'It is soul destroying' - Sheffield father's anger after noise complaint leaves musical children unable to play beloved piano

A furious Sheffield dad has spoken of his anger after claiming his children were banned from playing their beloved piano.

By Alana Roberts
Thursday, 01 August, 2019, 14:33
Riley and Melody Dyson from Handsworth in Shefffield who can no longer play their piano at home after a noise abatement order was placed on them by Sheffield City Council

John Dyson, 40, said he was served the notice by Sheffield Council on July 12 following a complaint about the noise coming from the musical instruments inside his Handsworth home.

The dad-of-two said the notice forbids anyone from playing any percussion instrument inside the property, including the piano which the family bought around four years ago from the family of a neighbour who died.

But Sheffield Council said it was issued following ‘repeated requests’ not to play the piano at unsociable hours and added ‘it was fine to play it at reasonable times’.

Riley and Melody Dyson from Handsworth in Shefffield who can no longer play their piano at home after a noise abatement order was placed on them by Sheffield City Council

The piano, which originated from Sheffield’s Wilson Peck music store in the 1980s, has played a ‘big part’ in the Dyson family according to John and is something that has 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.”

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As a replacement John has bought a keyboard for his children, which they can play wearing headphones, however he said it was just not the same.

“When you’re playing the ivory keys there is just no comparison,” John added. “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.

“The ban is on percussive instruments, I just don’t know what we’re going to do it is so upsetting. My children are my life and I would like every one to know what a cruel punishment the council is dishing out.”

John said he was requesting evidence of the noise complaint and was appealing the notice and added he was currently awaiting a response.

James Richards, Public Protection Manager, 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.”