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Can I Play at a High Level?


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I am currently a a junior in high school, and I have played fiddle music competitively for 8-9 years, doing pretty well.

I have only been playing classical for about 4 years, but until the last 6 months, I really had no love for the music, no desire to practice. I have finally started to give more effort, but despite that, I just recently finished the Bach A Minor Concerto, and am now working on the Accolay Concerto.

I feel a little sheepish for only being at this level at this age, but I really have a strong desire to push myself from here on out.

So my question is this: what level of play can I realistically get up to in the next 2 years, and can I play in/at the college level?

I would really, really like to hear your thoughts, and your feedback is something that will help me tremendously.



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In two years? I would say you will be working on Mozart concerti (I hope you will study some of the intermediate concerti such as the Rode, de Beriot, Viotti and Spohr before you tackle the Mozart. It will make your life so much easier if you do those before Mozart).

As for playing at the college level, it really depends on which school you will go to. If you are shooting for major conservatories (or universities with exceptionally strong music department), then you may encounter serious difficulties, but otherwise you should be able to do okay.

One thing though. Practice effectively and as much as the time allows and DO NOT overbook yourself! Especially, NO team-sports!! They take way too much time out of your practicing. Sometimes, one has to make a choice.

Good luck!


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As for doing team sports, I would recommend you do some sports, because playing the violin without any other physical exercise is having high risk at injuries. Unfortunately, I tell you this from experience. So maby not participate in team sports, but go to a gym, or go running, swimming, skating, etcetera.

Good luck!

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to be really good in anything needs more than just interest and practice, in my opinion. issac stern used to joke that he practices so that he has a chance to show off on the stage which he calls home. you need inner drive to keep the burning desire burning.

when you are in college, you will be bombarded with many new ideas and circumstances which may compete with your idea of playing violin at high level. at that juncture, your resolve of practicing daily for couple hours will be challenged. you may still be interested in music, in the sound a violin makes, but if your burning desire abates and you do not put in enough practice in college, you run the risk of not achieving your goal.

so, first, identify the most inner core reason why you want to be play at high level.

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