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I'm 17 with no musical background. I would like to learn the cello but My mum doesn't approve of it because it's a big instrument and she doesn't like the posture either. I've tried piano twice and guitar which I gave up after 2 months so I thought I might be one who couldn't do things right to the end. Another problem is that not many teachers would want older students. It is wise then for me to pick up cello?

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I dont have much of an answer - just a question and a suggestion. Ive heard several times now that alot of violin teachers dont like to teach adult students - why? Think about the playing techniques and tone of every instrument for a little while first - think about what it would be like to make music with the way each instrument is played. Example - Id never enjoy using my breath to make music on a wind instrument even though I like to hear musicians play the saxaphone, trumpet, flute, etc... - it seems like a good idea to consider those things carefully for a while and stick with whatever you chose.

: I'm 17 with no musical background. I would like to learn the cello but My mum doesn't approve of it because it's a big instrument and she doesn't like the posture either. I've tried piano twice and guitar which I gave up after 2 months so I thought I might be one who couldn't do things right to the end. Another problem is that not many teachers would want older students. It is wise then for me to pick up cello?

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: : I'm 17 with no musical background. I would like to learn the cello but My mum doesn't approve of it because it's a big instrument and she doesn't like the posture either. I've tried piano twice and guitar which I gave up after 2 months so I thought I might be one who couldn't do things right to the end. Another problem is that not many teachers would want older students. It is wise then for me to pick up cello?

It is NEVER too late to learn something new! At the same time....nothing is ever that simple or easy....and any new skill requires patience and the appreciation of small rewards. In other words, just take one step at a time, practice whichever instrument you choose diligently and with patience for yourself as you struggle to learn the new skills of reading music, stretching and toning the appropriate muscles necessary to play the instrument you've selected, etc. Practice frequently and just.....plug along! Eventually you will feel and notice improvements. and remember...it is not "practice makes perfect....but, rather...."perfect practice makes perfect!" so, yes, find a teacher. Some will teach older beginners...and besides...you are not old! I think mainly the people who have concertized and are more virtuostic would prefer younger students w/talent that are planning careers so that they, the teacher's talent and skill, are put exclusively into the creation of a new hopeful music genius. but there are a lot of teachers who are not so ambitious but who are patient and good coaches. Find one of these.

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Plenty of women play cello (over half the cellists I know are female). I'm sure your Mom wouldn't be concerned about the required "posture" if you were a male. It is just one of those things, like riding a horse, that you can't do in a tight skirt.

Your stated record indicates a lack of discipline in past attempts to study musical instruments. If you want to "learn" cello, you must realize that it may take a few years before you can play pieces and make sounds that please you, and many years before your are accomplished enough to play in a community orchestra, solo credibly for people other than family and friends, and experience the joys of chamber music sight reading. Are you ready for that long haul? Of course you may be a person of rare talent who will conquer the hurdles and show your abilities in a few months - I hope so.

Having said all that, one of the problems teaching a person your age or older is that they know what they want to sound like and can become easily discouraged. (This is not so important with young children - although they do know the difference between sounding good and bad.) Even with a very good ("perfect") instrument there are difficulties playing cello -keeping the bowing straight, getting your fingers in the right places so you are playing in tune, learning to get to higher positions quickly and accurately. With a poor instrument there is also the additional problem of not having the instrument do the right thing aurally even when your hands are doing the right thing. THEREFORE, you should try to start with a good enough instrument, one obtained under the advice of a competent teacher.

One thing going for you if you study cello is that it is held in a much more natural posture than the violin, and there should be less hand muscle cramping and a vibrato can be developed quite early in your studies.

Good luck with it.

Andy

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: Ive heard several times now that alot of violin teachers dont like to teach adult students - why?

One violin teacher I talked to answered that question: she said that, in her experience, adult students need parents who will make them come to lessons on time, and who will make them practise! :-)

Seriously - she found that the parents of child students were much more consistent about things like being on time, because they wanted their children to learn those life skills. Adult students, she said, are more likely to think they can skip anytime, give very short notice or no notice at all, blame the instrument for their own shortcomings etc. We are more inclined to think for ourselves and do things our own way, rather than respecting the authority of the teacher - and we're more likely to be rude & obnoxious about it!

There are lots of exceptions of course; this is just what one teacher told me.

Thanks

Laurel

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