The age of student
Hello, I am new to the page, my question is, am I too old to play the violin professionally? I'm 19 I'm just playing the Bach Concerto in A minor,i am very discouraged by my age and the repertoire I'm playing :(
International soloist? Impossible. You could play in an orchestra if you grind hard (provided orchestras are still a thing that exists after this pandemic ridiculousness finally abates).
Don’t be discouraged by the repertoire you are playing. The Bach A Minor and E Major are arguably a couple of the greatest concertos ever written for the violin (along with the Bach Double). And they require a big sound, a “concerto” sound, especially when played with an orchestra.
Cotton wrote, "You could play in an orchestra if you grind hard."
It could be possible. I started at 16 with fiddle but only got into classical 5 years ago. So I was not too far from where you were at 22.
Allan wrote, "I joined a local orchestra where 2 years ago..."
Lizeth, I wouldn't look at the choice to do this as becoming a pro or not, because the odds are stacked against you. However, if you get with a great teacher and work really diligently, there is no reason you can't eventually play what you want and how you want. If you're willing to put in a solid ten years, you can be playing all the romantic concertos.
Yes paul, that's correct. It's not fully professional but the section leaders do take a modest salary.
It's possible, but highly unlikely. You have a lot of good learning years in front of you. But, you will always be competing against equally talented players who started when they were 11, 7, even 3 years old. They learned the mechanics of the instrument while their bodies, nerves, and brain are still developing, so things get "hard-wired". After about 25, it is really hard to improve technique.
Allan's got a nicely-presented, professional-looking site. :-)
It depends on how you're playing that Bach, we're not listening...
I like Allan's site too except that I wish he would not use "our" and "we" quite so much when there's only one teacher -- him. Just saying.
Thankyou Lydia :) I certainly worked hard on the site. The comment you are referring to is also not in reference to suzuki, but learning pieces primarily by ear. Suzuki (in my experiences) does not focus on notation reading but instead the physical and listening aspect of the instrument. It is a core to the philosophy. I often get students from other teachers in the area who can play through book 2, but cannot sight read a simple passage.
My money is on Suzuki too, Allan. Simple way to think about it is to ask which is easier: To teach a 12-year-old to read music who readily learns new tunes by ear? Or to teach a 12-year-old to play by ear who can already sight read very well. Trust me the latter is much harder and it gets worse as the age increases. The problem with Suzuki is that after about Book 4, there are just too many technical gaps. You can't go straight from Book 8 to Book 9, for example, without filling in quite a bit with studies and other rep. But who would even try to do that?
Goodness this is turning into a pseudo teaching thread. All I am saying is that my approach is reading first. Does that mean no listening? of course not. My general approach is teach both, but start from the music on the page. :)
No advice, just questions. Are you passionate about music? Are you an enthusiast for music? Do you listen to music? What music? What is your playing experience? What is your academic achievement? What other career options have you considered? Have you asked advice from anyone who knows anything at all about you?
Joel says: "After about 25, it is really hard to improve technique."
It's true you can develop your violin skills later in life. What makes it hard is finding the time for daily practice, and making sure you've got the bandwidth left at the end of the day for that practice to be substantive. That's one reason why I did Nathan Cole's course this summer, because I was hoping to learn some ways that my practice time could be more productive, and I learned about as much as I was expecting to.
@Andrew H.- I am glad that you made those technical breakthroughs at those ages. I suppose I was just thinking of my own experience, of trying to move from almost professional to audition-winning status, after a hiatus of several decades at the day job. And I did have one of those physical problems (juvenile onset R. A.). That age 25 is what I have read from psychologists as when the the physical brain actually stops developing. Mature musicianship and repertoire building is something else; that can continue for a lifetime.