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Am I too old to learn?

Leadfingers 05 Jul 09 - 09:59 PM
Dorothy Parshall 05 Jul 09 - 06:55 PM
Charley Noble 05 Jul 09 - 04:26 PM
GUEST,sarah 05 Jul 09 - 03:32 PM
GUEST,lox 04 Jul 09 - 07:13 PM
Rog Peek 04 Jul 09 - 07:12 PM
GUEST,Bill the sound 04 Jul 09 - 07:06 PM
Flyer 04 Jul 09 - 07:00 PM
Tootler 04 Jul 09 - 06:52 PM
wysiwyg 04 Jul 09 - 11:44 AM
olddude 04 Jul 09 - 11:24 AM
GUEST,sarah 04 Jul 09 - 11:08 AM
wilco 13 Nov 06 - 07:32 PM
The Fooles Troupe 13 Nov 06 - 07:22 PM
Don Firth 13 Nov 06 - 02:09 PM
terrier 12 Nov 06 - 02:40 PM
OtherDave 11 Nov 06 - 10:00 PM
GUEST,Bill the sound 11 Nov 06 - 06:44 PM
GUEST,... 11 Nov 06 - 09:01 AM
Nick 10 Nov 06 - 12:44 PM
GUEST, Topsie 10 Nov 06 - 12:31 PM
Gulliver 10 Nov 06 - 12:00 PM
Paul Burke 10 Nov 06 - 11:41 AM
Scoville 10 Nov 06 - 11:33 AM
Shiamsa 10 Nov 06 - 11:16 AM
Scrump 10 Nov 06 - 08:17 AM
Nick 10 Nov 06 - 08:15 AM
mike_in_st_c 10 Nov 06 - 08:08 AM
StuartEstell 10 Nov 06 - 07:39 AM
Paul Burke 10 Nov 06 - 07:31 AM
StuartEstell 10 Nov 06 - 07:12 AM
Nick 10 Nov 06 - 06:47 AM
Muttley 09 Nov 06 - 10:01 PM
Shiamsa 09 Nov 06 - 08:48 PM
GUEST,Nick 09 Nov 06 - 08:11 PM
GUEST,... 09 Nov 06 - 06:54 PM
Tootler 09 Nov 06 - 06:40 PM
GUEST, Topsie 09 Nov 06 - 03:15 PM
Shiamsa 09 Nov 06 - 01:54 PM
GUEST,Paul 09 Nov 06 - 07:32 AM
Bob Bolton 08 Nov 06 - 09:43 PM
Richard Atkins 08 Nov 06 - 07:54 PM
Tootler 08 Nov 06 - 07:12 PM
terrier 08 Nov 06 - 05:28 PM
GUEST, Topsie 08 Nov 06 - 04:53 PM
Rowan 08 Nov 06 - 04:38 PM
GUEST,bobcat 08 Nov 06 - 04:33 PM
Sandy Mc Lean 08 Nov 06 - 03:36 PM
Eye Lander 08 Nov 06 - 12:39 PM
Scrump 08 Nov 06 - 05:04 AM
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Subject: RE: Am I too old to learn?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 05 Jul 09 - 09:59 PM

The MAIN thing is to find YOUR instrument ! Try things in shops , get
friends to let you try THEIR instruments - One day , one will SCREAM at you "ITS ME" .
I played Clarinet and saxophone before discovering Folk , so Whistle was my first 'Folk' instrument , but you cant sing and play whistle , s0 I started on Guitar , then added Banjo , then Mandolin .
I still maintain that Whistle is 'MY' instrument , as I can play stuff on Whistle that I couldnt play on Clarinet or sax !
AND I get well paid for playing and singing , mostly mandolin and whistle as I usually work with Guitarists !
And I started on Guitar in my late twenties !


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Subject: RE: Am I too old to learn?
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 05 Jul 09 - 06:55 PM

YOU CAN TEACH AN OLD DOG ANYTHING IT IS WILLING TO LEARN.

Surprise! Learning an instrument is an excellent way to improve temporal lobe functioning and stave off alzheimers/dementia.


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Subject: RE: Am I too old to learn?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 05 Jul 09 - 04:26 PM

I took up the Anglo concertina some ten years ago when I was in my late 50s. I'm just beginning to feel really comfortable singing and playing at the same time. So it has taken me a lot of time.

I'm played 5-string banjo and sung for years. So I was a little surprised that it would take me that long to get used to a new instrument. And maybe if I had worked harder at it, I would have come up to speed sooner.

Of course, some are too young to learn. They know everything already!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Am I too old to learn?
From: GUEST,sarah
Date: 05 Jul 09 - 03:32 PM

agree with post above re myself...at at uni most other people had played since they were 5/6 and I started 3 years before uni at 24! Catch up....
I can play a few instruments already but the latest, fiddle, (am teaching myself) needs help...been playing this one a few months and only just playing cock o the north and tunes like that...easy on flute + mandolin but fiddle - ha. Am 32, better hurry up!


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Subject: RE: Am I too old to learn?
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 04 Jul 09 - 07:13 PM

No you aren't.

But get a decent teacher so you learn quicker. You've got less time to do it in.


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Subject: RE: Am I too old to learn?
From: Rog Peek
Date: 04 Jul 09 - 07:12 PM

I took up guitar when I was just past 50, no great shakes, but I'm able to accompany myself singing a few songs. Now 62, took up tenor banjo in Jan this year, ambition is to join in at sessions.

Of course you're not too old.

Remember, "None are so old as those who have outlived enthusism" - Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862).

Rog


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Subject: RE: Am I too old to learn?
From: GUEST,Bill the sound
Date: 04 Jul 09 - 07:06 PM

I had a guitar for my birthday(60) and didn't have clue what to do with it. I now play along as I sing. GO FOR IT GIRL IT'S NEVER TOO LATE.
You will never be as good as the people that have 20 or 30 years playing already-but I've never met one that won't help you.


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Subject: RE: Am I too old to learn?
From: Flyer
Date: 04 Jul 09 - 07:00 PM

I hope not, 'cause if you are then I am! I am 48 with no musical background at all, and you don't want to hear me sing! I do stories and ballads to a rhythm. I struggled with the Banjo for years. With some encouragement from members here and others I picked up the Mountain Dulcimer, learned to play it right off well enough to keep me interested. Now I gots me a Banjo to get rid of! :-)


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Subject: RE: Am I too old to learn?
From: Tootler
Date: 04 Jul 09 - 06:52 PM

It's never too late to start.

Since retiring, I have started on wooden flute and anglo concertina and enjoy playing both.

If you play regularly it is surprising how much progress you make.


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Subject: RE: Am I too old to learn?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 04 Jul 09 - 11:44 AM

Think of it this way-- there is an instrument that is the instrument yuou were wired to play. When you find it, you will be one step cloer to knowing which to buy in a good starter-quality-- because somewhere ouit there, there is a specific instrument that was meant for you to hold and play, and a voice only you can awaken.

It takes longer if you don't start.

Hardi started self-taught fiddle at about your age on an insurance-write-off fiddle with a stove-in back. When he was ready he found a teacher or two to give him a few hints on improvements, and found "his" fiddle.


As far as making oneself a fool-- that one is easy. When you are ready to add the motivation that can only come from playing for others, pick a nursing home. The residents there are so starved for activities that they will forgive you any bad notes-- that is, if they can hear them-- and for many, a high-pitched instrument played up close will be the only live music they have been able to HEAR in decades.

After they break you in, you should be ready to risk a session with other players you think are not very good. Sit at the far edge of the session and play quietly until someone tells you to move closer and/or play louder.

By then you will be showing others how to play up to the level you have achieved-- you'll be a veteran who still loves learning and improving.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Am I too old to learn?
From: olddude
Date: 04 Jul 09 - 11:24 AM

My friend Garry is 64, he always wanted to learn to play guitar. 6 months ago I gave him a guitar, a book and started showing him some basic things. I cannot believe how well he is playing and singing. NO it is never too late. I am 55 I took up 5 string banjo a few months ago. People tell me I play pretty well. No matter if I didn't I had fun. You most certainly can learn to play and learn to play the music you like with some dedication and practice. In a few months you will do what my buddie Garry is doing ... and he is having a ball with it

good luck, get cracking on it, you won't regret it at all

Dan


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Subject: RE: Am I too old to learn?
From: GUEST,sarah
Date: 04 Jul 09 - 11:08 AM

saw this thread whilst looking around and wondered if you still play the melodeon Maggie? and have you started any instruments..would be good to hear!

You are never to old to learn an instrument...I felt like I was old starting flute and singing at 24, I started a folk music degree 2/3 yrs later and have played in a good few band since.
I have taught myself to play mandolin, ukulele and a bit of guitar...am going for it with the fiddle at the moment..definitely the hardest instrument I have tried but love practising it..its the instrument I always wanted to play but never had the opportunity before.

A friend started fiddle in his forties, gave up his job and succesfully graduated from a music degree some years later...

no end to the possibilities!

Worst thing about starting a new instrument is being at that 'beginner' stage again, you know what it should sound like but it's not happening yet..cant wait for the fiddle to start sounding decent when I play it!


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Subject: RE: Am I too old to learn?
From: wilco
Date: 13 Nov 06 - 07:32 PM

About three years ago, we started open jams here in South East Tennessee, for traditional acoustic music. I estimate that about 1500 different musicians (of all levels) have come through the jams, which have split again and again.
    I also have small acoustic music store, with several instructors.
My suggestion would be the following instruments: auto-harp, resonator square-neck guitar, and lap dulcimer.
    Find a welcoming group of people to play with, and have a great time.
    In my store, I've seen everything!!!! There's one elderly gentlemen who even took-up banjo at age 81! I've seen lots and lots of fiddlers from age 3 to 85.
    I don't do internet sales, but I would be happy to make some suggestions and give price guidance.

Wilco


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Subject: RE: Am I too old to learn?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 13 Nov 06 - 07:22 PM

"When you grow too old to learn,
Then you won't remember!"

My apologies to Sigmund Romberg...


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Subject: RE: Am I too old to learn?
From: Don Firth
Date: 13 Nov 06 - 02:09 PM

Good point about practice. "Practice makes permanent" This is why it's a good idea, at the very least, to get a few lessons from a good teacher to begin with. You can really paint yourself into a corner by diligently practicing mistakes or bad technique.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Am I too old to learn?
From: terrier
Date: 12 Nov 06 - 02:40 PM

Maggie, I'm dying to know, have you started to learn your chosen instrument/s yet? If you're waiting for this thread to end, then you WILL probably be too old.:)


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Subject: RE: Am I too old to learn?
From: OtherDave
Date: 11 Nov 06 - 10:00 PM

I agree with nearly all the advice -- especially the bit that said if it's the instrument you want to learn, you'll do better.

One thing, though, from my professional experience designing training. The adage "practice makes perfect" isn't true. Practice, by itself, makes permanent. For perfect, or even pretty good, you want some honest, constructive feedback from a person who knows what she's talking about.

That's the real value of a teacher, either one you hire or one who volunteers. The teacher can offer encouragement, can remind you how far you've come, and can help guide you around errors or bad technique that can become permanent without that feedback.

Best of luck, and remember that the root of "amateur" is amator, Latin for "lover." There's no higher motivation.


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Subject: RE: Am I too old to learn?
From: GUEST,Bill the sound
Date: 11 Nov 06 - 06:44 PM

I you still think you are too old, start to learn the harp, it might be useful in the next life. But don't believe all you're told.


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Subject: RE: Am I too old to learn?
From: GUEST,...
Date: 11 Nov 06 - 09:01 AM

Gulliver,
So you've changed your name from Shiamsa (which sounds like 'sham' with a feminine ending) to a masculine sounding Gulliver, but you didn't in fact say that you're not female ...
'to gull' means 'to deceive' (as in 'gullible'), therefore Gulliver may mean 'bringer of deception'. Could this be a deliberate choice?


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Subject: RE: Am I too old to learn?
From: Nick
Date: 10 Nov 06 - 12:44 PM

I'll stop taking the thread off topic after this - knitting is not just a girl thing

And if you have never been to the Shed in your life make an effort if you are ever in North Yorkshire because it is a gem of a venue.

And in a desperate effort to get myself back on topic I hope that you have started playing by now, now that you realise that EVERYONE is telling you too!


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Subject: RE: Am I too old to learn?
From: GUEST, Topsie
Date: 10 Nov 06 - 12:31 PM

Shiamsa/Gulliver
We were probably misled by the knitting.


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Subject: RE: Am I too old to learn?
From: Gulliver
Date: 10 Nov 06 - 12:00 PM

Well, now that I've been rumbled I may as well explain that I found the original question on this thread a bit (for want of a better word) silly, I suppose, so I tried to take the diametrically opposite point of view.   Of course one is never too old to learn.

I've changed my Mudcat name because 1) people keep thinking I'm female, 2) possible confusion with Shiamsa's on other music sites.

It was fun while it lasted...

Gulliver (formerly Shiamsa)


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Subject: RE: Am I too old to learn?
From: Paul Burke
Date: 10 Nov 06 - 11:41 AM

Bass jaws?


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Subject: RE: Am I too old to learn?
From: Scoville
Date: 10 Nov 06 - 11:33 AM

BASS JAW HARP!! That's the Devil's instrument if ever anything was!


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Subject: RE: Am I too old to learn?
From: Shiamsa
Date: 10 Nov 06 - 11:16 AM

Good work, Nick--did you find my Sherlock Holmes stories, or what?

Dunno why people keep calling me a woman...


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Subject: RE: Am I too old to learn?
From: Scrump
Date: 10 Nov 06 - 08:17 AM

Well Maggie, you must have learnt to play the melodeon by now - what's next?

:-) Just kidding - hope it's going well. Let us know how it goes.


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Subject: RE: Am I too old to learn?
From: Nick
Date: 10 Nov 06 - 08:15 AM

I don't think it would take a Sherlock Holmes to get to the bottom of Shiamsa's posts... ;)

Views like that AND liking Steely Dan - there's an inconsistency there.


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Subject: RE: Am I too old to learn?
From: mike_in_st_c
Date: 10 Nov 06 - 08:08 AM

I love this thread too! I started taking lessons at 49, two years ago, after trying to teach myself for many many years. I seem to lack direction and or stick to itiveness on my own. My teacher had told me to keep the three p's in mind; patience, practice, and persistance. Last Christmas, after taking lessons for a year, I thought I'd try playing Christmas songs for my wife's family. The idea took root and flourished. I went into a recording studio and recorded a cd that I gave to family members as a Christmas present. My older brother, who has been a professional jazz musician in San Francisco for 30 years said it was ten minutes of heaven. I've decided to record a cd every year just as a milemark for myself to see if I can detect any progress. Tonight though is a real benchmark for me. I'm going to be playing at a coffeehouse in Fonthill, a little town about twenty minutes from here. I get ten minutes on stage (eegad!) and have been diligently practicing two songs all week. I'm lucky, I work in a group home and can take my guitar to work. It is such an absolute pleasure and joy that if I had one wish, it would be that I could have swallowed pride and stupidity 30-40 years ago and taken lessons. Ah, "but I was so much older then,I'm younger than that now." Mike


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Subject: RE: Am I too old to learn?
From: StuartEstell
Date: 10 Nov 06 - 07:39 AM

Unless somebody somewhere has invented a bass Jew's harp. Although that would probably be extremely bad for your teeth...


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Subject: RE: Am I too old to learn?
From: Paul Burke
Date: 10 Nov 06 - 07:31 AM

The only permitted musical instruments are those mentioned in the Bible: trumpet, drum, and Jew's harp. The band tends to be a bit unbalanced, unless you've got a lot of Jew's harp players, but otherwise the sound is interesting. Not for bluegrass.


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Subject: RE: Am I too old to learn?
From: StuartEstell
Date: 10 Nov 06 - 07:12 AM

Muttley said "Your view is your own - take the vision and run with it."

That's a wonderful summary, and it raises something else that I think is really important: that there's no "wrong" way to make music. As far as I'm concerned the only "wrong" thing you can do is develop poor technique on an instrument that results in injury.

If you, and others, enjoy yourselves Maggie, then you'll be doing it right. Good luck!


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Subject: RE: Am I too old to learn?
From: Nick
Date: 10 Nov 06 - 06:47 AM

If you are still concerned that you may be too old, you could try the following as a last resort.

I was reading our Disciplinary Procedure at work yesterday and under the section titled "The Procedure" there is the following bit (my emphasis) -

Stage 3 - Dismissal Or Sanction short of dismissal
If the conduct or performance has failed to improve the worker may suffer demotion, disciplinary transfer, loss of seniority or dismissal.

Now to get to this position you have various options - theft, damage to property, incapacity due to drink or drugs, physical assault, gross insubordination.

Personally I'd probably go for the drink incapacity and then choose the reversal of the ageing process but you might be a kleptomaniac or like hitting people - they presumably put these various options in to cater for various personality types as they are a caring company. It doesn't say that you can choose but I presume that you can pick the options that you want from the list. (As an aside, I did wonder if I got drunk, stole the MDs car, mooned at the clients and hit the person here who really irritates me whether I would get younger that much quicker - I'll let you know if it works)

We are actually looking for a couple of support staff at the moment so if you are interested in a position do get in touch - and as a bonus we have a local folk club that we run where you would get lots of support.


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Subject: RE: Am I too old to learn?
From: Muttley
Date: 09 Nov 06 - 10:01 PM

Maggie

I too support your willingness to learn an instrument: GO FOR IT.

As TG from Texas wrote in his story - it's a matter of perspective. I shall offer an Australian tale which offers a similar 'moral'

Three men stood on a mountaintop, they gazed in silent awe
At the scenic grandeur spread beneath the skies
Sun upon the tree-tops, mist on silver streams
And each man saw that scene through different eyes

One man was a preacher and he fell upon his knees
He thanked Almighty God for Nature's 'beauty grand'
He confessed his own humility, the puny lot od man
And he gloried in the sight his eyes had scanned

The second was an artist; a painter of renown
And he saw the scene surrounded by a frame.
He knew if he could find the skill to capyure what he saw
He was certain in assurance of wealth and fame

But the third man was an Aussie farmer
He stood and let his gaze range as far as vision would allow
Over rugged hills and valleys and he muttered to himself
"Strewth! What a lousy, bloody place to lose a cow!"


Your view is your own - take the vision and run with it.
If you need further inspiration (examples of "I dunnit") I shall give you my tale.

I began learning guitar as a ten-year-old and got quickly bored - I could always sing & even got an invite to try out for the Australian Boys Choir.

As a teenager I tried again and lost interest even more quickly - the teachers were bored and boring - no enthusiasm; it's hard to catch fire when the wood is wet!

At teachers college I learned recorder but just couldn't catch the skill of reading notation and so 'played by ear'. In my mid twenties I picked up my guitar again at the behest of a fellow teacher in our little town in Country Victoria and began to play more fluently.

Then over about 8 years tragedy hit: in1989 I was fighting a bushfire and got overrun by the firefront and inhaled flame: burning and scarring my vocal chords and trachea (windpipe)and putting me in Intensive Care for four days. I lost most of my range and a lot of power in my voice.

In March '97 I was involved in a motorcycle accident and received head injuries resulting in Acquired Brain Injury - part of this manifests in severe short-term memory loss while another was that I totally forgot how to play the guitar. I also lost a fair bit of fine-motor control in my fingers.

After 3 years of 'rehab' I picked up my guitar and strummed the only 3 chords I could remember - G, D and Em. From there I decided I'd learn to play again. I still cannot recall 'chord progressions' mor can I chord a song from being told "that song is played in the key of ....."; in fact I can't even play a song without thje words and chords in front of me and to that end, I have books with songs printed out with the chords visible at the points where I need to make the changes and I have learned to read two lines of script at once so I can sing the lyrics and play the song. I can no longer finger-pick nor can I barre chords - I just strum. I can now play about a dozen or so chords from memory and others I have simple diagrams on the page with the song and I refamiliarise myself before playing,

In doing this I now busk regularly and even make a fair bit of spare change. A couple of owners of local bars where they play ad hoc music live among themselves have heard me and invited me along to their 'jam nights' (still a little too uncertain of myself to try that yet).

In the interim; four years ago I went to Alice Springs and my son and I went to a "Didjeridu University" ( a shop in the centre of the city) and we learned th basics of didjeridu playing. I can now still make all the right noises and I have just recently learned to 'circular breathe' - I now need to adapt THAT to the didje!

I have also recently bought (on a trip to the UK last year) a Low Whistle in D from Hobgoblin Music in (I think it was) Bristol and now I'm waiting for a teaching book to learn that.

I also still play a few tunes on my old recorders!

So have a good look at the list of affirmatives you have received. This is the 112th posting on this topic - three of which are yours.

Of the other 109, only five are negatives and they are all from one person who may or may not be serious. I certainly hope they're not. Not all Christians are THAT fundamental, Shiamsa sounds so fundamental she probably frowns upon the use of fire!

Get out there and learn your bum off Maggie - and learn BOTH instruments and most of all - HAVE FUN LEARNING THEM AND ENJOYING YOURE MUSIC.

As for Shiamsa: The scriptures also compel us to "Make a joyous music unto the Lord" amd as for Cromwell, HE also stabled his horses and broke out the stained glass windows of churches all over Britain and Ireland as well as looting them - he was a savage and a bigot.


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Subject: RE: Am I too old to learn?
From: Shiamsa
Date: 09 Nov 06 - 08:48 PM

Topsie, I consider knitting as "work", and do not carry it out on the Sabbath. My rule for Sabbath activities is: if in doubt, leave it out! Note also that tuning an instrument is prohibited on the Sabbath by Jews.

Tootler, Cromwell outlawed only the Irish musicians. This lasted for some time, into the Penal times after 1690, so that many musicians got fed up, packed up their instruments and headed for the colonies. That's how, eventually, Bluegrass and Country and Western came into being.

Guest, it's not the playing of the instrument per se that's the problem, it's the time and energy that this takes up (see my posts above), and the temptation for the woman to leave her domestic sphere and venture outside into perhaps doubtful company. Music for worship is fine (psalms, hymns), but scholars differ as to whether this can be accompanied by instruments or not. John Calvin had strong views on this.


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Subject: RE: Am I too old to learn?
From: GUEST,Nick
Date: 09 Nov 06 - 08:11 PM

Too old to learn, I would think not,just the right age to annoy?... more like it.... PRACTICE!
just apolgise before hand to wife & neighbors and warn them bagpipes could be next.
Whack
Fall The Day
Nick


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Subject: RE: Am I too old to learn?
From: GUEST,...
Date: 09 Nov 06 - 06:54 PM

I would have thought a woman would be helped in growing old gracefully by learning to play a musical instrument, and that music would be something extra that she could offer her family in addition to food and clothes. (Perhaps she could get round Shiamsa by learning to play a few hymn tunes - or are they banned, as being church music?)


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Subject: RE: Am I too old to learn?
From: Tootler
Date: 09 Nov 06 - 06:40 PM

When Cromwell came here (Dublin) he closed all the theatres and outlawed the musicians - and not just in Dublin.

Given that perception that people have, it always seems odd that one of the most successful music publishers of the 17th century, John Playford published much of his work during the Commonwealth (The first edition of the Dancing Master was published in 1651, two years after the execution of Charles I). That being the case, somehow I don't think music and dancing were actually outlawed. What Cromwell did do, I believe, was to stop the use of music in church services and to disband the cathederal choirs as this was considered ungodly and smacked of Popery. In fact I vaguely remember reading somewhere that Cromwell enjoyed social dancing. OTOH, the theatres definitely were closed and only reopened with the restoration of the Monarchy.

I think that Cromwell is often labelled with some of the excesses of his more extreme followers.


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Subject: RE: Am I too old to learn?
From: GUEST, Topsie
Date: 09 Nov 06 - 03:15 PM

I have my doubts as to whether it was the the theatres and musicians in Dublin who were causing God to visit the plague on London. And the Bible is not without its share of seditious and bawdy stories.
But there's nothing wrong with knitting - it's even quite trendy at the moment I'm told. However, my puritan grandfather didn't allow knitting on Sundays - whether it was on the grounds that it was work, or pleasure, I'm not sure.


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Subject: RE: Am I too old to learn?
From: Shiamsa
Date: 09 Nov 06 - 01:54 PM

Blow blow thou winter winds... I realize that I am ploughing a lonely and narrow furrow here, in suggesting that one should aim for higher things, to grow old gracefully, to be, as every woman ought to be, the woman first, the artiste afterwards. Excused, of course, may be those poor woman in want, who tread the boards for the sake of old parents, or the improvident husband and the sickly babies at home.

Tootler writes: As to Shiamsa, her posts read like a 17th century Puritan's guide to godly living for the housewife.

I can only say, what's wrong with 17th century Puritans? When Cromwell came here (Dublin) he closed all the theatres and outlawed the musicians, because they were "emptying the churches, perpetuating pagan custom, distorting truth, showing forth profane, seditious, and bawdy stories, teaching knavery and lechery, causing God to visit the plague on London, leading youth into idleness and extravagance, affording meeting places for harlots and customers, aiding the Pope, and corrupting maidens and chaste wives." Seems like a good enough reason for me.

Back to my knitting...


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Subject: RE: Am I too old to learn?
From: GUEST,Paul
Date: 09 Nov 06 - 07:32 AM

Im 51 and just started to learn guitar. It's been a lifetime wish to do it. I just woke up one morning and decided give it a go. Have enrolled in a community course at the local high school. Would thoroughly recommend it.


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Subject: RE: Am I too old to learn?
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 08 Nov 06 - 09:43 PM

G'day Maggie,

I missed most of this thread (local telcon ... err... telco ...) has a dud ADSL card in my exchange ... and still can't find where they hid the spare - so no home connection ... after 11 days!

Anyway, I run a weekly Music Workshop Session, here in Sydney, Australia, for the Bush Music Club. I'm getting 15 - 20 players along for session currently - and that includes up to half a dozen learning fiddle. The youngest may be as young as you! They are all having fun - bouncing off each other's strengths and weaknesses - and getting better every week.

(I don't have any aspiring button accordion players - although one of the Monday Mob played button accordion in a "Bush Band" - where I played mouthorgan - back in the '70s. Nowadays he plays mandolin - and fiddle - as well as guitar ... and occasionally pulls a melodeon [simplest form of button accordion] out of his bag, when appropriate. However, the rest may think that one button accordionist is quite enough! I stick to the box, because I have to lead 15 - 20 musicians, sometimes acoustically, and the box is ... especially if I'n playing it. When I can relax and let someone else lead, I drop back to mouthorgan, whistle or bones.)

On the subjects of "starting late" and or "accompanying your singing" I keep in mind a local singer. Her lifetime partner died a few years back ... and we had always seen and heard her as a singer only (and damned good at it!). Over the past few years, I have seen her play and sing at local folk clubs ... excellently (tastefully ... harmoniously ... beautifully ...) accompanying her singing, first on fiddle - then on English concertina! As far as I know, she only started those instruments well after your tender age.

What's needed is appreciation of the music (that's why you came to look at the Mudcat Café ...?) ... enough dedication to learn and practise ... a few good musical friends ... and you'll be looking for a good audience. (Oh yes ... and sign up for the 'Cat ... and stay in touch ... we like to watch good youngsters flourish!)

Regards,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Am I too old to learn?
From: Richard Atkins
Date: 08 Nov 06 - 07:54 PM

Shamsia .You had me in protection thoughts for Maggies Thread last night. Brill posts on reflection today though ! Will send my partner out with Lawnmower and Leaf Rake at sun rise then!! :>}


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Subject: RE: Am I too old to learn?
From: Tootler
Date: 08 Nov 06 - 07:12 PM

No one is ever too old to learn. Learning something new is an excellent way of keeping the brain active.

I have taken up the anglo concertina at the age of 61 and it is giving me a great deal of pleasure. I have a long way to go to become proficient, but I know that it will take time. In the meantime, I have an instrument that I can already play some tunes on and enjoy playing.

One advantage that age gives is experience. You are aware that you are likely to have a struggle ahead and mentally prepare yourself. Also when you are older you tend to have more patience and will plug away when a youngster might give up. Alright you may not ever be able to play as quickly as many of the youngsters around nor will you pick things up as quickly, but given a willingness to learn you can make steady progress and you can learn to play musically - which is no way the same as playing fast. In fact, they say that the real test of a musician is how well they play a slow piece. Most of all if learning a new instrument gives you pleasure then that is what you should do. You will be starting on a journey which will give you pleasure for many years to come.

As to Shamsia, her posts read like a 17th century Puritan's guide to godly living for the housewife. I wonder were we to see a photo if there would be a little bulge in her cheek where her tongue has been firmly planted?


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Subject: RE: Am I too old to learn?
From: terrier
Date: 08 Nov 06 - 05:28 PM

I heard the Devil went down to Georgia anyway?


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Subject: RE: Am I too old to learn?
From: GUEST, Topsie
Date: 08 Nov 06 - 04:53 PM

In the circumstances, facetiousness would have made the remarks 'acceptable'. I was giving Shiamsa the benefit of the doubt.


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Subject: RE: Am I too old to learn?
From: Rowan
Date: 08 Nov 06 - 04:38 PM

Jillie (Eye Lander) wrote "It helps if you've been a folkie for a while and already heave the tunes in your head."

What a wonderful image.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: Am I too old to learn?
From: GUEST,bobcat
Date: 08 Nov 06 - 04:33 PM

Stuff the knitted socks and go for it.Life may begin at 40 but it takes off at 50..for us girls that is..kids growing up and freedom to pursue what ever challenge you fancy. I have been hutting in the Austrian Alps (famous five adventures for grown-ups) and taken up the challenge of learning a musical instrument in the hope that I can strum along...I'm not very musical but am enjoying myself or at least the challenge. This is the 21st century for crying out loud. The next generation are busy doing their thing and so should we...it's challenges that keep the little grey cells ticking over...so go for it!!! And good luck


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Subject: RE: Am I too old to learn?
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 08 Nov 06 - 03:36 PM

In Cape Breton there would seem to be a contradiction about the deil playin the fiddle. I have heard it said that it is the devil's insturment. I have also heard it said that it is the only insturment that he can't play because it forms a cross.
Most however are unanlmous in the claim that "Buddy MacMaster can play like the devil!" :-}
               Sandy


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Subject: RE: Am I too old to learn?
From: Eye Lander
Date: 08 Nov 06 - 12:39 PM

Andy (Miskin Man) and I took up the English Concertina a couple of years ago both in our middle 50's, we're not very good but enjoy the practice. It helps if you've been a folkie for a while and already heave the tunes in your head. I am new to it all so I am learning tunes as well as the instrument.

Jillie


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Subject: RE: Am I too old to learn?
From: Scrump
Date: 08 Nov 06 - 05:04 AM

Of course the devil plays a lot of instruments - and all of them very loudly and very badly :-)


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