is 40 to old

January 26, 2008 at 10:22 PM · is 40 to old to relearn the violin. I played in the 4th thro the 9th grade and i miss it.are there teacher for old guy like me I'm now in my 40 (43) and miss playing. my grandfather gave me a giovan paolo 1634 and i just got one on ebay that is in very very good shape and i love the sound in both of them. I would like too learn all over agan to here the deep sound and rich highs of thes to buties.

Replies (44)

January 26, 2008 at 10:25 PM · Besides many other cases of people starting older than you, and slightly younger than you, right here on this very site, I read a features article in a European newspaper about a man who started the violin at 80 and played with the local orchestra from age 86 to 94 or something like that. So, I think you're good.

January 27, 2008 at 03:29 AM · Yup, I sat next to a man in the orch I was in last spring who was 85 years old and started playing about five years ago.

There are a lot of us around here who restarted after years off. You're totally not alone. :-)

January 27, 2008 at 05:27 AM · I've been playing the violin for 31 years but I'm still asking the question "is 40 too old" because in um less than a month I'm turning 40. Is 40 too old? :(

But to answer your question Timothy: you are never too old. You need a good teacher and patience. It's like a combo of physical therapy and kindergarten. Do each step thoroughly and well, and don't try to take short cuts. Good luck!

January 27, 2008 at 05:52 AM · You're never too old to start unless you're on your death bed.

January 27, 2008 at 04:03 PM · One of my fiddle students took up vln. at 69, will be 75 soon. Goes to all the jams. NHO Roch.has many players in their 80's. The 1st violist will be 90 pretty soon. Great ear, can't see much. So 40 is a spring chicken. Besides, you know how people always say? If you don't start now and want to play next year, what will you be except a year older? Sue

January 27, 2008 at 05:46 PM · You are a youngster. I played the violin from age 6 to 14. I didn't touch it again until I was 64. That's right - 50 years! I was amazed at how much I remembered and how quickly it all came back to me. I found a great teacher who understood the problems of a Sr. citizen like stiff joints and dexterity problems not to mention memory problems. Nevertheless, I am really progressing and feel so good about my efforts. I think it is beneficial for the older adult to play the violin as it causes all parts of the brain and body to be excercised. Go for it and don't worry about age.

January 28, 2008 at 03:50 AM · Well, I'm also in this catagory. I first took lessons when I was in my late teens to early twenties and then stopped. Took the violin up again at around the age of 40. I had to recently take off a year for a health problem, but I'm back at it! I'm 44 now. I just enjoy it so much I can't imagine not playing the violin. I hope I can play it for the next 40 or so years!

January 28, 2008 at 11:57 AM · I started as a beginner at age 40. It's certainly not too late. Have fun!


January 28, 2008 at 12:48 PM · I too started as a beginner at age 43. Good Luck.

January 28, 2008 at 01:13 PM · Am I the only one thinking this post is a hoax? These spelling inconsistencies just don't ring true - I'm visualizing a snickering teenager with too much time on his hands. Only a teenager thinks someone in their 40's is old. The 40 yr olds are looking over at the 80 yr olds and calling THAT old.

If this is indeed an honest post, well, there's something here that's a lot more tragic than not being able to play the violin well.

January 28, 2008 at 06:08 PM · Nah,Terez,he's from Merced.......

January 28, 2008 at 06:14 PM · >Nah,Terez,he's from Merced.

Bad boy. : )

January 28, 2008 at 10:15 PM · I didn't feel old until I read this post! I just turned 46! Is it just me, or was I just 22 only a couple of years ago! I used to chuckle when I heard as a young man, older people saying time went by faster as they got older. I blink and whole months have blown by!

My teacher (wonderful by the way) has a student that is 83! I accept the progress I make, and I do put the bar up high! I don't feel like I'll threaten any of our polished professionals, but I want to rock the local community orch! I don't want to put my violin down, until they recycle my carcass. So, I've got 30 good years with any luck.

January 28, 2008 at 10:30 PM · Heh, I played from 3rd grade to 12th grade, and just this last holiday season, hadn't picked up the violin with any intense interest for over 30 years (had my high school I know its been 30 years...). So trying to play again, in our bluegrass church band! Amazing how much one can remember....but the key stuff, all those sharps/flats, where to put the finger and gads!

Now I'm on the hunt for a 5-string electric violin, or a 5-string that I can amp up!


January 28, 2008 at 10:52 PM · I am also an adult re-learner. I played for 8 yrs. then stopped. I just picked up my violin again at age 50, after a thirty year hiatus. I dont have a teacher yet, too busy with work, school and family. But I am practicing some scales and etudes, and simple pieces in my spare time and just enjoying myself. My folks are in their late 80's, so I figure I've got a good 30 yrs. at least. You're never too old.

January 29, 2008 at 11:28 PM · hi! a giovan paolo violin, a maggini i suppose?

I have one myself, i'm really interested so please tell me more about it, how it looks and sound and all you know!... if you want.

I'm 23 and started 2 years ago and so far so good so just hang in there and practice and you will be supprised at what you are capable off, Good luck!

January 30, 2008 at 12:58 PM · >a giovan paolo violin, a maggini i suppose?

I have one myself, i'm really interested so please tell me more about it, how it looks and sound and all you know!... if you want.

Sarah, I have a hunch we won't be hearing back from Mr. Timothy Ray unless the troll who faked the story feels like manipulating innocent, well-meaning people again.

January 30, 2008 at 01:36 PM · Are you sure this is a fake, Terez? While it is unusual to find someone in their 40s writing in ATS (American Text-Speak), the initial post lacks all the classic hallmarks of the other ATS (American Teen-Speak). For example:

"is 40 to old to relearn the violin." would most likely written in both ATS and the other ATS if your suspicions were correct. So this sentence would probably be posted as: "is like 40 like to old to like relearn the like violin."

Who knows...

January 30, 2008 at 06:00 PM · >thes to buties.

Total text-speak. I am like, totally sure that this is a teenager. : )

I taught English as a foreign language for two years, I have dyslexic friends and I've seen their writing errors, I study words and syntax all day long, and his post simply does not ring true. And besides, you don't see "old" Tim stepping back up the plate to thank the people who so warmly encouraged him, do you? Or maybe it's simply that he couldn't spell well enough to log his name and/or password onto the computer to repost here. You know what a struggle that can be for those middle-aged internet-savvy illiterate types.

I'd love to be proven wrong here. I just don't think it's going to happen.

January 30, 2008 at 06:02 PM · Terez, you are, like, the writer here, so I, like, bow to your expertise.

January 30, 2008 at 06:28 PM · Wish I had some witty text-speak quip to fire back, but that's not my generation. I'm way too old. Like in my forties. That's like dinosaur old. Buggy whips and such. I walked to school in bare feet three miles in the snow to get to my pioneer town's one-room schoolhouse. Uphill, both ways. Those were the days.

Sorry... guess I'll save the theatrics for my own writing.

January 30, 2008 at 07:23 PM · "is 40 to old to relearn the violin. I played in the 4th thro [sic] the 9th grade and i miss it."

There must be a lot of us!

I played from 4th through H.S. too and went without until just shy of 40. It isn't too late. For me it is frustrating knowing that I'll never progress fast or much past where I was, but that is mostly due to lack of time. I've seen some amazing progress from people my age who actually put in concentrated effort.

January 30, 2008 at 08:01 PM · "I am,like,totally sure"

-sorry, that's early-80's Valley girl speak (check your Frank Zappa DO have Zappa albums don't you?)'s more along the lines of "wurd up,dawg,theez 2 ho's is PHAT!,no wut Im sayin?"-(and btw, we had to push the school bus during the oil embargo,for the entire route.....)

January 30, 2008 at 11:16 PM · Well, I had my doubts, but wasn't sure, so I responded in the spirit in which I'd hoped it was intended. As we say in SC, Ah tell you what! I bet (s)he thought that bull wouldn't hook!(Idiom for "he thought he could get away with it, but he got "hooked".

January 30, 2008 at 11:15 PM · >and btw, we had to push the school bus during the oil embargo,for the entire route.....

Ha ha ha ha!

I'm still trying to adjust to the fact that when my son says something is totally sick, that's a good thing.

And Lori - that's what I like about the ppl here at So gracious and willing to share their encouragement and wisdom with a stranger. That's why it bothers me to see it manipulated.

January 30, 2008 at 11:19 PM · Terez,

God willing, the young will be "old" someday! no one enjoys being manipulated, but the young must have their fun, I don't begrudge.

January 31, 2008 at 12:12 AM · "That bull wouldn't hook" is great. Here in Alabama, the expression is "That dog won't hunt."

January 31, 2008 at 12:26 AM · If you can find the time to practise and go for lessons, then you should do it. Since you played the violin before, things should start coming back to you once you start learning again. All the best!

January 31, 2008 at 12:47 AM · Terez,

I'm always impressed at how encouraging and supportive the whole community is! Now if I may go OOT for a bit:

Interesting observation on that *other* Timothy's use of language! FWIW, I'm a Filipino in my late twenties. My country is the undisputed World Capital of text messaging (~5M per day!) so I'm very much exposed to our version of textspeak (e.g., "c u @ *bks, k" means "See you at Starbucks, okay?").

As a writer by profession (and a violinist by confession?) I sometimes get frustrated by how textspeak affects traditional grammar and spelling. For myself, I avoid using textspeak as much as possible. Having said that, though, it does seem to open up new possibilities for the language in terms of poetry forms and even visual art (ASCII graphics, anyone?). After all, even Shakespeare made similar literary innovations himself... So is the language wrangled or mangled? I guess that's for history to decide.

Just my two bits ^___^

January 31, 2008 at 04:18 AM · >"c u @ *bks, k" means "See you at Starbucks, okay?"

I would have never never guessed that. Hilarious, really, this trend. Are there online dictionaries or sites with the top phrases/translations? 'Cuz it's all new to me. Heck, I usually forget to turn on my cell phone, for days at a time. Then again, I'm pathologically antisocial, so it's doubtful I will T M anyone to c me @ *bks.

January 31, 2008 at 11:14 AM · >Are there online dictionaries or sites with the top phrases/translations?

There's none that I know of. Filipino textspeak is unique in that it takes advantage of the language's syllabic nature (sorry, don't know the precise scholastic term for this).

For example, a girl might text her friend "d2 n me. san k n?" which, directly translated into Filipino, is "Dito na ako. Saan ka na?" ("I'm here already. Where are you?")

Apologies to other v.commies for going off-topic again :-P

February 1, 2008 at 12:26 AM · >Apologies to other v.commies for going off-topic again :-P

I think the topic has left us. And thanks for your interesting comments!

February 3, 2008 at 05:37 PM · thanks to all of you (who gave me support and info )

for thoes who say i'm a fake and a teen this site is not for that, i came here to see and hear other people and get help in my quest to play agian. thank you all for the support

i hope in time to leave a clip of me with my first solo.

February 2, 2008 at 09:45 PM · nope too old. should go into carpentry with Ahab.

February 4, 2008 at 03:16 AM · Glad to hear you say you're not a troll, Timothy. That's good news. FWIW, I will indeed challenge someone whom I believe is abusing this site, because it's been done before, and it's too good of a site to let that happen. Should your motives indeed prove innocent, well, clearly my comments don't apply to you, then, do they? So stop emailing me. I won't reply to strangers.

February 4, 2008 at 11:49 AM · You are never too old. what you put in is what you get out. I started at 65 after playing the piano in my youth for three years. I'm now almost 70 and play in a trio with two other late starters. It's given me a new lease on life and hate to miss a day. It was a big challenge and I DID IT!!!!

February 4, 2008 at 07:20 PM · hey, i played viola from the 4th to the 9th grade and i picked up a violin again at 39 years old. I wouldnt put it back down again for the entire world. I've found it came back fairly easily, just after just a couple of days i could play that fifth grade solo again. (greensleeves)

just think, if your 40 now, and you keep playing, at 50 you will have played for 10 years, and i'll bet you are pretty good after that! keep it up!

February 5, 2008 at 01:08 PM · I played for two years as a 12-13 year old but stopped because I had a change of teacher who told me my technique was all wrong. I was very demoralised. However I kept my violin and started again from the beginning with enthusiasm at the age of 53. No you're not too late!! :-)

February 5, 2008 at 05:34 PM · It is never too late!! Stradivari made violins until he was 92. So if he had started when he was forty he would have only had 52 years experience! LOL

I didn't start making instruments until I was forty.

Go for will find that you are less distracted and more focused than when you were younger.

February 5, 2008 at 06:31 PM · Barry I love you way of thinking!

I have been studying with a real teacher for about a 1 1/2 year. I love it!

40 is never too late, only in your own head! go for it, you will not be Menuhin but you can eventually do beautiful music and recognize even more how beautifully some play.

February 6, 2008 at 02:24 PM · I agree. If you start at 40, you will be surprised how far you have come in 1 year. By the time you are 45 you can be really good if you are the type to go for it!

I would be curious to know how long many of you think it takes to be "good"? I know that it is a life long pursuit BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, but to gain some level of proficiency, what would you think?

February 6, 2008 at 06:31 PM · Thank you all

after all most a month i can now play william tell overture , rockin strings, and simple gifts out of my book. It did come back to me now i need to get smoth with my bow and add some wisdom to it. lol thanks ( i learned l.o.l from my daughter) laughing out day...

thank again to all of you for you support and helping my get back to playing

thanks Tim.

February 6, 2008 at 07:39 PM · Hi - I had to reply. I, too, started violin lessons at age 40.

It's been about 1.5 years now, and I have a long way to go...but as Abra said, by the time I'm 50, I'll have been playing for 10 years.

Don't give up, be patient, and practice, practice, practice!

February 14, 2008 at 11:24 AM · "Here in Alabama, the expression is "That dog won't hunt.""

In Texas, it's "That's all hat and no cattle."

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