An impossible dream?

Dear Mr. Friedland,

My name is Stefan and I am writing to you from Sweden. I must first thank you for your wonderful website, I think it is very kind of you to offer your help to less experienced players and the more experienced ones too I suppose. I havenīt been playing the clarinet for very long, only about just over a year, and your site is very helpful in my development. I discovered this incredible instrument not long ago, but I feel it has opened a whole new world for me. I try to practice whenever I have time and the best part is that Iīm doing it solely because I enjoy it, it feels great! A while ago I also joined an orchestra as a second chair clarinet. I am not really that good of a player to be able to play along with them all the time but I am improving. There isnīt anything in the world that gives me more pleasure than playing together with them and it has gotten me very interested in all kinds of music fairly new to me. My interest grows everyday and my life gets more and more focused on my clarinet, the orchestra and music of all kinds. And here lies my problem: I am now nineteen years old and Iīm about to finish high school and not sure about what to do with my future. But for every day that passes my interest in music grows stronger and I feel that it would be perfect to be able to spend my future as maybe a musical teacher or playing for an orchestra. Perhaps I will sign up for a musical college or take just a year and study music and try it out. But sometimes I feel that Iīm too late for all of this; I grew up in a totally non-musical family and the clarinet is the first instrument I really put my mind to. Everywhere around me there are people of my age that are musical geniuses compared to me. I really try to catch up as fast as I possibly can, itīs hard work and I try my best, but sometimes it just feels impossible. So, Mr. Friedland, what do you think, is my dream impossible? What do you think I should do to improve my general musical knowledge?
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Hello Stefan:
Thank you for your letter with its question about a life in music. I am pleased to know that news has traveled all the way to Sweden.
It is also gratifying to know that you really have been energized by music ,even just the thought of music.
There is every reason to continue with your examination of music.
At age 19, perhaps you are too old to become a professional clarinetist, however you asked simply if music is a possibility for you.
I would strongly suggest that the dream needn’t be an impossible dream at all.
At your age I would immediately investigate the possibilities for continuing your musical education . And I would immediately seek out studying the clarinet with a professional player who both enjoys and is capable of teaching. Depending upon your ear, talent and affinity for the instrument, you can proceed very quickly with the proper instruction, even while you are studying basic music.If the system of musical education is similar to that of North America you will find that getting into the many ensembles available is competitive, however do not be taken aback; you can proceed quite quickly with correct and inspired teaching.
This is very definitely a dream which is there for you. From your letter one understands that you are deeply interested in and immersed in music. The continuation of this interest and immersion will result in the realization of your desire.Indeed it is about to become a reality, driven by your desire and interest. Learn everything there is to know about music. Don’t ever stop.
Good luck, and stay in touch.
Best wishes for the holidays,
sincerely, Sherman Friedland

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