Even people who wouldn’t be caught dead singing in public seem to find comfort belting their favorite tracks behind the safety of a shower curtain or bathroom door. Wikipedia devoted a page to the topic of music in the bathroom.
“Many people sing in the bathroom because of the hard wall surfaces, often tiles or wooden panels and lack of soft furnishings, creating an aurally pleasing acoustic environment. The multiple reflections from walls enrich the sound of one’s voice. Small dimensions and hard surfaces of a typical bathroom produce various kinds of standing waves, reverberation and echoes, giving the voice fullness and depth.”
In other words, a bathroom makes your voice sound louder, richer and deeper. It is true that individuals choose to sing in their bathroom as opposed to other locations. Not only because they feel free of judgment, but because people just sound better in the bathroom.
So what is going on in Northwestern’s bathrooms? Walking through the halls of NW, students could be heard jamming to the top hit pop tracks from artists such as Taylor Swift, Christian rap and hip-hop from Lecrae, alternative-rock records from Mumford and Sons and Christian contemporary bands like Tenth Avenue North.
“We have a radio, so we listen to contemporary Christian on Life 96.5, and sometimes country,” said NW students from Fern Smith Hall, “When we shower we listen to our iPods.”
Although students living in residence halls around campus can unite under one community bathroom, every once in a while small disagreements form over bathroom musical choice.
“There are lots of passive-aggressive discrepancies,” said Fern sophomore Delaney Dugger. “People just go in and change the radio station, and five minutes later someone else will change it again.”
Even if these arguments seem upsetting, eventually the power of bathroom music brings wings together.
“Sometimes the music in the bathroom is so moving, we have dance parties,” said sophomore Mariah Clyde. “We turn the lights off and dance under Christmas lights. Some people dance in the sinks and on the floors. It makes for a fun Friday night.”
These bathroom dance parties don’t only happen in women’s dorms. Guys’ halls across campus take advantage of the bathroom acoustics by throwing dance shower parties.
“Sometimes when excessive shower parties occur, many guys join in and sing. It is almost too awkward to not join in,” said Anthony (Society) Wubben.
North Suites senior Jose Martinez attests to the community restroom singing, even in a dorm where each room has its own individual bathroom.
“Every once in a while we do duets. North guys are pretty open to singing,” said Martinez.
Whether it is singing in the shower, throwing spontaneous dance parties or simply jamming out to tracks from an iPod or radio, NW students use music to make bathroom trips not only routine, but entertaining.
“It makes the bathroom experience better, even if it means giving someone a funny look because we dislike the song playing,” said senior Alexis Graves, a Steggy senior . “Even the disagreements build the community that we’re all so desperately searching for.”