Today I was disappointed to discover the music practice rooms in the Toronto Reference Library were complete duds.
What you call a practice room appears to me as a make shift room hastily put together by wooden boards and some glue. If this was an attempt to barricade sound, could the three walls at least meet the ceiling?
I suppose the ‘music’ in the TRL’s practice room denotes the two Casio keyboards awkwardly put together quite literally side by side. Surely no one will hear a peep with the headphones permanently attached. But could the TRL at least acknowledge how awkward it was for me to play away Fur Elise when a complete stranger was allowed to barge in and play the keyboard next to me? Surely anyone with any musical inclination can agree practice in its most blandest of forms requires privacy and space- the library’s traditional stacked study desk arrangement does not apply.
Being able to only play the provided keyboards in a room officially dubbed ‘piano/practice room’ completely disregards other musicians. Why can’t guitars, violins and other acoustic instruments be played inside without being in violation of having to be heard by the entire library? Why does the library give preference in accommodating keyboard players?
As it stands now there are no other public spaces for musicians to play in privacy other than the North York Central Library where a fee is charged by the hour. If the library is a resource for learning, I think it is imperative to dedicate at least a room as small as 7 square feet in at least one of the downtown branches to better provide for its music community.
I hope you will agree! And I think I should also let you know I will be posting this letter on my blog so my musician readers will also become aware of this issue.