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Rooms for the Learned Musician

A 20-Year Retrospective on the Acoustics of Music Education Facilities

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  • © 2021


  • Features detailed acoustic and architectural information on more than 60 music education facilities from acoustical consulting firms and music education facility designers worldwide
  • Organized into Primary, Secondary, and Higher Education spaces for music students, or “learned musicians,” as well as Conservatories and Community Music Centers to highlight the variation in acoustic design necessary to address spaces of various types
  • Offers indexes of spaces by consulting firm and by geographic location to allow the book to serve as a reference for acousticians, architects, and students
  • Includes an overview of acoustic design for music education facilities and a glossary of common music education facility acoustics terminology

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Table of contents (9 chapters)

  1. Reflections from Key Design Team Members

  2. Music Education Facilities


About this book

This beautifully illustrated volume takes the reader on a wide-ranging tour through music education facilities designed during the past 20 years, with a particular emphasis on the acoustical and architectural design of the locations. The book opens with a series of essays from key design team members, including an acoustical consultant, architect, audio/video systems consultant, and theatre consultant. The main body of the work consists of a rich array of contributions from acoustical consulting firms and music education facility designers from across the world on their recent innovative works in the area of music education facility acoustics. Each entry includes high-resolution photos and renderings, scientific data, and evocative descriptions of the music education facilities. Filled with beautiful photography and fascinating modern design, this book is a must-read for anyone interested in music education architecture, acoustical design, or musical performance.

“This new publication on design of music education facilities is highly welcomed. Not only does it present many acoustically interesting projects, it also gives an up-to-date introduction to the scientific knowledge and design practice in this field. The book also helps the reader to understand why it is so important to ensure good acoustic conditions in music education facilities: to nourish students at all levels to achieve their goals as musicians.” - Anders Chr. Gade, Ph.D., senior consultant at Gade & Mortensen Akustik and author of Acoustics in Halls for Speech and Music (chapter in Springer Handbook of Acoustics)

“This book ensures the reader will see the full vocabulary of elemental solutions to broad challenges. The expected concert halls, rehearsal spaces, and practice rooms are joined by newer, essential components: recording studios, control rooms, vocal booths, beat labs, and more. This media-rich publication enables detailed study while motivating big picture, interdisciplinarythinking. This new book curates and beautifully structures a deep store of outstanding architectural achievements that are sure to kindle the creation of future successful music education facilities.” - Alex U. Case, Associate Professor of Sound Recording Technology at the University of Massachusetts Lowell and author of Sound FX – Unlocking the Creative Potential of Recording Studio Effects

“This book is a wonderful collection of music education facilities. The narratives and images provide a wealth of information for the casual reader, student in acoustics, architect, owner/educator, and acoustician. Primary schools through universities are not often studied and reviewed. Finding a thorough collection of these space types is rare. This book is recommended for anyone who is studying, designing, or enjoys reading about music education facilities.” - Jason Duty, P.E., Vice President at Charles M. Salter Associates, Inc.

Editors and Affiliations

  • Durham School of Architectural Engineering & Construction, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Omaha, USA

    Lauren M. Ronsse

  • Visiting Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, New York, USA

    Martin Lawless

  • Senior Consultant, Threshold Acoustics, Chicago, USA

    Shane J. Kanter

  • Faculty Diversity Officer California State University, Fullerton, Member of the Board of Trustees Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Latinos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS), West Covina, USA

    David T. Carreon Bradley

About the editors

Lauren M. Ronsse, Industry Fellow, Durham School of Architectural Engineering & Construction, The University of Nebraska—Lincoln

Ronsse is an educator in architectural engineering and acoustics and has a Ph.D. in Engineering with a focus in Acoustics from the University of Nebraska—Lincoln. She also has experience in architectural acoustics consulting, including an enriching position as a Collaborating Consultant with Threshold Acoustics. Prior to her current Industry Fellow appointment, she was an Assistant Professor in the Audio Arts & Acoustics Department at Columbia College Chicago.


Martin S. Lawless, Visiting Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art

Lawless earned his Ph.D. in Acoustics in 2018 from the Pennsylvania State University where he investigated the brain’s auditory and reward responses to room acoustics. At the Cooper Union, he continues studying sound perception, including 1) the generation of head-related transfer functions with machine-learning techniques, 2) musical therapeutic inventions for motor recovery after stroke, and 3) active noise control using an external microphone array.

Shane J. Kanter, Senior Consultant, Threshold Acoustics, Chicago, IL

Kanter spends his days collaborating on the acoustic performance of his projects at Threshold Acoustics, and his nights and weekends going on adventures with his wife, kids, and dog. Prior to arriving at Threshold, Shane received his Master of Arts in Architecture from the University of Kansas by studying with the venerable and beloved Bob Coffeen.

David T. Carreon Bradley, Faculty Diversity Officer, California State University, Fullerton

Carreon Bradley currently serves as the Faculty Diversity Officer at California State University, Fullerton. He previously served as the Vice President for Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity at SmithCollege, where he was also an Associate Professor in both the physics department and engineering program. Prior to that, he worked at Vassar College for over 10 years, where he was an Associate Professor of Physics and the chief diversity faculty-administrator. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees for SACNAS (Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Latinos and Native Americans in Science). He conducts research on higher education organizational development, diversity and inclusion in higher education, access and equity in STEM, and acoustics - the latter for which he won the prestigious NSF CAREER Award.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Rooms for the Learned Musician

  • Book Subtitle: A 20-Year Retrospective on the Acoustics of Music Education Facilities

  • Editors: Lauren M. Ronsse, Martin Lawless, Shane J. Kanter, David T. Carreon Bradley

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Springer Cham

  • eBook Packages: Engineering, Engineering (R0)

  • Copyright Information: Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-030-72053-7Published: 25 May 2021

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-030-72056-8Published: 26 May 2022

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-030-72054-4Published: 24 May 2021

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XXVI, 334

  • Number of Illustrations: 207 illustrations in colour

  • Topics: Engineering Acoustics, Acoustics, Music, Building Construction and Design, Noise Control

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