Am I too old to start learning a new instrument?

cwc100 Forumite Posts: 32 Forumite
I'm in my mid 20's and for the best part of my life I have wanted to learn to play violin. I am wondering whether at my age whether it will be too steep a learning curve to start learning now. I have no knowledge on sheet music. With tuition I have learned to play the guitar with tab music which I imagine is totally different, but I did find this difficult.

At the end of the day it does cost money to start learning a new instrument but I'm worried that I will get despondent if I find that Im struggling with the sheet music etc and thus will have wasted a lot of money.

I have looked at private tuition, but I'm wondering if there are other avenues such as group tuition or music groups run by local communities which are willing to take on an adult student. And as a beginner would I need the full hour tuition?


  • annasoper
    annasoper Forumite Posts: 138 Forumite
    I am in a very similar situation as you. I've always wanted to play the piano, and I taught myself guitar / read tabs. I guess you are never too old to learn anything new, all you need is time and determination. You can find a lot of tutorials on youtube and it may also help to buy violin lessons on dvd. You'll find these on amazon or ebay or even your local music store. Enquire at your local music store, bet there's at least a dozen groups taking on new students.
  • Symbeaux1
    Symbeaux1 Forumite Posts: 189 Forumite
    Wow, in your 20's eh....?? you'll love learning, not like when your at school, you'll have more patience, I'm well into my fourties and loved learning Spanish, whatever you decide to learn , you'll be doing it for all the right reasons, mostly being a sheer desire to learn.
  • cwc100
    cwc100 Forumite Posts: 32 Forumite
    Hehe I know I'm still relatively young, but seeing child prodigies and people who have mastered their instruments when they were young (which seems to be most cases) makes me feel old lol.

    And thanks annasoper I never thought to enquire whether music shops did group tuitions.
  • cdam
    cdam Forumite Posts: 358 Forumite
    Yes far too old, anyone over 6 should just give up......

    Only joking, I'm 46 and contemplating guitar lessons, last time I played anything was a recorder when I was 8!!
  • LadyC
    LadyC Forumite Posts: 40 Forumite
    I understand that stringed instruments are the 'hardest' to learn. I'm not sure of the truth in that, as I have only ever played the violin and have nothing to compare it to. When I first started (aged 6) we learned with Suzuki - it was a really great method of learning, but it may have been more appropriate for a younger age group. It's probably worth you investigating though. Also, if you're near a university, you could consider getting tuition from an undergraduate studying music as they will be ultra knowledgeable, hopefully very enthusiastic and could well charge you a bit less, or be willing to take payment in kind - wine/beer/vegetables/pasta, whatever it is students are into.

    Once you know the basics, you would probably find a group willing to let you join them. I used to be a member of a 'returners' orchestra - basically people who were lapsed musicians got together to play, even doing performances for a paying audience on occasion. One bloke in the violins had only played until aged 18 and then took it up again aged 72ish!

    Best of luck with whatever you decide, but as they say.. nothing ventured, nothing gained.
  • mummybearx
    mummybearx Forumite Posts: 1,921 Forumite
    You are never too old to learn an instrument!

    I have been taking piano lessons for the last few weeks, and Im 28 :)

    I get my lessons through a local recording/rehersal studio. They have a tutor in once a week, I pay £20 for a one hour lesson. You could see if you have a local studio in your area?
    Can't think of anything smart to put here...
  • kataklysm
    kataklysm Forumite Posts: 196
    Debt-free and Proud!
    I took up violin lessons at 24 - 6 years later I'm about to take Grade 7. So the world is your lobster! Lots of people say it's tough, but I found it fairly simple compared to piano - there's only one set of notes to play for a start! It's just mastering the sound that takes a lifetime.. ;)

    Find a tutor that inspires you, understands your abilities and goals, and will start right at the beginning. Sheet music seems overwhelming, but it's not so bad. If you can read tab, it's really not too different at first.
    Some teachers will offer flexible lesson times and durations - for instance, I have half hour lessons an evening every other week @ £13. Self learning or youtube videos are a fun start, but it's also important to hold the instrument correctly, know how to play with resonance, fluidity, accuracy .. every movement affects the sound produced. It's more like ballet than violin sometimes. Regular 1-on-1 lessons are the best way to make progress - I used to learn in a group as a child... and quit because I wasn't learning anything. :)

    And if you're worried about annoying the neighbours in those first few years (a violin is loud!) you can purchase a violin mute, which dampens the strings for a quieter sound but still allows you to practice full pelt.

    Good luck!! and if you need some inspiration...
  • lynzpower
    lynzpower Forumite Posts: 25,311
    10,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    Im 33 and I have in the last 6 months started to learn the guitar ( although I did used to play the violin as a child) I wish id learned as a child but in saying that my hands are a lot bigger now which helps :D

    im not paying for lessons at the moment, but playing my boyfs cheap argos guitar and watching a LOT of you tube :D Its working though! I will be able to play something good pretty soon, the more I practice of course the better I get.

    Im even considering buying another violin and having a go with it.

    I think that guitar and violin are to an extent similar, you put your fingers in a certain place to get a certain sound. Like guitar there will be a pattern ( DDUD etc) in the same way you strike the strings on a violin.

    Reading music is not actually that hard ( says me) there are loads of online tuition, but nothing beats listening to a piece of music and hearing where the notes ( and gaps) fall.

    I would love to be able to afford tuition though and when I get some cash it will be among the first things I buy for myself!
    :beer: Well aint funny how its the little things in life that mean the most? Not where you live, the car you drive or the price tag on your clothes.
    Theres no dollar sign on piece of mind
    This Ive come to know...
    So if you agree have a drink with me, raise your glasses for a toast :beer:
  • roxy13
    roxy13 Forumite Posts: 97
    Tenth Anniversary Combo Breaker
    No no no! you are never too old to learn something new! Admittedly its easier as a child BUT as a child you get bored far too easily. I started learning Piano aged 25 and thought i was too old until my piano teacher told me he was teaching someone aged 65 who had just started piano and guitar lessons. Would recommend learning an instrument, its a lovely thing to be able to do and you are never bored! My teacher always said he preferred teaching the adults as they actually wanted to learn. I played the violin and guitar for a couple of years when i was in school but always wanted to play the piano.
    As others have said you can learn so much online, you tube is brilliant. I stopped having lessons a few years ago as it was too expensive but i could read music and i wasn't going to do exams or gradings. Since then i have just learnt using the internet. There are loads of free lessons online that are excellent. Good luck!!
  • Jojo_the_Tightfisted
    Jojo_the_Tightfisted Forumite Posts: 27,228
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker

    Go for it.
    I could dream to wide extremes, I could do or die: I could yawn and be withdrawn and watch the world go by.
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    Yup you are officially Rock n Roll :D
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