Tony Shaddock, 73, is one of our “young at heart” adult students. He has taken up Violin again after retiring as an Emeritus Professor of the University of Canberra and a psychologist. He learns from Victoria and is really enjoying getting back to playing again!
Tony: My most enjoyable retirement activity has been getting back to my violin again. As a five
year, old I learned the banjo mandolin and then took up violin when I was 8. (I still use my
banjo to work out tricky fingering on the violin but I am not sure whether Victoria would
recommend this! However, it works for me).
When I was in year 7 at school I passed my 4 th grade AMEB exams but then ‘dropped out’ of
violin lessons. I now wish my parents had been more insistent. However, with Victoria’s
excellent tuition and guidance, I am making progress again.
I still have some of my old AMEB books and I think the AMEB standards may be somewhat
higher now than they were when I first studied violin. Victoria initially took me back to
second and third grade material and that has been useful revision.
One of the best things I have done – and at Victoria’s suggestion – was to join Innominato
Strings – a Sydney-based community string ensemble for adults
Guided by a professional conductor, the group practises weekly, puts on two concerts a
year, and gets together to play on other occasions. There is a range of age, ability and
stringed instruments in Innominato Strings but we are united by our love of music and our
desire to enjoy playing and to improve. New players are welcome.
When I took up violin again last year I figured that I would need to practise about 6 hours a
week. However, thanks to Victoria and Innominato Strings, I am now doing a lot more than
that and enjoying every minute of it.
My take-home message is “It’s never too late!”