Administration lifts ban on choir practice rooms

Music students will now be permitted to sign in at the front office of M&A in order to use the practice rooms on the third floor, which are open all periods and both activities.

STA+piano+teacher+and+accompanist+Steven+Karlin+instructs+senior+Kayton+Froeschl+in+her+piano+class+in+the+practice+rooms.+Students+are+allowed+in+the+practice+room+only+if+an+adult+is+present+and+if+they+sign+in.+photo+by+Paige+Powell

STA piano teacher and accompanist Steven Karlin instructs senior Kayton Froeschl in her piano class in the practice rooms. Students are allowed in the practice room only if an adult is present and if they sign in. photo by Paige Powell

by Julia Kerrigan and Paige Powell

story by Julia Kerrigan

Senior Rose Genaris’ activity periods are filled with different pieces of music and lines to memorize. Genaris is involved in STA musicals, STA Singers, Praise Band and is the co-President of Choir Council. When she went to the KC Metro All-District Choir auditions last year, it was essential that she used all the spare time she had to practice her singing. When the music practice rooms on the third floor of M&A were closed off to students, this presented a big problem.

“When [choir students] thought we weren’t allowed to be in the rooms at all without adult supervision, we were worried because teachers are extremely busy,” Genaris said. “We thought it’d be impossible to find someone to supervise us.”

Music students are asked to use the rooms, in addition to their elective period, in order to learn their many pieces and notes.

“Part of being successful requires them to have outside practice time. Ideally they would practice daily but that’s not always practical,” music teacher Steve Perry said.

photos by Paige Powell

Initially, the rooms were banned due to noise complaints from Kansas City Young Audiences, whose offices are adjacent to the rooms.

“That was the initial concern, so we dealt with that,” principal of student affairs Liz Baker said. “Then, when we were discussing it as administration, we also considered the crisis plan, about students that were up in those rooms without supervision.”

The rooms stayed closed until administration came up with a solution to the supervision issue, with exceptions made for Genaris and those also preparing for Districts. Eventually, a new plan was formulated and the rooms were reopened.

For the new system, each room was numbered, a sign in sheet was posted and students were told to check in with administrative assistant Marica Warwick at the front office of M&A when they want to use the rooms. In a time of crisis, students are told to check in with Perry.

“We feel like it creates a sense of why those rooms are available and we feel like it creates a sense of safety for each and every student,” Baker said.