Mannes students eat, sleep and play by Central Park
Between music theory classes and rehearsals, Mannes students can be found in the fifth floor lounge of the Mannes building on 150 W. 85th St. They might be studying sheet music, taking a nap on a couch, or eating pasta from Tupperware. With their main campus located just two blocks away from Central Park, these student musicians practice classical music in the Upper West Side’s serene environment.
“[The Mannes building] is where we live, eat and breathe,” said Robyn Martinez, a second year masters voice major. “You can come in at 8 in the morning and find someone asleep on the piano in one of the practice rooms.”
Max Turpin, a senior studying violin performance, commutes to Mannes from New Jersey. To arrive at school at 8 a.m. for quartet practice, he must wake up at 6 in the morning everyday to catch the 6:58 a.m. New Jersey Transit train, and then transfer to the subway at Penn Station. His situation is unusual, however. “Most students generally live somewhere accessible to the 1 or C subway trains,” Turpin said.
According to Mannes’ website, more than 60 percent of Mannes undergraduates do not live in a New School dorm. An exception, DeLaney Harter, who lives in a dorm downtown, is an undergraduate freshman studying violin performance. She says she doesn’t mind the 20 minute commute to the Mannes building at West 85th Street. “It is more calm and beautiful up here,” she said, “and I love having Central Park nearby.”
According to Turpin, in addition to rehearsing in class, he often practices alone in one of the practice rooms in the Mannes building. Students also have access to practice rooms in the John Goldmark Practice Center near Lincoln Center.
“The typical Mannes student’s routine is to go practice, go eat,” said Turpin.
For a quick bite students go to the Greenleaf Deli, the equivalent to the downtown favorite Murray’s Bagels, or grab a slice of pizza at Caesar’s Palace Pizza. Amesterdam and Columbus Avenue are also populated with inexpensive restaurants. Kefi serves inexpensive Greek food and Tale’ Thai Cuisine has a $6.50 lunch prix-fixe menu. Mannes students like to go to popular downtown eateries that can also be found in the Upper West Side, such as Spice, Momofuku Milk Bar and Joe’s Coffee.
“Mannes’ location in the quieter, more residential than business atmosphere of the Upper West Side is perfect for studying classical music,” said Martinez.
While Mannes is a premier institution for the study of classical music, students wishing to take non-music classes have a hard time fitting them into their schedules. “I would like to take economics [through The New School for General Studies], but the times never work out because of the distance between the two campuses and my music practice schedules,” said Turpin. According to Martinez, though she loves the Upper West Side, she sees how it is beneficial to be downtown as it might allow for her to take a language class through General Studies. “I would like to see more integration between Mannes and the rest of The New School,” said Turpin.
Even from the outside of the Mannes building, music can be heard as students in the Mannes Orchestra rehearse for their upcoming performance at Carnegie Hall on November 2.