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Am I too old?


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#31 EllieD

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Posted 22 November 2019 - 09:05

I'm not even 60 so probably shouldn't comment ... but I have met a lady bassoonist who was awesome, and she started when she was over 70, and also an older lady who had just started playing the trumpet ... talk about making life hard for yourself! As for physical difficulties, not long ago I came across a man who had been a very good violinist but due to a stroke had lost mobility on one side. He had a recorder that was adapted with keys so that one hand only was needed to play it. Age / disability should never prevent us from enjoying learning to make music! (Even if some of us do need to remember our specs ... (or in my case remember to clean the things before I have my lesson, really would help...  :)  ))


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#32 Gran'piano

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Posted 22 November 2019 - 09:21

This is both inspiring and motivating. Thanks Ellie.
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#33 thara96

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Posted 22 November 2019 - 10:36

This is uplifting. Thanks for sharing Ellie D! 


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#34 Dr. Rogers

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Posted 22 November 2019 - 15:37

Gran'piano, I'm in my 30s, but I have taught several older students over the years.  I personally enjoy teaching older students.  My oldest beginner was 86.

 

With older students it's important that they have realistic goals.  There are very good reasons for people of all ages to learn instruments: self-improvement, keeping the mind active, keeping the joints moving, etc.  And, of course, the enjoyment.


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#35 thara96

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Posted 22 November 2019 - 15:50

That is also important. My mom has taught a variety of people since 2001 when she decided to teach as a piano tutor. Right now she teaches two adults in their mid forties as well as children and young adult learners as well. She has tutored adults in their thirties mostly however and all love her. 

I think that if you are patient and persistent it will pay off in the long term. And definitely set goals by all means, but be kind and realistic when doing so. When it comes to teaching instruments, remember that you will attract learners or pupils from all walks of life so you need to bear that in mind. Currently my mom teaches two fifteen year old pupils who cannot speak English at all. 


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#36 Dr. Rogers

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Posted 22 November 2019 - 17:17

Currently my mom teaches two fifteen year old pupils who cannot speak English at all. 

 

You know, that's how I started teaching!  There was an influx of Spanish-speaking immigrants into the rural community where I grew up.  There was only one piano teacher there (who had taught me), and she was already overworked and didn't speak Spanish.  I spoke Spanish, was interested in teaching, and needed to make some extra money, so I was drafted!


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#37 zwhe

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Posted 22 November 2019 - 19:55

That is also important. My mom has taught a variety of people since 2001 when she decided to teach as a piano tutor. Right now she teaches two adults in their mid forties as well as children and young adult learners as well. She has tutored adults in their thirties mostly however and all love her. 

I think that if you are patient and persistent it will pay off in the long term. And definitely set goals by all means, but be kind and realistic when doing so. When it comes to teaching instruments, remember that you will attract learners or pupils from all walks of life so you need to bear that in mind. Currently my mom teaches two fifteen year old pupils who cannot speak English at all. 

Mid forties is hardly elderly (maybe I should quit now as I am past it...)! This topic is about learning in old age, not just as an adult!


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#38 Ligneo Fistula

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Posted 22 November 2019 - 21:21

 

That is also important. My mom has taught a variety of people since 2001 when she decided to teach as a piano tutor. Right now she teaches two adults in their mid forties as well as children and young adult learners as well. She has tutored adults in their thirties mostly however and all love her. 

I think that if you are patient and persistent it will pay off in the long term. And definitely set goals by all means, but be kind and realistic when doing so. When it comes to teaching instruments, remember that you will attract learners or pupils from all walks of life so you need to bear that in mind. Currently my mom teaches two fifteen year old pupils who cannot speak English at all. 

Mid forties is hardly elderly (maybe I should quit now as I am past it...)! This topic is about learning in old age, not just as an adult!

 

Just to qualify that a not insignificant proportion of adults (indeed young people) suffer the effects of conditions which result in early onset of physical and cognitive limitations not uncommon in ageing.


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#39 thara96

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Posted 23 November 2019 - 08:49

Good points!


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#40 peterhontaru

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Posted 23 November 2019 - 17:53

I just came across this lady who started pretty late and is now working towards grade 2 after 16 months as a complete beginner and found it very inspiring.

 

Jill Henderson

 

Also, Dr Rogers just mentioned that one of his oldest students was 86 so there's quite a few examples.


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#41 Gran'piano

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Posted 24 November 2019 - 16:40

Gran'piano, I'm in my 30s, but I have taught several older students over the years.  I personally enjoy teaching older students.  My oldest beginner was 86.

 

With older students it's important that they have realistic goals.  There are very good reasons for people of all ages to learn instruments: self-improvement, keeping the mind active, keeping the joints moving, etc.  And, of course, the enjoyment.

Getting back to the original question - whether members think that a guy who is 74 will be able to learn to play the cornet, I like Dr.Rogers' remark about goals. A point which no-one has mentioned is that older folk (and I mean older, 75+ perhaps) simply cannot realistically expect to have a great many years left when they will be able to enjoy making progress.  Arthritis in the hands, glaucoma, severe hearing loss or suffering a stroke are the first things I think of. So we want our enjoyment now.

We know that if for any reason we have to 'relocate' to a 'home' of some description, we may find that there is simply no room for our piano, and our practicing a brass instrument as a beginner is perhaps not what the other 'inmates' want to listen to. I am not talking out of the top of my head. I have seen several friends have their wings clipped. So - Carpe diem.

Much as reports or even recordings of other folks' progress may be impressive, few of them are, for me, truly motivating or inspiring.  Of course, we 75+ ers could spend our precious hours practicing scales and 'perfecting' pieces to an exam standard. And then show our grandchildren our Grade 1 diploma. But I guess that for many of us, purely the pleasure of making music for ourselves, trying out pieces which catch our fancy, dropping ones which no longer appeal, is the preferred option.  Obviously, working on technique is important, but this is to enable us to satisfy our own longing for improvement. And we need teachers like Dr.Rogers who are prepared to help us on our terms.

 

And please do not post lists of older folk who got off lightly, didn't have any health problems and played in an orchestra at the age of 104.

I know that Ulrich Inderbinen went up the Matterhorn in his 90th year, but most of us will accept that such a challenge is not for us. And so we plod along on the flat instead, enjoying the view.

 

 

As most oldies seem to have eye problems of some sort or another, here is a link to a post in another thread which contains information which might help.

Scores in Larger Print


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#42 Dr. Rogers

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Posted 24 November 2019 - 17:00

Thank you for your kind words, Gran'piano.  I'm always happy to take on an older beginner.  Even though I'm in my 30s, I can sympathize with some of the problems of aging.  I suffer from arthritis and premature hearing loss (I recommend earplugs to all fiddlers and bagpipers - a particularly loud and bright fiddle did for my left ear).  Some days I feel as if I have cognitive issues as well.

 

As you say, Carpe diem.  That's the attitude!  Best advice in this thread!


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#43 thara96

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Posted 24 November 2019 - 22:34

Keep going! That is my only piece of advice.
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