My New Studio

Edited: February 21, 2019, 3:04 PM · I just finished up my new violin teaching studio a few days ago and have officially moved all my students there, so I just thought I'd share a little video of my new room! I was testing the acoustics of the room in this video.

Also, I just started using gut strings. I'm thinking I'm a big fan of them! Although weirdly enough, my metal-wound G seems to have far more tuning stability issues than the plain gut D and A. Maybe that's a matter of time?

Here's the video:

Replies (35)

February 21, 2019, 4:50 AM · Thanks for that video. It looks like a nice space to spend many hours each week.
February 21, 2019, 5:34 AM · Erik, for a long time I've had minor tuning stability issues with wound gut Gs. Mainly, they tend to go sharp in the first few minutes of playing and then stabilize. I've got used to it, and the other advantages of gut outweigh this one issue. The most stable of the gut set I find are the E and A.

And I like the new studio!

February 21, 2019, 7:03 AM · Sounds fabulous! Looks wonderful! I wish I could practice and take lessons there!
February 21, 2019, 7:14 AM · chaconne not worse than David Krakovich ;-)

congrats with the studio!

February 21, 2019, 8:38 AM · What's the artwork? Very nice.
February 21, 2019, 8:59 AM · Very nice! I would love to be able to play in such a studio!
February 21, 2019, 9:20 AM · What a lovely space you have! Enjoy it! :)
February 21, 2019, 9:58 AM · Beautiful studio. Where's the stationary bike?
February 21, 2019, 10:04 AM · Great teaching and practice space, good accoustics, good vibes, lovely workplace. I am full of envy ;-)
February 21, 2019, 12:07 PM · Nice! I would have "stayed" to listen to more Chaconne.
February 21, 2019, 3:26 PM · Hey guys, thanks for the kind words.

The large piece of art on the wall is an original Tryptych that I commissioned from one of my students. I'll grab a picture later and post it here in more detail, since everything in the painting is music related so it's pretty interesting. The oil portrait was also done by the same student, but the Tryptych (3-panel painting) is much newer.

February 21, 2019, 4:12 PM · What a lovely studio, acoustics, and playing! Do you have a mirror in that room? The paintings are lovely and looking forward to seeing the Tryptych in more detail. I like the lighting very much as well, very nice studio indeed!
February 21, 2019, 4:33 PM · What about the skeletons?

Best wishes on all your endeavors.

Edited: February 22, 2019, 12:59 AM · Here are some more pictures of the studio:








February 22, 2019, 8:38 AM · Leon good one, I couldn't quite pinpoint what was missing :-)
February 22, 2019, 8:46 AM · Lovely! I am jealous of those acoustics!

February 22, 2019, 9:40 PM · The acoustics are very ringing. If that becomes and issue (it tends to hide small flaws in your students' playing -- to their ears if not to yours) then you can do an area rug.

Don't post a mirror. Have one available that you can use if needed. Kids will act up if there is a mirror in the room -- it's a distraction to them.

Likewise do not hang a wall clock. You need to be in command of time. The clock will only distract your students.

February 23, 2019, 12:21 AM · Congratulations!
February 23, 2019, 2:27 PM · A couple points about the ringing:

1) When there are more bodies in there, it rings a bit less.

2) Although it was also a concern of mine that such an epic reverb could potentially hide flaws, it has actually had the opposite effect of what I feared; because it's so much louder and students' sound is reflected back at them, they fix intonation problems much faster than in my previous studio.

3) Perhaps even more importantly, the encouragement factor is way up. Students seem to be way happier about the sound they've worked hard for, because it bounces around the room and rewards them for doing things well. Playing in that room is similar to practicing all week on an un-amplified electric guitar, and then being able to finally hook into an amp at the end. I would happily trade some accuracy in sound feedback for extra encouragement and happiness in students. Since discouragement is far more likely to kill a student's playing long term than slight accuracy issues (speaking of average students here, not ones aiming for the highest echelons of playing), this is a small sacrifice if it makes them feel better overall and keeps them practicing.

February 23, 2019, 5:10 PM · Timothy, I also have recorded significantly enough to know that this room wouldn't make a great recording studio :). Some of the cooolest sounding rooms, live, make absolute crap recordings.

The video is actually a great example of that, as it sounds tinny and "hard", whereas in person it sounds profound and epic.

On the bright side, there is way too much traffic noise at this new location to even bother trying to make a recording! It's on the corner of an incredible busy intersection.

I should also add that all along in this process, I have planned on eventually adding adjustable sound dampening to the room, because there are definitely some students who would benefit from bit more of a dead room. Most likely, retractable curtains will be my plan for that.

Edited: February 24, 2019, 7:12 AM · But isn't there like a huge amount of reverb, which is something you don't want when recording/teaching?

I don't know if it's the camera that is not recording the sound very well, but for me it sounds way beyond the maximum reverb I'd want to hear, even in a concert. It's distracting. I mean, you don't want a dull, empty, dry sound, you should spice it up a little bit with some reverb. I'd say like 85% dry and 15% reverb. Your actual situation is like the opposite, 15% dry and 85% reverb.

Shouldn't you put those cancellation pads in the walls to absorbe the sound?
That's what studios I've been at have in their walls.

It's quite a beautiful space, but may be it's too white, too "professional" and "clean". I'd make it a little less serious, make it warm and cozy. Anyways, you put a piano there and it'd be the room of my dreams. Congratulations!

February 24, 2019, 10:36 AM · For some reason, the link doesn’t work on my phone. Is it possible to post the video on the way David K. did?

BTW, you need to get a stationary bike, if there isn’t one.

Edited: February 24, 2019, 12:19 PM · An alternative to official sound absorbing material (which is generally ugly and expensive) is to use oriental rugs (you can find old ones on eBay sometimes for scary low prices--and if they are too fragile for the floor, you can hang those on the walls). I have a nice studio, that I'd love to show but there is no way I can figure out how to post photos here? You do need to kill the reflections if you want it to sound nice, and I put rugs on both the floor and walls. Also cabinets and such to break up long flat surfaces is a good idea.
February 24, 2019, 12:27 PM · One thing you might find you eventually need is a kids' corner -- for the sibling who tags along and needs crayons and a tiny table at which to color, read, or pretend playing along on a cigar-box violin. Help mom deal with her problem and you've got a happy client.

Paul Smith wrote, "there is no way I can figure out how to post photos here." You can't figure it out because it's not possible. Laurie doesn't want to deal with maintaining all that content. It increases her storage needs and her legal exposure. You post the photo elsewhere and then link it here.

February 24, 2019, 12:40 PM · Right. OK, here's the image...  photo KizilStudioRedesign_zpshjbivasy.jpg
February 24, 2019, 12:56 PM · Wow that's a beautiful studio paul! Erik there is something very appealing in that little clip of you playing in your studio, to me watching with student perspective. Maybe its the seeming ease with which you make such beautiful music or your clear pleasure in hearing the sound in your studio combined with the plain - ness of the studio. Makes it seem very inviting - a place to learn to play beautifully.
February 24, 2019, 1:23 PM · My previous studio was a converted garage space with red walls, stained red floor, and red ceiling. The walls were all covered by massive curtains draping down from the ceiling all the way to the floor. The lighting was from a rope LED affixed to the ceiling in a swirling pattern. I had multiple violins on display, plus my double bass, cello, guitar, mandolin, drums, erhu, piano, and an assortment of other smaller instruments. All of my rental instrument cases were also visible. I had multiple display cases I had built.

Honestly, it got to the point where it just felt cluttered and claustrophobic. Something I now realize from having a clean, pure space is that it makes me a lot more relaxed and I think students focus much better as well. I've found what I consider a good balance between having an interesting space without it being so distracting that it gets in the way of the music.

Also, funny pattern that I had noticed even before I posted it here: I think women like it a lot more than men do! (On average)

February 24, 2019, 1:30 PM · Also, David, here is a normal link.

February 24, 2019, 3:56 PM · Ha that's funny re women liking it more than men :) Well i showed it to my (non musician) husband thinking we could maybe model a room after it and he loved it too!
February 24, 2019, 10:14 PM · Erik, thanks! Nice studio and wonderful playing.

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