Band Practice early in the morning Around Town, posted by neighbor, a resident of the Waverly Park neighborhood, on Sep 25, 2007 at 11:03 am
At 7 am every morning, we are hearing drums, symbols and brass instruments playing from the band practice at MV High School. Is it legal to have this loud noise at this early hour of the day? This school is enclosed within a heavily residential area.
Posted by Former band member, a resident of the Monta Loma neighborhood, on Sep 27, 2007 at 7:31 pm
Music and band are important parts of a good education. There is clear evidence that students who are involved in music do better in many other subject, especially math.
Marching bands are also great exercise - ask anyone who's tried to walk and play an instrument at the same time. In our culture of obesity, TV and video games, it should be a relief to know kids are outside, breathing fresh air, and getting some exercise.
Furthermore, there are probably lots of kids who'd love to skip the early morning rehearsals for an extra hour of sleeping in, but because of the way school schedules are set up, it is not possible to fit in all of the teach-to-the-test basic requirements high schoolers need to know in order to pass the state's graduation exam between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. With their early morning band practice, students are learning responsibility, dedication, and discipline, things that are critical for success in college and in life in general. After school practice, in addition to early morning practice, is not uncommon for bands and drill teams as well - these kids work hard (plus they have to keep up grades and possibly earn money to pay for band trips, competitions, camps, uniforms and music lessons).
You can take pride in the fact that your local school district has recognized the importance of musical instruction and has not cut it completely out of the budget. Don't worry; the marching season usually ends with the Fall semester (and often before early December) - so your morning concert will be over before you know it.
If you want to see what the kids are warming up for, consider heading out to Cupertino the second Saturday in October and check out the Tournament of Bands. You'll see on their faces and in their attitudes (and those of their parents) why they are spending so much early morning time working out when they could be relaxing in a nice warm bed like some of their peers.
And if you want to see one of the main reasons why they need to practice outside, check out a varsity football game and watch them strut their stuff on the football field: marching in formation, dancing, sometimes singing, and providing important musical motivation for fans, players and dance squads.
Posted by neighbor, a resident of the Waverly Park neighborhood, on Sep 27, 2007 at 11:00 pm
Fine, I will get my old violin and march around my yard at 2am. As a former member of a student orchestra, I am a big supporter of music in education. However, there is a time and a place for everything. 7am is a time when families are waking up and having breakfast together. It should be a time of peace and quiet. Right now, the ambiance is like an army base.
Posted by Former band member, a resident of the Monta Loma neighborhood, on Sep 28, 2007 at 8:54 pm
Dusting off the violin and marching around your yard at 2 a.m. might make you feel better, but it probably won't have any effect whatsoever on the band, the drum major, the music teacher or the principal. You might have to find their yards :-) Besides, 2 a.m. violin practice will likely annoy your neighbors who are already dealing with other early morning musicians, and they just might retaliate in similar manner against you (but then, that could be a community bonding experience, couldn't it - the Waverly Park Midnight Orchestra.
Seriously, this sounds like it's a big concern for you. Perhaps you could find out if any of your neighbors feel the same way, and you can politely take your grievances to the band director and the principal. Perhaps they could work out a compromise to start outdoor marching rehearsals 30 minutes later, or indoors, or perhaps they could give you an explanation as to why they have to practice when, where and how they do.
Alternatively, you could always take your violin with you to the band rehearsals and march around the football field playing during their rehearsal time and give those music students "a taste of their own medicine" and see how that works out for you in resolving the differences.
Posted by Resident, a resident of the Waverly Park neighborhood, on Oct 11, 2007 at 10:48 am
I guess this should serve as a cautionary tale to prospective home buyers--if stuff like this bothers you, make sure you check out the entire neighborhood (for a couple of miles around) before you buy your house. If you live near a school, you will get school noise and parking issues. I also hear the MVHS marching band and 7, and I hear the St. Francis football games & band in the evenings, and soccer and tennis in Cooper Park. There is neighborhood noise all day long. I'm fine with it--it's people doing healthy, constructive things and I think these activities highlight what a great neighborhood and community I live in. The gas-powered leaf blowers in neighboring yards at 2 in the afternoon bother me a lot more than the marching band for a few months a year.