Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Is it to late?

Is it ever too late to get started on something? I see this question asked all the time on the social media site Quora. For example, I have seen someone ask: "am I too old to learn to play an instrument"? So, is it ever too late to start learning to play an instrument? The answer is depends. If you want to be a virtuoso soloist and you are older than 10, then the answer is yes it is too late. If all you want to be able to do is play the instrument well, it is never too late. I think this applies to just about anything anyone would want to start doing. If you want to be in the top of your field, or a top professional, or some kind a virtuoso, you must start at an early age (or even younger) because of the level of competition. The others at that level have started when they were early and you will just not be able to catch up. If you just want to be good at something, and maybe even make a living from it, it is never too late to get started. I know this firsthand. Now I have been a musician for 40 years. That is I have played the drums for 40 years and I have also been a professional at it. I am also currently a music teacher in the public school system here in California. About a year ago I decided I wanted to learn to play the saxophone. Was it too late for me to get started? Well if I wanted to be a jazz soloist and make records, yes it was too late. But if all I wanted to do was learn to play the saxophone well, then it wasn't too late. I'm here to inform you that I can actually play the saxophone fairly well. Will I make a living playing saxophone? Probably not. But I can play just about anything I want to.

So, the bottom line is it is never too late to start. But, you might not play with the New York symphony if you are a little older than 10. Is that a bad thing?

What do you think?