Oberlin Blogs

Practicing in the Conservatory

October 17, 2012

Ness Smith-Savedoff ’14

Oberlin students make many noises, some of them are beautiful, others, not so much. Here is a mix of some of the sounds that I like that emanate from the Conservatory practice rooms and the surrounding environment.

Responses to this Entry


Usually when I'm in a practice room, I'm listening to myself so hard that I don't hear anything else. Cute story, though: I was practicing really late one night last year, and the only other person in earshot was a pianist in the next room over. I wasn't paying attention to them until I put down my flute for a breather, but as soon as I did, I heard Rhapsody in Blue spilling into my space and it made me SO happy. Rhapsody in Blue used to be one of my favorite pieces when I was a kid and I'd forgotten about it until that moment. Best practice break I've ever taken.

Posted by: Ida on October 17, 2012 4:55 PM

Also your banner photo is perfect.

Posted by: Ida on October 17, 2012 4:56 PM

Walking through the Conservatory, I'm always amazed at the often-chaotic tapestry of sounds that the building throws at me. Someone walking or running through Robertson at peak practice time would make an sonically and visually interesting film scene.

Posted by: Zoë on October 17, 2012 5:58 PM

So excited to discover you are an Oberlin blogger now! It's cool to have a radio-piece style blog. So many sounds!

Posted by: Nora on October 17, 2012 6:00 PM

Ness, this is awesome.

I miss the chaos of walking through the practice room halls at peak practice times....

But I don't miss not finding a practice room :)

Posted by: Megan on October 17, 2012 7:21 PM

I love this post. It really captures one of my favorite things about Oberlin.

Like most people I think, usually block out the sound when I'm practicing my singing. However, I prefer having other people practicing at the same time as me so that the silence when I'm not singing isn't so deafening. It probably sounds odd, but the mix of music in the background keeps me focused.

Posted by: Emily on October 17, 2012 7:41 PM

Is there a way to hear this if one doesn't use a Mac? I don't have any Apple plugins.

Posted by: Anonymous on October 20, 2012 9:23 PM

@Anon - Checking up on this! Thanks for the heads up!

Posted by: Ma'ayan on October 23, 2012 1:08 PM

I just thought of this the other day! If you are thinking of doing a post on the best sounding places on campus, I have a suggestion: the opening under the walkway between the physics building and the science center. I love riding my bike through it and getting that moment of amplification where I can hear the susurrus of my bike parts that I don't get anywhere else.

Posted by: Ida on November 21, 2012 9:20 PM

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