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Council bans talented musical children, 17 and 14, from playing the piano too loudly at home

A council has banned two children from playing piano too loudly in their own home after neighbours complained about the noise.

John Dyson claims he was given a ‘soul-destroying’ notice following a complaint about noise coming from the instruments played by his children inside their property in Sheffield.

The 40-year-old said the notice forbids anyone playing percussion instruments, however the council have insisted that the order does not prevent anyone from playing the piano. But it does highlight that they should only play it at reasonable hours.

The father-of-two bought the piano around four years ago from the family of a neighbour who died.

He said it has played a ‘big part’ in the family and helped his daughter Melody, 17, and son Riley, 14, become interested in music.

John said: ‘Both my children are quite musical, they study music. My daughter is at Sheffield College doing her A-Levels and my son is at Handsworth School doing his GCSEs.

‘My little lad plays guitar but can’t do anything at home now.

‘I love having music playing around the house and love hearing it being played. It is just soul destroying that they can’t play, it is going to deprive them of their hobbies and education.

‘I’ve been told I face a fine of up to £5,000 if I breach the notice then it will be £100 on top of that every time it is breached again.’

As a replacement John has bought a keyboard for his children, which they can play wearing headphones.

But he said it was just not the same, adding: ‘When you’re playing the ivory keys there is just no comparison.

‘They can wear headphones with the keyboard so it doesn’t make as much noise but they don’t get that enjoyment.

‘My lad is into acoustic guitar and wants to join a band. He is very good on the piano and it would be a shame for him not to carry that on.

‘I fear if they can’t play the instruments, that love is going to go the more they are away from it. I just don’t know what we’re going to do it is so upsetting.

John said he has asked for evidence of the noise complaint and is appealing the notice.

James Richards, public protection manager at Sheffield Council, said: ‘In this case, a noise abatement notice was issued following a period of monitoring and after repeated previous requests to the resident not to play the piano at unsociable hours and at a high volume.

‘The notice does not prevent the household from playing the piano.

‘It only prohibits playing if the extent of the noise makes it a nuisance to neighbouring properties.

‘It is fine to play at reasonable times of the day and at a reasonable volume, or with headphones, and further monitoring can be carried out to measure this.’


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