My conflict is slightly different. I enjoy playing the viol in consort music. Like string quartets this is played one to a part. Consort music is available in just about every combination of treble/tenor/bass for 3, 4, 5, and 6 instruments.
The challenge is it depends where you live in the UK as to the likelihood of there a)being other players nearby, and b)players willing to let a newbie in. Regarding (a) there are not that many in this area. This is probably due to in part to the limited number of tutors. There are three tutors that I know of: one that I go to, one Manchester based, and one in south Lakes. This probably explains the thinness of the population. The second point is probably something I have limited ability to influence, although my tutor is going to ask around the people he knows.
Until now, just about the only opportunity I get is to sign up to weekend courses or summer schools, which is a very expensive option
This in part explains why after 35 years I have returned to the cello - something I didn't think I'd do. I realise it's an economy of scale thing, but it's proven to be so much easier to get playing with others. I've got straight into a community orchestra which is giving me lots of experience. I've been to a couple of chamber music days. If I can sell the Merc I'll be able to go on a summer school somewhere! I've already been asked if I would like to join a couple of other orchestras (surprising really as I don't think I'm that good yet). There's a local teacher (OK - 25 miles away - this is Shropshire
) who's advertising setting up tutored string quartets and I've got my first session in a couple of weeks.
With the amount of playing I'm getting, I'm probably already technically better on the cello than the tenor viol.
With singing, it's been similar. Once I started having lessons (in my 30s), after about 6 months my music teacher started me off in his chamber choir. The rest as they say is history. I can't imagine not singing in a choir now. And for those who assiduosly read the ravings that I post, you'll realise that I inevitably end up on the committee and organising things! Although if Plan A comes off in September, I'll step down from chairing my chamber choir and I'll actually not be responsible for running anything for the first time since 1995.