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Practicing cello in an Airbnb?

There’s one week I’ll be in an Airbnb when my younger son will be there. I’d hate for him to go a whole week without practicing cello, if he doesn’t need to. He’s been playing for a few years, so the sound is pleasant, not squeaky.

Would you:
Ask the host if it’s OK in advance, and risk her saying no?
Just do it and hope for the best?

It would be about 45 minutes a day, and obviously during reasonable hours. Not early AM and not late at night.

FWIW, the Airbnb is at the Lower East Side/Chinatown border in New York, and the listing mentions it’s a noisy neighborhood (they provide ear plugs.)

It’s an entire apartment rental, BTW.

I would ask phrasing just as you did here. There’s always room for cello!

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Ask. “Just doing it” would be presumptuous and rude.

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It’s NYC, go to a park (there’s one in Chinatown) sit on a bench and play. If he’s good he might get a tip! Put down a jar next to him! And I’m not kidding.


Does not have to be in the park, maybe right out in front of the apartment, or any busy area with tourists. Just throw a couple of $'s and some coins as “seed money” into a jar or a box or better yet into the cello case, if it’s a hard case. I have seen this all over Manhattan.

I would ask it this way:

“what time would be good for my son to practice his cello?”


I would never say no to a request from a musician wanting to practice. I don’t even think that I’d have to specify “not at night”. My husband is an opera singer so I’m pretty used to having musicians around. I have a piano in three of my listings and am happy to accommodate visiting musicians. We once hosted a heavy metal band and let the rehearse in our basement although I regretted it when the vibrations knocked all of our pictures off our wall.

I’m sure that I’m more amenable to this then a lot of hosts, but I really can’t see any problem with 45 minutes of cello practice in the middle of the day.


I would still be upfront with the host, in case there are difficult neighbors in the building. Funny enough, I host a private room in Brooklyn and a young man who was coming to the city to audition for Juilliard asked me if I’d be ok with him practicing about 2 hours a day (also the cello!) I said ok and it was really no problem. Actually really lovely to hear what I was able to catch!

I wouldn’t even expect a guest to ask, as long as they practiced during the day. I have parrots so live music would be an upgrade in the quality of loud noise!

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