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Violin/14 year old looking to play an instrument


Recently i discovered I love the oboe. I have been playing viola the past few years and just received a new one from my parents. I don't know how to tell them but I don't love playing the viola anymore. I want to play the oboe but I fear that I may lose interest in that too. Do you have any recommendations on what to do

Parents want to know that you follow through on your commitments and that their investment of time and money is well spent.  Sit down at dinner with them and tell them that you believe you have demonstrated your commitment by playing for several years - and how learning viola was a positive experience and that your passion for further study is waning.  You have found a new interest in music and would like to know if they would be ok with you trying out the oboe and trading in the viola.  14 year olds are not expected to make permanent life decisions, so you should not be ashamed to try something new!

That being said, I caution you to talk to a teacher or oboist about what the change will mean for you.  Oboe has unique challenges concerning the making and maintenance of reeds that can get expensive, and the fact that there are only two or three oboes in an orchestra means less opportunities for a student to play depending on the local competition for youth orchestra chairs. As a violist, you never are wanting for such an opportunity.

Also, the fact that you are switching from a string instrument to an oboe means that you are starting over as a beginner.  Will you be enthusiastic about beginning again after having attained some advancement on another instrument?  


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Todd Sullivan


Hello, I am a NYC violinist performing for Broadway shows, symphony orchestras, opera, and sundry theatre/pop tours. I would be happy to answer your questions about anything related to being a performer in the music business. I play both violin and viola professionally, so questions on playing either instrument are welcome. The only thing I am not well informed on is information concerning instruments/bows...those questions are best left to luthiers.


Professional experience includes a variety of on/off Broadway tours and shows, numerous orchestras, tours with Ray Charles and Ann Murray orchestras, leader of the 20-piece Todd Sullivan Orchestra.

Bachelor of Fine Arts (violin) with honors from Carnegie Mellon University (1999)

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