DEAR HARRIETTE: My next-door neighbor has two young children who play the violin. I don't mind listening to them practice during the day if I'm at home -- it's sweet to know that they are learning an instrument. It stops being sweet, though, when the playing extends way into the night. The other day, these two kids were bowing those strings at around 11 p.m. on a Wednesday night. I thought that was way too much.
I don't want to be the nasty neighbor, but I don't think it's unreasonable to expect that loud music -- even when it's live -- should stop before 11. What do you think? And should I say anything about it? -- Sensitive to Sound, Washington, D.C.
DEAR SENSITIVE TO SOUND: You have mentioned only an isolated incident when you heard the children playing very late. Who knows why they were playing at that time? Perhaps they were playing for guests or for some other one-time reason. If late-night playing becomes a habit for them, that's when you can speak to the parents and request that they end their playing a little earlier on weeknights. Otherwise, just take a deep breath and be grateful that the violins are not drums!