Musicians at Ryerson in a jam for space

(Emily Silva/Ryersonian Staff)

Ryerson musician plays on Gould St. in Toronto. (Emily Silva/Ryersonian Staff)

Musicians at Ryerson can come together to jam but they probably won’t be able to practise on campus.

Musicians@Ryerson (M@R) organizes monthly music events, but members of the group are struggling to find space to practise at Ryerson.

“There aren’t any rooms with drum kits and guitar and bass amps on campus,” says Don Tang a member of the group.   

“So it’s been pretty tough jamming on campus,” says the third-year medical physics student.

Students are stuck with using the basement of the Student Campus Centre or looking for spare classrooms.

Most rooms are only available to specific programs or classes. Even though there’s a room with a piano, KHE 239, it can’t be booked.

“Whenever we rehearse, we just rehearse in front of the (Musicians@Ryerson) office,” says Rangga Luksatrio, creative media assistant for M@R.

“Sometimes, we can’t do that because the space is crowded with other students studying. We even try to stay late so students aren’t there. But we only have until midnight since security will roam past at midnight to kick us out.”

Lack of rehearsal space isn’t their only concern. Some students also need to borrow instruments like guitars, keyboards and amps.

And that means, M@R needs a place to store them.

Luksatrio says if M@R had a designated rehearsal space, students could use it to practise and to store their instruments.

“Many people know that Musicians@Ryerson has tons of instruments,” says Luksatrio.

“But they probably don’t know that we keep (them) in an office the size of a cubicle.”

Students are stuck searching for an M@R executive to borrow instruments from. But even then, there’s no guarantee they’ll be able to find a space.

Kieran Ramnarine, vice-president of M@R, is currently looking into alternative spaces for students to practise off-campus. But this may mean members will have to pay.

Tang and his band already practise off-campus at The Rehearsal Factory and it’s taking a toll on their bank accounts. The studio that they rent is $20 per hour for a minimum of two hours.

Ramnarine says there really isn’t anywhere you can book to practise, unless it’s an option like The Rehearsal Factory.

Therefore, the M@R is in the process of writing a proposal to the RSU for a space to practise and rent instruments on campus.

If the proposal is approved,  M@R could then offer either free or heavily subsidized access to the room and facilitate the booking process.

“We are always aiming higher each year but a majority of our plans require rehearsal space, which is a setback,” says Luksatrio.

“I strongly believe a rehearsal space will be the next step to a more dynamic M@R experience.”

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