IS Performing Space: perception from Practice room to Concert Hall

Music students spend thousands of hours in their life practicing in a practice room or studio box at Conservatoires and music schools. Musical skills and interpretation abilities are forged and refined mostly while practicing in a small room, often with inappropriate acoustics, and in isolation. The discrepancy between this setting and the reality of the concert hall is striking. Acoustics, size, shape, perspective, and presence of the audience: the difference between the two scenarios poses the question to what extent years of practicing in studio boxes or small rooms prepare music students for the real world experience of the concert venue. How do music students cope with this experience? What strategies do they use – if any – to prepare themselves for this change of spatial setting? How do they perceive, feel and experience the space around them?

This project aims at investigating these and similar questions through a series of semi-structured interviews with music students at the HSLU. In a collaborative effort, the Schools of Music and Architecture will set the bases for an exploration of an often overseen factor in music performance: the space in which the performance occurs and the way different elements of the venue (acoustic, but also visual and other sensorial elements) enter the musician’s experience of the performance.
The importance of the project lies in particular in its intent to move the investigation of the performance venue beyond the space and moment in which the public performance (concert, exam, etc.) occurs, to examine the way in which music students prepare to the change of setting from the practice room to the concert venue. Through an analysis of daily practice habits and strategies used to prepare to perform this study aims at helping develop new approaches towards a more effective and efficient learning environment in terms of processes and spatial infrastructures.


IS CreaLab |


Phenomenology of performance

Departemente & Institute

Technik & Architektur
Music Performance Studies (MPS)
Kompetenzzentrum Innenarchitektur (CCIA)
Kompetenzzentrum Typologie & Planung in
Architektur (CCTP)


Elena Alessandri, PL
Lars Christian Schuchert, PM
Ruta Lasauskaite Schüpbach, PM
Markus Reisinger, PM


CHF 57’000.00


01.12.2012 – 31.05.2015