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Greg Monks, old newbie
Starting to play after retirement.
Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 (0 votes) 

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February 25, 2021 - 11:49 am
Member Since: February 18, 2021
Forum Posts: 1
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I bought a violin as my retirement present to myself, and intend to get into our local symphony. So far so good. 

When I was a child, I had a hard time finding a teacher who would take me. At the age of 12  I was too old! The prevailing wisdom back then was that you should start at five years old, or so. I ended up taking trumpet lessons, and even my trumpet teacher said 12 years old was probably too old. 

Within four years I was playing in the Delta Youth Orchestra, and worked my way up over the years to 1st chair. Talent? None to speak of. It was all hard work, and I'm a slow learner. 

I'm treating the fiddle as though it were a 9-5 job, getting up at 3 or 4 AM, practicing until 6, having breakfast, practicing again until 8, stopping for coffee and the tv news, playing for fun from 10-:00 to noon, lunch and coffee, practice until 2, another break, play until whenever, usually 4:00 PM. Got the fiddle (a cheap-o) the last week of October, 2018, recently hit the limit of its abilities, am waiting for its entry-level professional replacement. Am now playing and sight-reading at a level good enough to lay viola in an orchestra. I have a professional viola for the purpose. 

I'm encouraged by reading about oldsters who manage to play at a high level, making into orchestras, fulfilling a dream or two. The prevailing "wisdom" still exists out there to some extent, but boy is it satisfying to prove 'em wrong! 

February 25, 2021 - 12:04 pm
Member Since: December 26, 2018
Forum Posts: 5441
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Welcome to the site, @gsmonks. We have a great group of people here of all levels and experiences

I am glad you stuck to your guns.

We look forward to hearing about your progress and any information you can share with others. 

Welcome to the forum. 

The Bumblebee Flies!

Please ignore any typos. My typing ability on a real typewriter did not transfer to these device key pads.


February 25, 2021 - 12:36 pm
Member Since: June 10, 2020
Forum Posts: 8066
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@gsmonks -


Always nice to hear when someone is reaching their goals.  

Best of luck with your new violin when it arrives!

Looking forward to your input here.  



- Emily


February 25, 2021 - 3:40 pm
Member Since: August 23, 2020
Forum Posts: 2090
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Welcome to the forum, wow thats an amazing amount of practice kudos.👍


February 26, 2021 - 12:11 am
Member Since: September 30, 2014
Forum Posts: 2177
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Welcome to the forum,



Master the Frog and you have mastered the bow.

Albert Sammons


February 26, 2021 - 8:15 am
Member Since: November 10, 2018
Forum Posts: 329
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Welcome gsmonks !  Impressive practice time (no idea how you manage that…). No wonder you're making quick progress :–)

Keep having fun with your violin and viola violin-student(<-- this one doesn't look like he's having fun at all…)


March 21, 2021 - 7:56 am
Member Since: March 20, 2021
Forum Posts: 5
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Hi Greg! Yur story is so inspirational! I 'm looking forward to hearing more updates as you continue your journey.

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