Defense Date

2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts

Department

Interior Design

First Advisor

Roberto Ventura

Second Advisor

Emily Smith

Third Advisor

Camden Whitehead

Fourth Advisor

Robert Smith

Fifth Advisor

Sara Reed

Sixth Advisor

Christiana Lafazani

Abstract

Music, it has been shown, has the potential to both create social cohesion and encourage conflict resolution (Koelsch, Offermanns, & Franzke, 2010). In a city with deep roots in slavery, music may be more powerful than language or the toppling of monuments to help create a cultural identity that every demographic can fit. Not only can music improve mood in an individual, but musical contagion affects large groups at once. Creating a space to equalize access to and share the experience of music—both making and appreciation—would give the city an opportunity for reconciliation and community bonding.

While a universal quality of humanity, music is unfortunately not equally accessible to all races and ages. Children in low socioeconomic schools and aging adults are two populations that are less likely to engage in musical opportunities due to prohibitive costs, lack of resources, diminished support, reduced funding, insufficient skills for participating in organized groups, and no access to spaces for playing (Deisler, 2011; Hallam, Creech, Varvarigou, & McQueen, 2012). A public music library could remove many of the prohibitive factors for marginalized populations outlined in prior research.

To ensure that these populations are being served, a team of community members who lead a bi-weekly music-workshops for musicians of any age or level will be interviewed. Literature reviews of acoustics and spatial organization will help to inform design choices and practical considerations. Researching methods to reduce attrition in musical settings as well as projects that have successfully encouraged community engagement will be important aspects for design development. Determining and analyzing case studies via research and site visits will reveal tested solutions and offer feedback for how to improve upon existing examples. Touring the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts would be useful, and an application for funding will be submitted for traveling to New York. In an independent study class, design details specific to music libraries are being investigated with the assistance of an internationally recognized library design firm, which in turn is applying this research into current projects utilizing similar acoustical and storage needs.

To ensure that these populations are being served, a team of community members who lead a bi-weekly music-workshops for musicians of any age or level will be interviewed. Literature reviews of acoustics and spatial organization will help to inform design choices and practical considerations. Researching methods to reduce attrition in musical settings as well as projects that have successfully encouraged community engagement will be important aspects for design development. Determining and analyzing case studies via research and site visits will reveal tested solutions and offer feedback for how to improve upon existing examples. Touring the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts would be useful, and an application for funding will be submitted for traveling to New York. In an independent study class, design details specific to music libraries are being investigated with the assistance of an internationally recognized library design firm, which in turn is applying this research into current projects utilizing similar acoustical and storage needs.

The research methods outlined will support the design of a public music library for the immediate community. To address the imbalance in musical engagement, the space will accommodate renting instruments, checking-out scores, listening to audio recordings, and collaborating with other musicians. There will be practice studios available for use by individuals and ensembles, stacks, a café and lounge space to encourage leisure, and a community concert hall for performances. Music is a shared human experience, and access to learning and creating music should be accessible to all.

Comments

I'm done!

Rights

© Caroline Matteson

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

5-9-2018

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