By Georgia Fullerton
Musicians and students say finding somewhere to live and practise uninterrupted in Sydney has become more difficult.
The City of Sydney’s Live Music and Performance Action Plan made community halls in nine venues across the city into free rehearsal spaces. The program was a welcome change for many young creatives, who say opportunities to practice were scarce in the past.
Former Macquarie University Student Pat Clody said during his three years at Uni there were few music rooms and even fewer practice areas for a band.
“I never had the satisfaction of accommodating more than five or six people, and once the noise of five or six musicians is factored into the equation you can essentially kiss your right to uninterrupted practice goodbye.”
Mr Clody said the primary frustration was the matter of trying to find a place to practice within a reasonable distance for all.
“Opening community halls to the public for rehearsal would fix many if not all of these problems,” he said.
Classical Pianist and music student Darci Gayford has struggled finding accommodation in Sydney suitable for her grand piano and practicing habits.
“I still come with a grand piano and I don’t want to keep it in a community hall… I also need to teach.”
“It would help people possibly if nobody else was after the room at the one time and if they didn’t have to make money off of the instrument and could also carry it around rather easily,” she said.
Cameron Menegoni, who hosts 2SER FM’s ‘The Band Next Door’, said the new practice spaces will create a hub for local musicians.
“The idea that Community halls can double as rehearsal venues is a fantastic idea,” Mr Menegoni said.
“The fact that Community centres can now become rehearsal spaces means musicians can get to know each other, create networks and have more of a support base.”
“I often have conversations with musicians who practice in their own houses, but even with all their self created soundproofing, neighbours are annoyed and sometimes the police also get involved,” he said.
Suburbs hosting the program include St Peters, Erskineville, Alexandria, Potts Point, Millers Point, Camperdown and both Redfern and Glebe community halls.
They are available to students of dance, theatre, music and other performance.