THINK BEYOND SQUARE FOOTAGE
The square footage measurements we have attributed to each of the six areas of the general music room are approximate guidelines compiled from our experience and studies. These dimensions are intended to accommodate a class size of up to 25 fifth-grade children along with the basic equipment a program of that size will need.
But, in order to put together the most effective music room, it’s necessary to think beyond just square footage measurements. Because of the importance of acoustical qualities, cubic volume becomes the critical measurement for the music room (see acoustical section, page 29). We have seen countless rooms with plenty of square footage, but ceiling heights that are no higher than in other classrooms.
A low ceiling also becomes a problem when risers are used. It’s important to remember to plan for ceilings that are much higher than in other areas in the school so that even the tallest children can stand on the top row of a riser and have plenty of headroom to spare.
The traffic flow of equipment and people is another important consideration. The large, open space of the general music room naturally lends itself to easy movement between the designated areas, but there are still some things that can be done to make the space even more efficient. Large double doors into the storage room and into the general music room itself will make it easier to move items like pianos, performance props, risers and other large equipment. And, more than one entrance/exit into the room can make it easier for one class to leave while another is entering. Locating the storage area near the instrument playing area will also promote smooth traffic flow.
Instrument Playing Area 300 sq. ft.
Teacher Area 250 sq. ft.
Main Activity Area 625 sq. ft.
General Storage Room 132 sq. ft.
Music Technology Work Area 60 sq. ft.
Instrument Storage Room 133 sq. ft.