Planning and Designing Contemporary Music Spaces

Making the right choices when upgrading or replacing outdated music facilities is a challenging and stressful proposition. This EDSmarts panel will share their recent experiences and insights and offer practical advice on creating music education, practice, and performance spaces. Topics covered by the panel will include assessing expansion opportunities and options, assembling an advisory and design team, and navigating the often-difficult decisions on size, technology, flexibility, cost, and acoustical quality. Project examples - and the lessons learned - will help participants explore how they can advance music education experiences and settings for today’s students.



Learning Objectives

  1. Learn how to organize and benefit from a team of internal and external advisors to inform the school’s planning and design, and produce a cost-effective, future-ready expansion.
  2. Understand a range of opportunities and challenges when a) replacing music performance spaces, and b) creating welcoming, memorable places for the school community.
  3. Learn about the choices behind high quality sound and how to provide the right acoustical experience for audiences and student musicians.
  4. Apply the practical advice and lessons learned by the panel's educators, planners, and designers while upgrading and expanding music facilities.

Broadcast Date

January 24, 2024, 2:00pm ET

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Member: FREE (Log-in to Watch Now)
Nonmember Price: $25.00

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Meet the Presenters


Alan Michaels
The Peddie School
Arts Dept Chair and Director of Music

Alan is a dedicated educator and a professional musician and serves as the Arts Department Chair and Director of Music at The Peddie School in Hightstown, N.J., where he has helped grow a thriving music program for the school’s grade 9-12 students. Alan earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music from the Mannes College of Music in New York City. He was recently honored to present a masterclass to music students at the University of Texas El Paso.


Peter Reiss

Peter’s work focuses on the planning and design of education spaces, including music and arts facilities that help fulfill his clients’ goals to engage students in experiential learning. Trained in both the fine arts and architecture, Peter is energized by the creative collaborations needed to produce successful learning outcomes and enhance student health and wellness.


Jonah Sacks
Director of Architectural Acoustics

Jonah is Director of Architectural Acoustics at Acentech, a world-class acoustics, technology, and vibration consulting firm. A lifelong musician who has performed in many concerts as a cellist, guitarist, and bassist, Jonah brings his passion for music to his acoustics consulting role and practice leadership. He is instrumental in the creation of 3DListening® computer models to evaluate acoustically critical spaces. His portfolio includes conservatories, academic institutions, K-12 schools, public gathering venues, laboratories, commercial offices, and residential developments.


Shreya Shah

Shreya’s wide-ranging experience in design, planning and project leadership includes multi-use visual and performing arts facilities. A lifelong advocate of the arts and the benefits of art education, Shreya approaches design through the lens of its potential to improve the quality of life for students, educators, and community users of contemporary campus buildings. With a passion for drawing guiding her exploration of the infinite possibilities of design, Shreya regularly leads multi-media drawing exercises for fellow designers.