It's never too late and you are never too old to play music. From the I Heart Radio studio I'm Unplugged and Totally Uncut with a NY Times reporter that lives by one rule: If you think you can play. Then you can.
A few years ago, Ari Goldman felt the same nostalgia for the cello and chronicled his return to the instrument in an article for the New York Times. Ari is a former New York Times reporter and the author of The Search for God at Harvard, which was a New York Times Notable Book. In his new book, The Late Starters Orchestra (June 10, 2014), Ari picks up the cello again after 25 years and we follow him as he prepares for his musical coming out: his next birthday party. First he secures a seat in his 11-year old son’s youth orchestra and sits in on his private Suzuki lessons, and then he’s ready for the big time: the Late Starters Orchestra of New York City, whose motto is If you think you can play, you can. Delighting us from the very first line (“Standing in a crowded elevator in midtown Manhattan with a cello strapped to your back is no way to win a popularity contest.”), readers will enjoy this humorous and heartwarming story about finding passion and purpose later in the life, and about the power of music. The Late Starters Orchestra has received nice early author endorsements, including Letty Cottin Pogrebin, who calls it “a joy to read—moving, funny, and deeply true in its depiction of those aspirations we put aside until, one day, we realize it’s now or never . . . An inspiration for dreamers everywhere.” And it will have whimsical black-and-white illustrations by Eric Hanson throughout. Ari will discuss: • Never pack away your instrument. leave it out so you can get your hands on it when the spirit moves you. Play every day. • It’s impossible to keep up with kids. Instead, find like-minded adults who are just a tad better than you are to play with. • Consider every note a song. • Never perform. Only “rehearse,” sometimes in public. • Remember that practice makes the impossible possible. • Learn a favorite song and play it to death. That way, if someone hands you an instrument, you can play at least a few bars of something. • Go to concerts. Listen to your devices. surround yourself with the music you aspire to play. • Don’t spend a lot of money on your instrument. spend it on a teacher with an abundance of patience and a sense of humor. • Record yourself playing. don’t listen to it, even once, for at least a year. revel in how far you’ve come when you finally do listen to it. • When you play Mozart or Chopin or the Beatles or Elton John, remember that they played this too. You are connected. • Have fun! You will never be a soloist at Carnegie Hall. Accept that and play because you love it! About the author: Former New York Times reporter Ari L. Goldman is the author of three previous books, including the bestseller The Search for God at Harvard. He teaches at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.