Learning to play at 40 !
 

Learning to play at 40 !

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Learning to play at 40 !    10:09 on Sunday, March 10, 2013 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

LuvBooks
(2 points)

Hi. I wondered if I could ask for some advice. I started playing Violin and Piano when I was 6 and then dropped violin aged 10 but took up Flute. This, combined with choirs and orchestras was my life and at 18 I gained a Music Scholarship for Sixth Form. However, I was not allowed to continue with music as a career and despite marrying a musician/music teacher, I gave up all my music at age 20 ! (due to rejection and a lack of confidence anymore in my ability I think) . Twenty years and two children later, having been a full time mum for the last 16.5 yrs plus home educator for some of that (though both children now in full-time school), I keep thinking about my music and whether it is too late to return to it and try for the career in music I never had. I can still play piano at a rusty Grade 7/8 though no where near as high on the Flute as it was always my second instrument and least favourite of the two. I would really like to learn a new instrument and my dream has always been to learn the Bassoon. My question is (sorry for the long ramble !) am I too old to learn an instrument like this and progress quickly and well enough ? Also is it realistic to imagine I could still do music after such a long gap? All advice and comments welcome

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Re: Learning to play at 40 !    21:50 on Sunday, March 10, 2013 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Drew
(367 points)

OF COURSE it is not too late to learn another instrument. Forty is young, believe me. I will cite two examples for you: 1)a 55-year-old took up the oboe, got a spectacularly good teacher, and now 5 years later plays in a concert band, a community orchestra, and a woodwind quintet and is happy as can be doing what turned out to be a real passion (and is no slouch on the oboe, either); 2) in the area where I live, which has many, many community bands and orchestras, a new adult beginner band just started last year, taking people from how to put your instrument together, and how to read music, to a place this year where they are giving a concert at one of the assisted living places in town. Some of these people were real greybeards, some more about your age. You have a music background; therefore the fact that the bassoon is one of the more difficult instruments should not bother you. Just get in there and do it, and have fun. That's what it's all about. (P.S. get a teacher, you'll be glad you did!)

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Re: Learning to play at 40 !    04:28 on Monday, March 11, 2013 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

contra448
(693 points)

I go along with all Drew wrote.

I played clarinet through secondary school then, because of work, didn't play for about 17 years when I started the clarinet again. After 2 years I decided to transfer to bassoon at 37 & since have gone on to play bassoon & contra in many orchestras, for choirs & amateur operatic groups & schools locally as well as chamber music for the last 30 years. Along the way I've also added baritone sax.

Go for it!!

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Re: Learning to play at 40 !    06:06 on Monday, March 11, 2013 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

LuvBooks
(2 points)

Thank you both for the encouragement . I play Piano anyway but only for myself just for pleasure. However, with the new instrument and also possibly the Flute again my aim is to be able to eventually teach privately/peripatetic (as well as play in orchestras etc). Do you this this is a realistic achievable aim ? Also, I am looking into renting an instrument as we already rent a Flute for my youngest, but I am discovering this could be a rather hefty monthly amount Again, any advice ?
Thanks :-)

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Re: Learning to play at 40 !    12:43 on Monday, March 11, 2013 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Drew
(367 points)

Someone else could probably make a better assessment about future teaching, etc. and that person is probably you! Your spouse may not want to see you making that much of an investment in time, and believe me, music can eat up your week.

About renting vs. buying, I assume you live in the States. If you know another bassoon player or could befriend one, maybe from a university near you, they could help you with that decision. Bassoons cost a lot to rent. I myself am a proponent of looking on eBay, but you really, really, REALLY have to know what you are doing. There are a few good sellers of bassoons on eBay and many who are not. I have bought an Adler and a Fox Model IV on eBay in the past and been quite satisfied. That the Adler worked out well was mostly luck in getting the right seller because I was, like you, just re-starting my music career and knew virtually nothing about buying a bassoon; with the Fox which I just bought last year it was because I knew what I was doing and knew the value there. In between I spent a large amount of dollars on a Moosmann (not on eBay) and it is still the best horn I own. A good resource is the forum on the International Double Reed Society site - www.idrs.com. The public can access the forum, which you will find along the left hand side of the home page. You can find discussions on just about anything you can imagine, and the "Instrument Shop" section should keep you busy for awhile. Good luck!

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Re: Learning to play at 40 !    04:55 on Saturday, April 27, 2013 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

MartinRDB
(2 points)

You certainly could learn enough to enjoy playing and to participate in groups. Teaching is another question though. The best teachers have a breadth of experience.

I am pottering along with learning, using Weissenborn studies mostly, on an unusual old instrument at a somewhat older age.

The two problems are an instrument and reeds. Ideally you need to be lucky with both!

   

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