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.