I'm a 22 years old guy who is studying physics but wants to return to music(piano). do you think I have any chance of getting accepted into a conservatory at 23-24 years old? I studied in a conservatory until college so I can play things like: Partita no 6 JSB, etudes paganini-Liszt no 2 and la chase(don't remember the number of it) Beethoven sonatas(no.4, no.7 no 1, and no. 9) But after 3 years of college my piano skills are not what they used to be, but my dream is to study in a conservatory to live of piano(as a teacher, accompanist, not necesarily a concert pianist) I need your advice

  • Why don't you ask the conservatory what their general policy is about admitting older (!! hey -- some of us are 'way past their 20s) students? Commented Sep 16, 2014 at 12:03

2 Answers 2


I would say that conservatories are very strict on their standards, usually trying to incubate the 'worlds best' and working in a very closed and inward-looking community of classical performers.

It seems to me that it's very much possible to make a living as a teacher and accompanist, or indeed as a performer, without re-admitting yourself to a conservatory. If you were to put the time required to continue a course at that level into your practise, then there's no reason you shouldn't become professional outside that inward-looking community.

  • The only thing missing here is the maybe too obvious to mention need for a conservatory level teacher.
    – 11684
    Commented Jan 10, 2016 at 16:39

I was accepted at 48 years old into the UMASS-Lowell music program as a piano performance major, so don't give up on yourself just yet.

But... get yourself a teacher who can guide you through the audition process and use this as a way to brush up on your technique and musicality, and memorization. Your teacher will know which works are appropriate for the audition.

When I applied, I had to play the following from memory:

A Bach Prelude and Fugue, or something from the Baroque. A Classical period Sonata A Romantic period piece and something from the Modern period.

I played the following: Bach's Allemande from his French Suite No. 6 in E major Mozart's Fantasy in C minor K475 Chopin's Nocturne Op. 9 No. 1 in B-flat minor and Poulenc's Movement Perpetuels first part (they cut me off before I continued).

It took me about a year to get this together and ready for the audition, and got in without a hitch.

Keep in mind you will need to practice your fingers off. While at UMASS, I was also taking other classes, but I still put in 6-8 hours per day practicing in addition to homework, which was easy anyway for me.

I know this is a passion that can't be quelled, but why would you give up a physics career and go into music? The same reason why I left IT. :)

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