You might think this would never happen to your college roommate, but then again, it just might: call it an occupational hazard, but some of the music majors who move to a campus to study their favorite instrument start to go a little out of control. After all, where most students study out of books, studying for music majors can be an inherently loud activity.
Whether it’s an annoying alto, tenor, sax or baritone, or the caustic tones of a brass or wind instrument, you do have some promising strategies for getting your noisy roommate to comply with some basic ground rules.
Build a Consensus
One of the most important parts of confronting your noisy music major roommate is to get others involved in the process. For example, if four or five of you live in a shared college apartment, talk to all of the others privately before going further with your efforts. Think of this as an informal “petition” process not unlike what would happen in local or national government, where you have a goal of getting others to agree that the music thing is entirely out of hand.
Issue an Ultimatum
At some point, those of you who agree on the hardships of studying through incessant noise are going to have to confront the troublesome party. Try to be as positive as possible, but firm on the idea that study hours means no music, baroque, renaissance or otherwise.
Point the Music Major Toward Campus Facilities
Very often, the music department on a college campus has specific study rooms that planners built to accommodate those with a major in music. In some cases, your roommate might complain about the trek down to the music building, or want to stay home because of the inconvenience of dragging music gear to another location. That’s when it’s critical that all concerned roommates make it clear that using the music rooms is not optional.
These days, lots of instruments are outfitted with features to make them louder or quieter according to the immediate needs of the player. For brass horns, there are bells or other mufflers. Keyboards have volume controls. So do electric guitars and bass instruments. And the voice, well, that’s something that anyone can choose to raise or lower at will. Talk to your musical roommate about using any of these to help others enjoy their living space.
With a good mix of diplomacy and toughness, dealing with one of these musical situations doesn’t have to be a huge deal. Of course, the proper resolution of these situations involves some work from the musician as well. In drastic circumstances, there are a range of other harsher measures, like complaining to housing authorities, but most students like to use some of these alternatives first to try to mend the situation before it gets out of control. Be proactive about addressing noise issues in your shared space, and others will thank you.