I've been lurking around this site for awhile and decided I should just sign up and get more proactive. I'm a 28 yo stay at home wife and mother. I played clarinet in concert through elementary and high school (plus marching band). I've attempted to take piano lessons several times in my life and I swear piano isn't meant to be; I've started lessons with 17 different instructors--each one has either died, retired, or moved within the first 5 lessons.
I've always wanted to play the piano, flute, and violin. I ended up with a clarinet due to my mother relenting to buy $50 (horrible) one. She feels music is a waste of time so violin wasn't discussed and there wasn't a cheap enough flute. Through my young adult years I did not have the time nor the money to learn a new instrument. Now that I'm settled down and have a child I would love to learn the violin.
I'm aware the violin is among the harder instruments to learn. I do not wish to become a concert violinist, at most good enough to play at home and perhaps someday at our small church. I've started researching violins and quickly getting overwhelmed.
At 28, is it reasonable to expect to become proficient enough for what I want to do given a dedication to practice?
Would it be better to pick up a flute (or an upright piano) first then look at learning the violin? At the moment a lot of musical skills elude me since I haven't played an instrument in many years but I'm fairly reading music and other basic skill will come back after I start practicing again.
In my searching, I discovered there might be a violin maker in my tiny town. I'm not sure if he is still in business or not. I'm calling up Monday morning to find out. Given this small town I'm surprise I didn't already know about this shop. Any advice on what to ask and things to watch/listen for? Currently I have no clue how to tell if this shop is a real deal or if I need to worry about being ripped off. He has a website but there isn't much on it.
Seeing as this post is almost a year old, I hope that you are well into your musical journey at this point! If not, I hope that I can offer you some encouragement. I think that it is great that you want to learn to play the violin! Your child(ren) will benefit greatly from having music in the home from a young age, and it is a wonderful and constructive thing to do.
There are many different directions you could go. The piano is a good foundational instrument, so you couldn't go wrong by picking that up again. Hopefully you would be able to find a more reliable teacher this time around! I don't know a lot about the clarinet, but I'm sure that would be a great thing to pick back up, as well.
But I would say that ultimately, if you want to play the violin - go for it! One great way to spend time with your child(ren) while you pursue music is to have them pursue it with you! Children love music, especially if their parents do. Get a violin for yourself and one for your child and take lessons together! That way you can be with your child and be learning music and introducing them to music all at the same time.
As for the violin shop in your town - here is my advice as a violin teacher that I give to my students. The best way to pick out a violin is to be able to play it. If you like the sound, buy it. If you don't, find one that you do like. If you have a violin teacher, ask them to go along with you. They will be able to help you out. SharMusic.com is where I recommend getting a violin. They are a great business. A good price range for a full size (4/4) beginner violin is around $350.
Hope this helps. Feel free to reply to this or send me a message if you have more questions and may you have a wonderful musical journey!
I should clarify about the violin price. A good full size beginner violin is $350-400, but you can get a decent one for less than that. It depends on what your goal is. If you just want to try it out a bit, I'd go for something in the $250-300 range instead. Sometimes cheaper violins are okay, but often you get what you pay for. Cheaper often isn't worth it.