Some excellent advice already here. for example...
QUOTE(sbhoa @ Sep 5 2011, 08:25 PM)
Yes, choose the instrument you really want to play.
Don't choose by supposed difficulties. All instruments have their challenges and until you you don't know, you may well have a particular aptitude for the violin.
Excellent advice from sbhoa. Listen to your heart, they are all a challenge, they just have different difficulties at different stages. If your heart is in it then you will relish the challenges.
QUOTE(Flossie @ Sep 5 2011, 09:53 PM)
Lostandconfused: Think carefully about which instrument you like the sound of best and also what you want to do with your playing. If you are interested in playing with other people then your opportunities for this are likely to be more limmited on flute. An orchestra typically needs around 40 violins compared to 2-4 flutes, and the instruments are now equally popular which means that orchestral flute places are extremely competetive. There is also more chamber music for violin if you are interested in playing in a small group. It is worth having a look at the opportunities in your area - some places do for example have a flute choir which would often take more players.
And this also is most excellent advice. The violin (and viola) offer far more opportunity to play with other people, the piano can be a very solitary instrument, and places for wind instruments in groups is very competitive.
QUOTE(kenm @ Sep 5 2011, 11:27 PM)
The violin gives you entry to many sorts of music, but not quite all. There are more than twice as many of them in an orchestra as of any other instrument; they also play in many sorts of string and mixed chamber music. There are, of course, both large and small groups that have only wind instruments, but the violin has by far the largest number of high quality compositions.
Yes, reiterating the above, and also considering the repertoire of the instrument. What music do you like? What do you listen to the most?
For me violin was my choice (again at over twice your age) as my heart said this. I wanted more than anything to play chamber music, and I now play regular in a (amateur) quartet, and local community orchestra. There are also lots of ad hoc events for string players, such as string orchestra days, and chamber music days you can get involved in, if this is what you want to do. Later I got a piano, and have actually done my grade one, but this has completely fallen by the wayside as it just does not inspire me in the same way.
Good luck in your choice and musical journey, and do keep posting here, there is so much support