Kendra Jacque

Beginning Late: My Experiences Thus Far

February 18, 2014 22:23

One big thing has been on my mind lately, as I am subjected to it myself, is late beginners. I started to play violin when I was 14, and I started taking it seriously in the last few years when my adult life has started.

There are many pros and cons to beginning late, and I would like to share my experiences so far with you. There have been a few discouraging factors that I recently reevaluated to be positive. I come from a very small community in northern Canada, with a population of approximately 360. As you can imagine, not much can be done for performances in a professional sense. There are many performance opportunities throughout the year, but I am interested in getting critical feedback on my playing. That does not happen often, so I tend to evaluate myself. Questions like "How could that performance be improved? What did you like about it? What didn't you like about it? Did you have fun with it?"

I have studied music at the university level, but due to some personal issues I have delayed my education. This gives me time to polish my audition pieces for next year, and hopefully next fall I can continue my studies. Coming from such a small community, I tend to see a lot of ignorance in the city. Not just towards music, but life in general. That is one of the cons that I am still adjusting to, as people in the city tend to make assumptions of the community I am from. No, I don't live in an igloo! I see this as an opportunity to help expand the knowledge of my hometown, and other areas that are close by.

I am 23 at the moment, and that seems to be a bit old for studying violin professionally. I know exceptions exist, it's just that being surrounded by teenagers in university is a little uncomfortable. I seen that as a con first, but I turned that into a pro. I may not have as much musical experience as them, but I have a little bit of life experience. I didn't jump out of high school straight into university. I regretted that decision at first, but once I graduated I knew at that time I wasn't ready to continue, mainly due to the fact that I had no idea what I wanted! Having that extra time to realize that violin was truly what I wanted made that transition a lot easier. Plus it gave me time to improve, as when I started taking professional lessons I realized how ill-prepared I was for the university level.

In terms of music education, things have changed drastically in the last few years. So much can be achieved with self-discipline and a few searches. We can find lessons and instructors, and set a foundation for our own learning. I want to pursue music education, and give the opportunity to both children and adults that wasn't available to myself growing up. There's a long way to go yet, but I am looking forward to this amazing journey.

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