Stressful neighbours and Asthma

Hi all

Well I've gone and done it, i've got myself so wound up my lungs have gone haywire.

Came home from holiday to find letter from the council saying music being played from within our premises is a noise nuisance and they would be investigating.

So yesterday i went round to all my neighbours and said I'm really sorry if we've upset you I'm presuming its noise from my violin and piano and if its annoying you please come and knock on the door and I'll stop. I teach 3 twenty minute lessons a week from home and if its these that are the problem i can always change the time. Everyone said no not a problem and we never hear anything. When we moved in three years ago i spoke to all the neighbours to say please come round is it's bothering you and again before booking in my three lessons i checked with them all in case was disturbing a shift worker etc which as my other half works days and nights we're very aware of!

Rang environmental health today and problem is violin and piano being played during the day, and complainant cannot sit in garden or open windows or doors because of noise.

I have told council that my doors and windows are shut when playing as have air conditioning and small children who would escape and that only play during day for short periods as my hands won't hold up to very long and evenings kids are in bed at half 6 and i'm too exhausted to do anything.

I'm stuck in the house for days at a time due to my lungs and legs, I can't go out without someone with me and due to my pain levels and non healing fractures i'm confined to a wheelchair for much of the time.

The only normal thing i had left in my life and the only outlet for my frustration was being able to play the piano and now i feel i can't even do that.

I'm totally destroyed keep crying which has totally set my chest off.

I can't cope with the thought that i've upset someone that much that they couldn't even speak to me had to ring council first.

What am i supposed to do if i can't even play the piano for 5 mins during the day i have no pretence of normality left.


19 Replies

  • Don't have any useful advice but wanted to offer a *big hug*

    Emma x

  • How about a keyboard with two headphone sockets so the neighbours don't have to hear anything. Or sound-proofing/double-glazing. Might be a bit expensive though. Arrange lessons for winter time when neighbour won't be in garden due to wind and rain. Ask neighbour to wear earplugs which you will provide.

  • Hi Marmite,

    That is appaling especially as you previously cleared it with your neighbours and asked them to tell you if it was causing a problem - violins and pianos are not excessively loud from my experience. A trombone is another matter! Sounds like someone has done it out of spite.

    Music during the day should not be a problem though I have been on the receiving end of excessively loud music from a stereo during the day from my previous nasty neighbour. I personally would have no problem with an hour or two a week of piano & violin (even a beginner violin!)

    I would approach the council and ask if you can speak via mediation to the person(s) concerned. Someone somewhere is going behind your back and is not brave enough to speak to you personally.

    Anyway, sending soothing hugggggs!



  • Sorry for all your trouble your going through as me said cant give you any advice but would just like to send you a big hug you take care xxxx

  • Hi Marmite,

    Sorry to read about your troubles. The sounds from violin or piano are not excessive, and my guess is that it would have to be a very close neighbour complaining -like next door! Other than negotiations it might be possible to apply a modest amount sound proofing, especially if your piano is positioned against a dividing wall. This could absorb the thump of the percussion side to the notes from the piano, and dampen the sound waves to next door! It would not make any difference to the sound you hear.

    Years ago my friends used to make up bands and one house had a room where the walls were totally covered in egg boxes, and it was amazing how little you could hear outside the room even if we were raising one hell of a noise inside! I am not suggesting a complete change of decor, but a strategic application might help lower the impact to next door!!

    All the best and keep playing,


  • ggaarrr, so upsetting Marmite! I can really sympathise. Between my two siblings and I we have 2 accordionists, 1 violinist, 1 soprano singer, and 3 piano players. There is ALWAYS noise coming out of our place! We have been much less considerate than you have, you seem to have done all the right things!! Yet you are getting grief because of it.

    Playing music is so so good for the soul, don't give it up for anything!! I'm so sorry people are making it hard for you, it's not fair.

    XXX Brynne

    PS Take care of those lungs!!!

  • Thanks for support, unfortunately i've had to up steroids, so would appear stress and asthma and rubbish adrenals do not sit well together.

    My neighbour (other half of semi) is really annoyed on my behalf and has offered to ring council and say she never hears us and she's next door. Interestingly she pointed out that complaint only refers to violin and piano but not flute which is much louder or guitar or recorder which she knows we also have so she wondered if its not actually a real complaint but someone taking the hump after i've spoken to them in case we disturbed them.

    Across the road have also had a letter about their dog barking excessively.

    I just wonder if its all to do with the argument that happened on our road as it's all going to court next week and various neighbours including ourselves are witnesses.

    A very very stressed


  • Marmite - more hugs!

    Regarding noise complaints, to acompany a log the person will be offered noise recording equipment and in your case, as it isn't your nice neighbour in the semi, there will be no point in them having the equipment because it won't pick up any noise , plus the recording equipment has a time logger too! And without physical evidence the council can't do a thing about it - Been there!

    Just a bit of reasurance from my bad experience. Perhaps the whole street needs some mediation. I assume the court case is the 'fight' that happened a few months ago. I know how difficult it is but try to ignore the letter as there is no backing evidence. Glad you neighbour is standing up for you too!



    PS Pizza boxes are good sound insulayion too - student diet many years ago! LOL

  • Hi Marmite

    I can't understand what all the fuss is about either. If the noise is at regular times surely neighbours can work around it. We have always manged to live next dorr to a drummer and believe me drums really are noisy. In our first house the boy was not allowed to practice while his partents were home but had free rein when they were out! Consequently they noise during these periods was deafening. I once tried knocking on the door at 1.30am but he didn't hear me. When I next met him in the street I mentioned it and he was most apologetic - and agreed not to drum after midnight.

    In our last house the lad was in a well known group and had a wooden shed to practice in during his early years - it could be heard all over the village but as far as I know no-one ever complained.

    We now live next door to a 14yr old who dreams of being a drummer he practices all day during school holidays which is quite trying but at least it keeps him out of mischief. Both parents are at work all day I might add!

    Sorry you have such disagreeable neighbours and I hope you sort it out soon you've got enough problems with your help without them adding to it. Children have to learn to play - perhaps they were never young.

    best wishes


  • Marmite - sending you lots of hugs.

    As a family we have had problems with neighbors but I have not reported them to environmental health (i would if it was unbearable) instead i just had a polite word which did the job. Likewise when rosie was first learning the recorder she was not very quiet or melodic and her noise was mentioned to us by another neighbor and we agreed that she would not play at certain times( ie when their baby would be sleeping) this solved the problem

    I wish you the best of luck with the court case , my thoughts are with you and hope your lungs start to behave. Your really don't need this kind of pettiness.


  • Hi Marmite,

    So no need to add a little sound proofing to the dividing wall then if next door can't hear anything! My guess is that you have a miserable neighbour who, as you suggest, only started to hear the music when you politely asked if the sessions would be OK -and it is the same person complaining about the dog! Noise happens, it's part of life - it's not as if you are partying into the night like Ronnie Wood or Amy Winehouse so, with any luck, any officials from the council will see as rather over zealous to regard it as a nuisance. You are fortunate to have a next door neighbour is a great ally, so my guess is that if that person is happy so should everybody else be.

    All the best,


  • I've been reported before for excessive dog barking & the council just popped round when no-one was in, said the dogs were quiet until they knocked on the door (which they thought was perfectly reasonable) & there was no cause for complaint. I'm guessing your council will probably be similar - I'm sure it must cost them quite a lot to properly investigate, so they'd need really good cause, & if your attached neighbour can't even hear it...

    I know how stressful it must be (I was in tears at the thought of not being allowed to keep the dogs), but reading what's going on as an outsider it really doesn't sound like there's any case against you. I just hope it gets resolved soon so that you can stop worrying.

    Personally I'd love to be able to hear violin or piano music while sat in my garden!

  • I am trying to look on the positive side.

    Have now spoken several times to all my neighbours who are all outraged and discovered 2 other pianists a cellist and 2 bass guitarists within 5 doors either side. It has been suggested we start a band!!

    Apparantly some former drummer or guitarist from the clash lives down the road too!!!!

    I have admitted the state of my health to various people who hadn't like to ask about the wheelchair ambulances etc and they have all offered to have kids in emergency or helpwith anything if need it. The 80 year old 2 doors down has invited her grandson to come and practice his saxophone at her house and is tempted to buy him the drum kit he wants for xmas to live a her house. Isn't she awful!

    All the neighbours are at least chatting to each other and passing the time of day so thats one really good thing to come out of it I suppose.

  • senior environmental health officer rang today he was really nice but I ended up having to have neb after speaking to him as got wound up and now feel really daft i'm allowing this to affect my health if that makes sense. The complainant is apparently someone i've spoken to one of the ones who has said theres not a problem..... not sure if thats better or worse.

    Council investigation ongoing......

  • Very sorry to hear that you have such a two-faced neighbour, but the rest sound great, particularly the 80 year old granny!

  • I cannot see you can do anymore. Fight the good fight in court if need be. Good luck. Do not stress & make yourself ill.

  • Hey, Marmite. It's probably not practical me sending my electric piano to you, so that you can use headphones - but why should you anyway? So, being much more practical - I am sending gallons of hugs your way from Kensington. I hope you find them as stress-relieving as they are intended to be.



  • Hey there,

    Just wanted to wish you all the best for the case! It sounds like you've got the vast majority supporting you, and regardless of outcome - will have developed a closer bond with your local community which may prove very supportive in the future. Please let us all know how you get on..


  • you poor thing. they are in the wrong. Hang in there. Some people are just TOO intolerant.

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