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Choir room connected to math rooms...

Hello all!
    I currently don't have a classroom. SO, for next year, my principal and I are brainstorming where a choir room could be.  One GREAT option is a large room with plenty of floor space and head room for risers and chairs AND having my students use the floor to move while singing. BUT it is connected to other academic/non music classrooms.  My principal likes my idea with the room usage but is hesitent about sound bleed through.
I haven't gone in the room yet to feel out the acoustics but It is cinderblock walls with tile floors so it is probably pretty live. Great for young voices! :-)
My ideas:
Fabric on the walls- I know it needs to be flame retardent/resistent for the classroom
Egg carton foam
Canvas panels with foam inside and wrapped in fabric
1)Does this sound like the right way to go?  
2) What about our classroom doors? Any way to sound dampen those? weather stripping?
Thank you for your wisdom!
Replies (5): Threaded | Chronological
on January 7, 2016 10:19am
1.  A rug/carpet on the floor certainly soaks up a lot of sound and has the advantage of being something you just roll out, and then roll back up at the end of the year if you move to a different space.  You just have to make sure it won't be a tripping hazard.  Maintenance may already have one somewhere in storage that is fire hazard appropriate for a school setting.  
2.  Don't forget that all those bodies in the room will also soak up sound once your students arrive.  Projecting in an empty concert hall is always easier than in one with a full audience because the audience deadens the room.  (Sorry audience, we really do want you there!)  
3.  You can always take the room for a test run as it already is.  Get some volunteers from whoever else is there in the teachers' lounge after school.  Set them to singing "Jingle Bells" enthusiastically in your new room.  You and the principal go walk into the other room and assess noise in the hall and noise in the neighboring room, keeping in mind the number of teachers singing at the time and the number of students ultimately in choir next year.  
Happy new space, whereever it may be!
Applauded by an audience of 1
on January 7, 2016 10:33am
I would expect the sound would carry through, especially with a door in the wall, but put on a recording and go in the math room and listen.  I've taught in two music rooms that are adjacent to classrooms (neither with a door in the wall, though), and both were soundproof against singing.  However, one transmitted other sounds like African drums and marimba music, and I usually had to keep the volume on the low side when playing recordings.  The other wall, in my present classroom, is completely soundproof, even though it was not designed as a music room.  There is no evident soundproofing, but perhaps there is a difference above the suspended ceiling.  Fire codes in many cases require interior block walls to be carried up to the roof, to prevent the spread of fire.  Of course, this would limit sound transmission above the ceiling too.  My previous room was in an older school, and perhaps this construction was not required when it was built.
Regarding the door, you might investigate the cost of replacing the door or adding a second door that is soundproof.  Also, check electrical and other outlets in the wall, as the recesses and wiring paths often connect with those in adjacent rooms.  There are foams (in a can) that can be sprayed into these cavities, but the foam product needs to be fire and sound rated, so check with your physical plant director and/or fire marshall.
Give Wengert (the maker of risers, shells, acoustical treatments, and soundproof practice rooms) a call; they will be happy to discuss possibilities with you. 
Applauded by an audience of 1
on January 7, 2016 1:29pm
Ooops!  It's Wenger--no "t" on the end.     See their products at
on January 28, 2016 7:40pm
The wall treatments you describe would be moderately sound absorptive, which will tend to make the room less live. Is that the direction you wish to go? I have found that a choir rehearsal room usually needs a reasonable balance of sound absorbing and sound reflecting finishes.
Bear in mind, however, that these treatments will not help with isolation to the adjacent spaces. That is a different kettle of fish. Seals on the door may provide some improvement, but more substantial changes (or picking a room more remote from other classrooms) would be needed if you require a higher level of sound isolation.
Feel free to message me to chat further!
on January 29, 2016 8:37am
I've nothing to contribute institution -wise, but consider the mutual benefits!:viz:
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