We recommend starting viola lessons for students that are four and older.
The viola instrument is in the violin family, and is essentially a slightly larger version of the violin with a deeper tone. It is tuned to a lower register (it can play lower notes than the violin). While it certainly is a different instrument, most people who see a viola will not be able to tell the difference between a viola and full size violin. Before a student begins viola lessons it is important to be fitted for the instrument, to ensure that the instrument fits the length of their arm.
The viola is a prominent orchestral instrument, but because of its lower and deeper tone, the viola has become used widely in other genres of music in addition to classical. You’ll hear the viola featured in musical styles such as jazz, country, blue-grass and even rock music. One other potential benefit to playing the viola is that if you (or your child) ever wish to join an orchestra, there tend to be many more violin than viola students, and so finding an open chair may be easier for a student that plays viola because there is less competition for a spot.
Renting a viola (as opposed to purchase) is often a preferable option for parents of young children because as a child grows they will need to move into a bigger viola.
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