Am I too old to start playing violin if I want that violin is my future career

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Signe said: Sep 10, 2016
2 posts

Hi, this week I will start to play violin, it will be my first lesson and I’m 18.
Classical music as I remember myself is my passion.
I am ready to work and work hard, firstly with myself.
I look far into the future and I want to see the violin in there.
I am ready to sacrifice a lot of free time playing violin, because as I said, I want to play and play well.
I believe… if you work and work hard a lot of things are possible.
The question is: Am I too old to start playing violin and if I’m ready to work and work hard, there is
possibility that violin is my future career?


Kerrie said: Sep 11, 2016
Kerrie Wilson
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Piano, Violin
Columbia, CT
2 posts

Hi Signe,

I think if you work hard, a lot is possible! I’m not sure if I have this right, but I think that Dr. Suzuki started officially learning violin when he was 17 years old. So, I think there is hope! :)


Joyful Noise Studio
Tuning Hearts One Beat at a Time

Kerrie said: Sep 11, 2016
Kerrie Wilson
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Piano, Violin
Columbia, CT
2 posts

But, I must say, I’m not 100% sure I’m accurate on when Dr. Suzuki began the violin…anybody know if that’s true or not? I thought I read it in Nurtured By Love…but will have to verify that….

Joyful Noise Studio
Tuning Hearts One Beat at a Time

Kay said: Sep 11, 2016
Suzuki Association Member
8 posts

Dr. Suzuki began playing at age 19.

Kay Woods

Anne Brennand said: Sep 11, 2016
Anne Brennand
Suzuki Association Member
Boulder, CO
38 posts

Hi Signe. This week is your first lesson? That’s great, congratulations.

Curious—can you please tell me what prompted you to choose violin just now? Of course all ages and at all times are well suited to begin learning. It’s just that each individual has a different reason.

Your reason might determine whether this should be career—which in itself can have many meanings, or interest/passion/life-enhancement.

Anne Brennand, cellist and cello teacher

Benjamin Downs said: Sep 12, 2016
Benjamin Downs
Suzuki Association Member
Saint Paul, MN
1 posts

First, congratulations and good luck! It is never too late to start learning anything.

But it is extremely unlikely (1:1,000,000 or less) chance that you will be able to learn quickly enough to become a professional, performing violinist. Full time orchestras are populated by musicians who spent their childhoods honing their craft, performing many times each year as soloists, chamber musicians, and orchestral musicians. Even those who started at five years old, won competitions, and went on to graduate from prestigious music schools still struggle to find a full time orchestral position. There are exceptions, but they are less than one in a million.

However, a career in music can take many forms.

Some teach and perform semi-professionally or with part-time orchestras. It is possible that you could do this, but it would probably be an extremely difficult path in every way: musically, financially, personally.

Some decide to become general music teachers or school conductors with violin as their primary instrument. Schools desperately need competent string player teachers. This could be a possible route.

But you may also be getting ahead of yourself. If you are committed to learning violin, then just immerse yourself in it––go to professional music concerts; meet with peers that also play, learn as best you can––and in 6 months think again about what role the violin will have in your future.

Chances are you will learn to love music even more, but remember just because you love something doesn’t mean that you have to make it your career. Many of my most talented students have gone on to careers outside of music, but still participate in community music programs and perform with friends. They have chosen to have a different career that is fulfilling in different ways, but they still love playing the piano, and music gives fuel to their lives.

Benjamin Downs, pianist
Twin Cities, MN

Kiyoko said: Sep 17, 2016
 84 posts

I don’t think you should be discouraged if you are decided if this is really what you want. It’s rare, but possible and will take serious dedication and sacrifice.

I just want to say, it depends on how much you practice and what you want to do, and what teachers you find. It may mean you delay college for music, and practice like mad, like 5-6 hours a day or more everyday, beyond rehearsals, classes and lessons.

A friend of mine didn’t start until high school, I want to say 9th grade or later, but she practiced a lot and within a few years was playing competitively with kids her age. She got into a decent but local music school for college. She’s now a performing contemporary violinist, recognized internationally for her progressive music compositions.

You’ll have to decide the level of dedication and commitment you are willing to make to catch up. If not, there’s still plenty of time to play as an amateur or hobbyist, in community orchestras and ensembles.

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