A little bit of background: when I was younger (around middle school) I played the piano for approximately 4 years. We're talking about around 10 years ago. I used to take regular lessons and also played in my school orchestra. Since then I didn't take any other lessons, but sometimes played the piano by myself.

I would really really like to join my university orchestra. I remember being in love with playing music with others. The only problem is that there's no need for pianists, since there are many available right now.

My idea is to learn the violin for a year and then try to join my university orchestra in late 2020. The orchestra is entirely composed by amateurs, not professional musicians. I have never played the violin seriously but I tried (back when I was in middle school) and enjoyed it. I'm also, of course, able to read and comprehend sheets very rapidly, so I guess that would be an advantage. Do you think it would be possible for me to reach an adequate level to play in an orchestra if I took lessons (once a week, with an experienced teacher) for a year? Thank you so much.

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    Why not chat with the conductor of the orchestra? They already know the technical standard of the pieces you'd be playing. If they think that getting to that level in a year on violin is too ambitious, they may be able to suggest a different way in. – Brian THOMAS May 31 '19 at 11:50
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    Each person learns at a different pace. If you want to learn violin, then go learn violin! It may take more than a year to win an audition to any given orchestra, but if your only goal is to play with others, why not look into other musical genres & small -group play? – Carl Witthoft May 31 '19 at 12:20
  • It would depend on your talent and work-rate. You'd stand a lot more chance with a viola. – PeterJ Jun 1 '19 at 11:58

Like a lot of things, you get out of it what you put into it. If you're practicing consistently (15 minutes a day, every day, is better than 3 hours one day a week), taking lessons with an experienced musician AND teacher (being a good teacher is just as if not more important than being a good musician), listening to music, performing when and where appropriate (perhaps with a community orchestra), and attending rehearsals and/or performances of the ensemble in question, then there's a good chance that the answer is yes. This is going to largely depend on the skill level of the target orchestra, but I'd say it's certainly within the realm of possibility.

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