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How late is too late to play the piano in the evening?

(51 Posts)
Laureline Sat 21-Nov-15 21:47:17

I went to see my neighbours a couple of times when they were playing (or rather practicing) the piano at 9:30PM (once was 11PM).

We live in a row of old terraced houses, the piano is against the shared wall of our living rooms, so we hear everything when it is being played. I can't watch a film or work, it's too distracting, and you hear it on the first floor etc.

I don't enjoy the piano particulalry anyway, but tolerate it during the day as I understand children need to practice to get better.

But I really do mind after 9:30PM. During the week I work late, so hearing "the Sugar Plum Fairy" being practiced at 9:45PM isn't my idea of relaxation.

The father thinks it's a perfectly ok time, and since his kid is out all Saturday, then he has to practice at 9:30PM. I think it's their issue if they don't organise practice time at reasonnable hours for their children, not mine.

Am I being unreasonnable? Seriously, the father seems really offended that I ask they not play after 9:30Pm.
I'm resenting having to go over to their place at night and passing (in their eyes) for a sort of crazed-mean-to-kids person. The boys seem lovely people, but I just want to enjoy some peace and quiet in the evening. We are quiet ourselves and don't play loud music or TV.

RB68 Sat 21-Nov-15 22:02:51

Invite him round for coffee whilst they practice - people just do not realise the noise transfer is WORSE when next door as opposed to in the same house.

Also ask them to pull it away from the wall so there is space at the back as this can help a little - as could putting sound absorbing foam in there.

SweetAdeline Sat 21-Nov-15 22:08:03

The children next door practice the violin late in the evening - latest was 11-11.30. There are three of them. One is good.
Recently they have also acquired a piano.

We never hear any other noise than the instruments. I think the the noise travels through the chimneys somehow because it is loud in our living room and bedroom which share a chimney breast.
I've never said anything because we have two toddlers so are in no position to complain about noise but YANBU.

WheresMyBurrito Sat 21-Nov-15 22:11:01

Is it a proper piano and not a keyboard? If so your neighbour is being unreasonable to play it at all in a terraced house, they're so loud.

KissingFish Sat 21-Nov-15 22:15:12

Our neighbour (also terraced house) plays the piano really late too. She plays it well and I do love a bit of piano music but not after 9pm

MrsTerryPratchett Sat 21-Nov-15 22:17:14

Can't they shove a couple of pillows in it?

wonkylegs Sat 21-Nov-15 22:21:48

I think in your situation it's unreasonable to play it so late.
We've got a piano but our neighbours can't hear it (it's not on the dividing wall and they were surprised when they came for a glass of wine that we had one as they'd never heard it), they've also never heard the guitar practice.
We're a semi though and we have extremely thick walls the only sound we've ever heard through the wall is their grandfather clock which sits against on the dividing wall.

WaitroseEssentialPancetta Sat 21-Nov-15 22:26:29

Ideally not after 7, and DEFINITELY not after 9. If they want to play at all hours they need an electric piano with headphones.

5madthings Sat 21-Nov-15 22:26:48

We have a piano in a terrace but it's not on a joining wall. Infact it was deliberately put on the wall that joins the dining room/living room. I do not let my kids play on it in the evening. It's an after school but before Di new thing. If they did play in the evening then 8pm is the latest I would let them. Not before 9am in the mornings either.

Though given that I had to call the police due to a screaming argument my neighbours had recently I do wonder why I make sure we are considerate re noise.

5madthings Sat 21-Nov-15 22:27:55

After school but before dinner thing thst should say.

SmallLegsOrSmallEggs Sat 21-Nov-15 22:30:59

We moved ours to a non asjoining wall when I was a kid as the neighbours didn't like it even during the day.

I moved my bed away from the adjoining wall for similar reasons

JenniferYellowHat1980 Sat 21-Nov-15 22:31:28

I want DD to learn piano but wouldn't dream of doing so at all in the scenario you describe. I think your neighbours may feel that because it's a classical instrument (and probably music) no one could have an issue with it. Wrong. They have no right to inflict their tastes onto you.

balletgirlmum Sat 21-Nov-15 22:32:10

After 9pm is too late. Maybe 9.30pm at the weekend.

NotEmptyNow Sat 21-Nov-15 22:37:53

YANBU, poor children! Who has their children up practising instruments at 11pm?

ValancyJane Sat 21-Nov-15 22:42:56

YANBU, when I was young and learning the piano we lived in a terraced house and I wasn't allowed to play before 11am at weekends or after 7pm.

Laureline Sat 21-Nov-15 22:44:08

I confirm, it's a proper piano, placed against the dividing wall.

I don't want this to turn nasty, but I don't think it's fair to put us in this position of having to knock on the door after 9:30. They did stop, but it was unpleasant for all involved.

"YANBU, poor children! Who has their children up practising instruments at 11pm?"
They're young teenagers (12/14?). But I agree it seems a weird time to practice, judging from how my friends used to practice their instruments at the same age.

Mellifera Sat 21-Nov-15 22:47:21

We don't play after 8pm and we had the party wall soundproofed. Piano is not on party wall.

Your neighbours are inconsiderate.

Mellifera Sat 21-Nov-15 22:49:13

My piano playing child is 14.

CocktailQueen Sat 21-Nov-15 22:53:02

They are inconsiderate. Ask one of them to come round while the other one plays, so they can see how loud it is. Suggest they get some soundproofing, or move piano from party wall.

NotEmptyNow Sat 21-Nov-15 22:54:04

Oh that makes more senseblush I had visions of 7/8 year olds chained to the piano! Still think YANBU though, especially in a terraced house. A little bit of consideration goes a long way.

IsItMeOr Sat 21-Nov-15 22:56:05


I like the suggestion of inviting the father over for coffee while they practice so that they can hear for themselves. Sound travels in the most unexpected ways sometimes.

GingerIvy Sat 21-Nov-15 23:00:59

Our piano is not on a joined wall (semi detached house) and is never played before 9 am or after 6 pm.

knittingwithnettles Sat 21-Nov-15 23:09:59

I never let mine play after 8.30 and they are all teenagers. AND it is not a a dividing wall either, a whole corridor in between.

A piano is percusssion so it is like someone playing a drum. Or try recording what it sounds like in your space, don't complain about quality just focus on the time of day that is intrusive.

The other thing you could do is wear earphones, or plug soundtrack of tv into earphones. Then at least whilst they come to terms with changing their habits (they might after all, albeit reluctantly) you could have some peace.

I know from personal experience, once you have tuned into a certain annoying sound it is very difficult to relax and concentrate on anything else. Might headphones be a temporary solution (although I know of course it is not YOUR FAULT and you should have to resort to this)

HesterShaw Sat 21-Nov-15 23:19:12

I have an end terrace and I frequently hear next door's radio so I know soundproofing isn't that great. My piano is not on an adjoining wall and I don't play it after about 7.30pm. Thanks to this thread I've just stuffed a thick foam mattress behind it too smile

I think your neighbours are being inconsiderate. I'd be mortified if someone came round even once.

carabos Sat 21-Nov-15 23:25:26

Next door's 12 yr old has just stopped his drumming practice. I know it's Saturday night, but still... And the dog is now barking. They complained to us when DS2 practiced his saxophone after school hmm.

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