Tim, your situation has nothing to do with getting older! The first 80-85% involves paying attention and a bit of dedication. The next 10% involves a lot of dedication and a bit of natural talent. The last 5-10% involves a lot of dedication and a lot of natural talent. Trumpet players like Nakariakov get there before they are 20. That is a lot of talent and dedication from the beginning. The rest of us have a "different" balance and therefore need more time. Life experiences can intensify our artistic expression however. That is something that none of those "Wunderkinder" can take away from us! The subtleties are actually not so subtle! They are the soul of each composer - born again by our musical efforts! What a joy - and responsibility to get it as close to "right" as possible!