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Interesting thread.

 

I don't ever expect to really fit into any one particular genre of concertina playing, but, for me, there's really no reason why that should matter.

 

I still find it interesting to have even just loose contact with others who play the concertina.

 

As far as age of players goes....

 

the little ol' concertina is maybe too much of a 'mouse' for over-bearing, bashing rock 'n rollers, thus it hasn't appealed to the masses. To that, I say, YAY!!! Thank God, they left something alone -- it's okay for ME to play it!!!!

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Every time I see someone's birthday mentioned on the forum they always seem to be round about 50, give or take a year or two. It struck me that playing the concertina could, with exceptions of course, be an age-related thing.

As further support for my own belief that concertina players are not all on the snowy side of 50, I direct your attention to Bruce McCaskey's class photo from the Winter 2005 Noel Hill School, and to a few of Roy Janik's photos from the same trip: here, here, and here.

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Every time I see someone's birthday mentioned on the forum they always seem to be round about 50, give or take a year or two. It struck me that playing the concertina could, with exceptions of course, be an age-related thing.

As further support for my own belief that concertina players are not all on the snowy side of 50, I direct your attention to Bruce McCaskey's class photo from the Winter 2005 Noel Hill School, and to a few of Roy Janik's photos from the same trip: here, here, and here.

 

Jim

I think the class photo helps to prove the point allowing for the exceptions. I'd bet that the average age isn't too far off 50.

 

The other photos however proove (for the sake of argument ;) ) that there are lots of budding fifty-year-olds out there waiting patiently to eventually join our ranks. :rolleyes:

 

Pete

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As for the question of age on the other end.  I took up the concertina at age 63 (last year) with the fear that I might be too old.  I did have the benefit of some experience with the piano which I think helped a bit.  I also don't give up easlily. While I don't feel comfortable playing in public yet, I do think that it is possible to progress quite well on the concertina at my age.  In fact, I think the concertina may be one of the few instruments that an "older" person can learn with some proficiency.  At least I continue to hope so. I have even ventured into a few slower sessions with some success.  I would be interested in hearing from others who started somewhere in their 60's or later, and what their experience has been.

 

Alan Miller

I have just ordered my first concertina (The Jackie) at the age of 52 - glad to hear that others have started at a more 'mature' age and are enjoying it. :) :) I feel that now my children are grown up I have the time to devote to some of the things I have wanted to do for years, but never really got round to. ;) ;)

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When I was in my thirties, that was the optimum age for a concertina player, then my forties, and now my fifties, the optimum age just seems to get older with me!.

And I find myself saying to my concertina

 

"Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be".

 

Chris

 

PS Of course, I say it to Anne as well. :)

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Well, to add my 2c worth...

 

1. I fit the facial hair stereotype. It's really that I hate to shave around my mouth. I still manage to cut myself quite a bit and it's not worth it. Plus, my wife actually likes me this way.

 

2. At 38 this is the first time I've felt "young". Thanks folks! :P

 

3. It took so long because, quite simply, a concertina wasn't in my price range.

 

4. It was cheaper than a mistress and a sportscar for my fast-approaching mid-life crisis. :blink:

 

That said, I have only two real hobbies: My Concertina and my videogame addiction. All told, I think the former is better for me.

 

Well, back to work, then home to work on scales for alternate fingerings.

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I, too am in my thirties (37), bearded (a Van Dyke) and just beginning on concertina. Unlike Ashkettle, My other addictions is motorsports rather than videogames. I may actually fit in better w/ that crowd visually, as I am shaven-headed, pierced, tattooed, etc. I split my time between my 1973 Triumph TR6, my 1979 Triumph Bonneville 750, and my 1998 Harley SPortster 1200 w/ a big-bore kit...

 

My quiet, suburban neighbors already hate me ! Wait until I practice outside this summer! B)

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1. facial hair is only evident when I'm too lazy to shave. And as I've just given myself a mohawk variation facial hair is best not in evidence ;)

 

2. I got my jackie for my 34th birthday - actually received it while I was still 33 :P

 

 

3. I can't adequately explain why I wanted a concertina... hence I didn't want to spend a lot of money if it turned out to be a passing whim.

 

4. hmmm no 4 :)

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I have just ordered my first concertina (The Jackie) at the age of 52 - glad to hear that others have started at a more 'mature' age and are enjoying it.  :)  :) I feel that now my children are grown up I have the time to devote to some of the things I have wanted to do for years, but never really got round to.  ;)  ;)

 

I am almost 45, and I can remember thinking how very OLD that seemed...but, really, it's not. We have more years to be 'old' than we do to be 'young,' if 'young' means pre-thirty or thereabouts.

 

My daughter complained that she felt 'old' when she turned 20!!!! (What's this world come to, these days?) I told her to forget about what the media tells us while they're trying to sell their magic pills, and just get busy with the stuff she likes to do.

 

I find that, getting older, there can sometimes be this 'spinning top' sensation, like time is just spiraling and slipping by faster and faster, IF -- IF -- I let that happen. But, if I take my personal interests/hobbies/studies seriously (i.e., the concertina and related), then I'm happier and it almost seems like time slows down.

 

And...I'm not sure exactly what I'd say about my beliefs in 'divine guidance' or 'destiny,' but, it's funny how various strange little things that I've studied on my own over the years seem to have all lead to the English concertina -- in other words, I finally got old enough to play it!! It wouldn't have been as effective for me, years ago.

 

Hmm...gotta go...snowing here and I need to hit the road again...sigh....bye bye.

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I don't think it is about optimum starting age, I think it is more to do with the time you will (or can) commit to it and how far you want to go. Give it an hour a day pratice, and weekly music sessions and you are bound to improve for the first few months. The hard part is getting past competent to being proficient! (Which I assume will take me many years!) You also need to be a pain and ask other proficient musicians how they do it.

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Every time I see someone's birthday mentioned on the forum they always seem to be round about 50, give or take a year or two. It struck me that playing the concertina could, with exceptions of course, be an age-related thing.

As further support for my own belief that concertina players are not all on the snowy side of 50, I direct your attention to Bruce McCaskey's class photo from the Winter 2005 Noel Hill School, and to a few of Roy Janik's photos from the same trip: here, here, and here.

 

I'd just about decided to skip the last couple of weeks of new posts on the forum rather than try to catch up, but I'm glad now I opted to do a rapid scan. I need to add some clarification here to aid in the interpretation of the photos referenced.

 

As to the Noel Hill class photo on my website, I have to say there are a couple of 'ringers' in it. Noel's young son (on his right) and daughter (four down on his left) were included in the photo because they were very much involved with our group but they did not participate in our formal classes. To be sure, they both play concertina and at least his daughter is learning the fiddle (I think his son is as well) and she's no slouch on the whistle either.

 

Sorry there isn't clarification on that matter on the Ireland class photo webpage at the moment, but I wanted to post an initial photo right away and I plan to clarify the representation of students in the photo when I write up the text. As mentioned on the page, two students are not included in the photo (one from the US and one from Limerick) but neither falls into the 'youth' category.

 

As to Roy's photo's, I can't speak actively for him but I believe the first two referenced were taken at Noel's Saturday concertina workshop at 'The Gathering' in Killarney. Based on what I heard from Noel and others during my time in Ireland, there are a lot of young students learning concertina in that country.

 

The last photo-link referenced in Roy's group is a shot of Edel Fox, who performed in Corofin as a part of the same recital with Chris Droney and Noel Hill. As some may know, Edel placed second in the 15 -18 age category of the (I think) 2002 All-Ireland and was recently named RTE Young Musician of the Year. She will be coming to the US and instructing 'Beginning Level Concertina' at the Irish Arts Week this year in East Durham, New York.

 

Since I've taken the time to address this topic, I also added a page to my website depicting the three performers at the 2005 Corofin Festival Concertina Recital.

 

So far I've scanned through and touched up 350 digital photos from the trip and still have an hour of digital video to review and edit, not to mention several hours of audio recorded during classes. I hope to get started on some text about the trip in the next day or two, but expect it'll be several days before I complete it, meld in suitable photos and post it on the site.

 

Bruce

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