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Laurie Trlak

Late Starter Musician Competition

March 4, 2009 at 6:58 PM

I just wanted to let everyone know about a competition for those of us who started playing late in life, the Late Starter Musician Competition. Details are available at

I would encourage everyone who fits the category of "late starter musician" (that is, you began playing after the age of 9) to get involved. It should be a lot of fun. The website says that exceptions will be made for those who played as a child without good instruction until later in life (that would be where I fit).



From al ku
Posted on March 5, 2009 at 2:09 PM

i thought one great feature of being a later starter is that one can do without competitions:)

From Laurie Trlak
Posted on March 5, 2009 at 5:48 PM

Oh, but what a chance to show what you can do! And the best part is that there doesn't have to be any stress, just a lot of fun. It's not as though a scholarship is riding on this, just a sense of personal satisfaction!


From Dottie Case
Posted on March 6, 2009 at 2:55 PM

Isn't it interesting that 'late beginner' means 'starting older than age 9' in the violin world.  I would think they'd want to differentiate people who started that young from 'adult' beginners'.

One of my teachers went on to study with Galamian and Gingold started at agge 9. :)

From J Kingston
Posted on March 6, 2009 at 8:11 PM

Yes such a burden to get such a terribly late start at 9 years old. I am at a loss when I read that. Good luck all you "late starters". Maybe there are late starters and then antique starters for those over 15, and then fossilized starters for anyone over 20. Anyway, I am sure the intentions are pure.

From Jasmine Reese
Posted on March 6, 2009 at 9:04 PM

It would be great if one  who started as "early" as 10 was not called a late starter.  However, that is not the case.  There seems to be a belief that people who start past age 7 will never become professional musicians and when it does happen, "it's luck."  Isaac Stern was called a late starter.  Gareth Johnson is called a late starter, people who both started before puberty.  The site Late Starter Musician hopes to take the label and show just what a late starter can do. 

I, for myself, choose not to create any more labels.  Late Starter is already one that I am trying to change the meaning of.  To start saying a teen is this and a young adult is that is not necessary because I for one believe that all human beings of all ages are capable of contributing something great to the world of art, as we are all individuals with unique traits.  Late Starter is not a bad title.  It is simply a way to say that someone did not start in that stage of life when the brain is like a sponge and the muscles like clay (ages 0-6).  Late Start has no weight on what a person can accomplish musically because that is totally depending on the individual. 

Now, the reason the site puts people ages 10 to 150 in the one bracket of "late starter" is because they all will have a lot harder time accomplishing their musical goals than a 5 year old child.  Why?  A 10 year old just starting out who has the goal of professionalism is competing with the 10 year old who's already been playing since age 5.  Therefore, if it is a dream for the 10 yo beginner to become a musician, then he or she will need a lot of support and quality instruction.  A 10 year old beginner has to deal with the peer pressure, puberty, and the emotional unbalance of impending adolescence.  And adults problems are different but also make it just as hard to learn a musical instrument without making huge choices and sacrifices especially if you're talking about an adult who wants to be a professional.  

So by putting people in this one big lump sum of "Late Starter Musician," you are giving support to "late starters" of differing developmental issues and goals as musicians.  So, in summation, Late Starter Musician is a support site for people with different goals
that might be subject to negative comments or bad quality musical instruction.


From Jasmine Reese
Posted on March 6, 2009 at 9:28 PM

Oh and Dottie, I think "adult beginners" are capable of wonderful things as long as they receive a good education and can make the necessary sacrifices to accomplish their goals.   So, yes, an adult beginner is a "Late Starte Musician" because they can learn an instrument and learn it quite well with hard work and support, as the magazine will show in subsequent issues.


From Jasmine Reese
Posted on March 6, 2009 at 10:11 PM

Oh and one more thing--teen and adult musical education is much the same that they both face the issue of not having as much time to practice.  Teens deal with the pressure of school, peer groups, recreational activites and making career choices.   Adults although with much of this behind them must raise families, hold down 9 to 5 jobs, and deal with many other responsibilities of adulthood.  So, both groups, teens and adults need support in learning ways to incorporate a musical instrument into their quickly changing, busy lives.  Late Starter will provide that.  I think I will write a blog on this.




From Anne-Marie Proulx
Posted on March 6, 2009 at 10:24 PM

It's great!  If only I had more time!  But I'm happy to know that such things exist.  Can you just play any piece? I think I saw that you had to download a specific repertoire? However, great project!


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