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Terraced house next to an old lady who complaint about our piano playing

(202 Posts)
Greenleave Tue 31-Jan-17 20:25:58

I have asked on the music thread although was also hoping for a wider mumsnet readers for a advice please. We had a complaint from our (lovely) old neighbor in the past when we played piano around 7.30pm since then we have never played the piano(with a sound) after 7pm(she is a nice old lady living on her own). We had another complaint today at 5.30pm that we are not considerate and "need to respect the others" and "the wall is really thin" and she cant stand the piano noise. I was told that our 9 yrs old has been playing 30mins or something in the afternoon. Is it too much? Does it mean we are not allowed to play at all. We are only home 3 afternoon a week, should I ask her if these 3 afternoons for 30mins is reasonable. We live in a terraced(although not too small) and the other neighbors have never complaint. We play some on Sundays only as we are packed with activities on Saturdays, so 30 mins 3 days a week and 1hour Sunday. What happens if she still doesnt want it(impression is she knows we have silent piano and she said we should always be on silent however we were advised by our teacher to listen to the real sound is better for her practice - the piano is an U3S-silent

moonchild77 Tue 31-Jan-17 20:28:33

I'd be telling her to sod off. It's your house, 30 minutes 3 times a week is perfectly fine.

SquinkiesRule Tue 31-Jan-17 20:29:32

Is it against the wall to her house? Maybe if it is move it to the other side of the room.
If she complains again, tell her straight, Dd needs to practice and it's early (5pm) sorry for the inconvenience, but if she wanted silence she needs a detached or some headphones.

Wolfiefan Tue 31-Jan-17 20:31:00

We lived in a terraced house next to a piano teacher. It was fucking awful. The piano was up against the wall and it was incredibly loud in our house. Is yours against the wall?

NarkyMcDinkyChops Tue 31-Jan-17 20:31:03

I wouldn't tell her to "sod off", who talks to old ladies like that? hmm

I would though nicely tell (not ask) that it is only half an hour three times a week plus sunday, at a normal time, and you will not be doing anything different, and that piano playing is a perfectly normal noise to come from a house.
Nice and kind, but firm. With a smile.

Liara Tue 31-Jan-17 20:31:55

You are allowed to make noise at that time! What if you were doing building works? Obviously she wants you to play on silent, but that's just too bad, she will have to put up with it anyway.

Does she never watch the TV?

RandomMess Tue 31-Jan-17 20:32:43

She is being unreasonable however can you not use headphones?

SingingInTheRainstorm Tue 31-Jan-17 20:33:08

YANBU, I'd send round something with DC and get them to say I need to practise, this is the only real time I can.

mygrandchildrenrock Tue 31-Jan-17 20:33:13

I thought most old people had some degree of hearing loss - obviously not!

gleam Tue 31-Jan-17 20:34:35

Can you move the piano to a different room, if it's against her living room wall for instance?

Otherwise, I think what you're doing is fine.

Can you hear her noise at all?

ScarletSienna Tue 31-Jan-17 20:34:57

If it is against her wall, the sound could very well be much louder than that of a tv. is there anyway you could move it so it isn't up against her wall so then you don't have to worry?

AllotmentyPlenty Tue 31-Jan-17 20:37:13

This court case is interesting. Your children have the right to play piano as a normal domestic activity.

That said, in the interest of neighbourly relations, it would be wise to move the piano if you can, etc. Personally, we invested in a keyboard that could be turned right down - we like our neighbours very much and as they are quite and retired they have to put up with a lot from us (violin, singing and guitar practice also happening).

MollyHuaCha Tue 31-Jan-17 20:37:24

Hmmm... awkward one. I absolutely love music and have our DCs have variously learned several instruments between them including piano and another much much louder. So please don't stop yr DC playing!

But good neighbourly relations are important too. Just a (slightly bizarre) suggestion here... would it be possible to move the piano out from the wall a few cm and then pack out the space with something that absorbs sound such as polystyrene or even lots of carboard egg cartons?

KingJoffreysRestingCuntface Tue 31-Jan-17 20:39:38

Hang a rug on the wall.

TDmoocher Tue 31-Jan-17 20:43:02

Are your children any good? Are they playing the same song over and over again? I use to live next door to a 'musician' - he drove me up the wall playing the same song over and over again (guitar and singing). I would complain if I was the neighbour based on how often and long your children are playing.

catkind Tue 31-Jan-17 20:43:28

Sorry neighbour, if you live in terraced houses you have to expect some noise. Those are ultra civilised hours for playing, not even slightly late night or early morning.
In all politeness I would ask if there are any evenings when she's regularly out so you can give him free rein, or other times when it would bother her less. And IF that fits for your DS then try to use those times. I wouldn't make too much noise about it only being X times a week for Y minutes as it might not always be that if he gets serious about piano or heaven forfend takes up the trumpet ;)

Greenleave Tue 31-Jan-17 20:44:27

We had loads of (major) works done with the house(4 months renovation before moving into it) and I am forever grateful for her understanding(she did object our extension plan although went ok later when I modified our design). We could practise in silent although listening to the real sound is important as well. She is only at home 3 afternoon a week and at max 30mins sit down for it. It took me a long time to encourage her to do it on her own so now if I feel its not fair. I plan for an hour on Sunday and worried that she would complain again and it could restrain our relationship. We like her and dont want to ruin it. I am just not ready to confront an old lady, worrying there could be upset and tears.

catkind Tue 31-Jan-17 20:45:45

Sorry, DC, or you, you didn't specify.

Ilovecaindingle Tue 31-Jan-17 20:46:44

Maybe tell her your dd will take requests??

PoshPenny Tue 31-Jan-17 20:49:19

I'm assuming the piano is on the shared wall? If it is, then move it to somewhere it isn't and as far away from her side as you can. Hopefully that will be enough. Personally I do think she's being a bit unreasonable, if it was 4 hours a day I'd think she had a point!

TalkingofMichaelAngel0 Tue 31-Jan-17 20:52:31

where is the piano in relation to your neighbours house?

BackforGood Tue 31-Jan-17 20:56:06

You obviously can play the piano, and I think you have been more than reasonable in restricting it to afternoons only, tbh - 7.30 is no late in anyone's book. However, other people's questions about if it is possible to move it away from her wall haven't been answered??? That would seem a kind, neighbourly thing to try if it were realistic, given other confines of your house, or even, as someone says, insulating behind the piano with a blanket (or even some carpet??) on the wall might be another thought.

Oblomov17 Tue 31-Jan-17 21:01:26

Where is the piano? Why not move it? At least a little?

HelsBels5000 Tue 31-Jan-17 21:03:10

Can you set a schedule of when the practise will be and give her a copy? Then if she finds it unbearable to listen at all, then she could go out for a walk/a coffee/ meet a friend during those times?

edwinbear Tue 31-Jan-17 21:05:26

I live in a semi detached house and my (lovely) neighbour plays the flute to semi pro orchestra standard, thus really rather good. She plays for around an hour each day and it can be a little annoying at times, but she is very considerate in her timing and has mentioned she moves to different rooms to practice so as to cause minimal distraction.

It's part and parcel of city living, and I value good neighbourly relations far more than achieving complete silence. I think you need to try and minimise the noise as much as possible by looking to move the piano as far away from her wall as you can, but don't make your DD stop playing.

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