By Ryan Dearon
As a graduate assistant who works in Bienen’s Office of Music Admission, I give tours to prospective students and their families on a regular basis. I often like to point out my favorite areas to add a bit of a personal touch. In doing so, I’ve realized those special places have become central to my student experience. As I reflect on my first year at Bienen, I think fondly of these various spaces and their contributions to my growth and learning. True to my admissions job, here is a “story-tour” that highlights my favorite spots within the Bienen School’s incredible music facilities, especially for those who have yet to experience the magic of Bienen.
Here are my top five, in no particular order:
Mary B. Galvin Recital Hall
I have been amazed, transfixed, and inspired by the talent of my peers who grace this stage. My voice teacher holds some of our studio classes in Galvin and getting to sing in that hall has been one of the best feelings (and performances) I’ve had at Bienen thus far.
The second-floor Regenstein locker room
I am not sure if everyone knows about these lockers (maybe more will now!), but even as a singer who doesn’t need to store my instrument, I am so grateful to have a place to store my things. It’s so nice not having to lug around my winter coat or wet umbrella! Plus, the little vestibule where the lockers are located has become a social spot for me to chat with friends whenever I catch them at their lockers!
The common area outside of MCR (Regenstein’s Master Class Room)
Located in the hallway that connects the Ryan Center for the Musical Arts to the Regenstein Hall of Music, this area boasts a water fountain with a filter; I think singers find this feature especially desirable. This part of our facilities also tends to be less occupied than other spaces, which is nice when you want a quiet moment to sit and recharge during a busy day.
Third-floor practice rooms with lake views
There are many practice rooms at Bienen (134 to be exact), and some have breathtaking views of Lake Michigan. My all-time favorites are 3-116C (tucked away in a corner) and 3-167C (in our north hallway of practice rooms). Both offer the best views of the lake, in my humble opinion. It honestly changes my practice experience being able to focus on the ebb and flow of the waves; it is such a calming experience!
The Office of the Associate Dean (fourth floor)
This office is home to at least three jars of assorted candy and has been my saving grace for a little sugar rush in the middle of long days of classes and rehearsals. Also, all the staff and student workers there are incredibly nice (and generous with doling out the sweets).
Bonus location: the Office of Music Admission!
It actually has the best lake view of all, and is home to some of the best people I know at Bienen!
Ryan Dearon is a second-year master’s student studying voice and opera performance.