If you haven’t been by to see the new room, come check it out!