- Who can play the viola?
- If it is not suitable for everyone, what alternative instrument would you recommend and why?
- What qualities of the viola are special?
- Learning to play any instrument develops lots of new skills. What are the particular benefits of playing the viola?
- How are violas similar/different to other string instruments?
- Are there any famous musicians or pieces associated with the viola?
Depending on the individual, children as young as age 3 or 4 can play the viola. Musica Kirklees teach pupils of school age upwards. Smaller scale violas are available for the very young.
Violins are slightly smaller than violas although both are suitable for children.
The viola has a rich, deep tone and a mellow sound. It is very close to the sound range of the human speaking voice. It can sing, or be dramatic.
Most orchestras/ensembles require a large number of violists. The viola is an extremely versatile instrument used in a wide variety of musical genres. As playing the viola requires a number of different movements simultaneously it can enhance and improve co-ordination.
Violas are played tucked under the chin like a violin, but have a deeper tone. Music for the violin is written in a different clef to the viola, however many advanced violinists choose to play the viola as well, and vice versa. Adult-size violins are all the same size, whereas adult-size violas come in lots of different sizes to meet the specific need of the player. Cellos and double basses are bigger instruments with deeper tones than the viola and are played seated.
Yuri Bashmet and Lawrence Power are at the forefront of the viola world.