"To everything there is a season". Sage words. But perhaps a bit self limiting if taken too literally.
Here are some seniors, of my acquaintance, who inspire me.
1. Heather, now preparing for her Grade 2 violin exam. Yesterday she shopped for a violin upgrade.
2. Gary, now running his own weekly jazz jam session with his new found pals.
3. Glen, recently performing online with musicians and dancers from 2 European Countries. Today I found him practicing the piccolo.
4. Eleanor, writing music for her website for her fans around the world.
I say, don't sell yourself short.
I’ve an aging body. Accommodations will have to be made. If you are reading this, you are likely in the same boat. Here is what was recommended by the physiotherapist recently.
Your high school track days are over. Remember that as you consider how to maintain fitness after 60. Recovery is neither quick nor easy. So, rule number 1 is don't get injured. Rule number 2 is seek some professional input before starting to exercise again if you have been inactive. First stop is your doctor. No point dropping dead in the first week.
Here is the recommendation for a seven-day cycle: 6 days of activity, one day of rest from Dr. Stuart McGill is professor emeritus in Spine Biomechanics at the University of Waterloo. He's our age, these are his recommendation. Check out his article on the CBC website. https://www.cbc.ca/life/wellness/how-to-change-your-fitness-routine-to-stay-strong-and-mobile-as-you-age-1.5471940
Day one: strength training
Day two: something else, like biking, walking, something to "get the old ticker going"
Day three: mobility training
Day four: something else
Day five: Strength training
Day six: rest
Day seven: mobility training
Day one: Something else
Day two: strength training
Day three: something else
Day four: mobility training
Day five: rest
Day six: Strength training
Day seven: Something else
and so on
I’m going to try this new routine over the next six weeks and see what happens.
Assuming you can find the motivation to practice when the world is falling apart, I'd ramp up practice time slowly to avoid injury. Every year at jazz camp I meet so many "hobby" musicians who after 2 or 3 days are in trouble. Bleeding fingers on bass players, blown embouchures on brass players, tendentious flaring up in pianists and drummers. There are tears.
So, I suggest ramping up practice about 10% a week. Warming up the muscles before you thrash the hell out of your instrument is helpful too. I'm working out in my home gym this morning and then heading to the practice studio.
For helpful advice I suggest all eager musicians read "The Musicians Way". I read it like many people read holy books.
They say you don't know your limits until you reach them. This week I reached the physical limit of my body, in it's current shape. Yes, I hurt. Upper extremities including shoulder muscles are sore.
I hope someone reading this will find this helpful.
David Story: Professional pianist, drummer, composer, and educator. Well into his 5th enthusiastic musical decade, David works with adults pursuing musical dreams in the autumn of life, while he maintains an active presence in the Toronto arts scene.