We believe lessons should be a positive and enjoyable experience for students. Students love their lessons because not only are our teachers knowledgeable, they're warm, friendly, and encouraging.
Currently, we offer private on-on-one viola lessons for students. Lessons are customized to each student based on their age, goals, and interests.
Keep reading to learn more about our viola program.
First... what is a Viola?
Probably the most common question about the viola is... what is it??
It's true that the viola is the lesser known instrument of its string family. However, if you've ever seen an orchestra, you've actually seen and heard the viola!
Granted... you likely mistook it for a violin and understandably so, since the viola looks almost the same and is even held just like a violin.
There are a few differences of course.
The viola is larger than the violin. Violins come in a standard "full" size, but the viola comes in varying sizes, and generally you want to choose the largest size that will fit your body frame.
The viola does share 3 of the same strings as the violin, but it possess a low C string instead of the high E string like the violin.
In fact, this C string is the reason why the viola is ideally larger. The thicker the string becomes, the lower the pitch goes, and the longer the string needs to be (ideally) - which is why the instrument needs to be longer to accommodate a more ideal string length.
However, because the viola is larger, this gives the instrument a warm, deep, and rich sound notably different in timber and even volume to its violin counterpart. The C string also gives the viola more of an "alto voice" range instead of a "soprano" voice like the violin.
With this middle range, the viola is usually given harmonies and counter rhythms in an orchestra or ensemble, supporting melody lines and balancing out the orchestra. While it's not a glamorous role, the viola does add a lot of color, interest, and depth to an ensemble - an important role none the less!
What ages do you accept?
We love teaching both children and adults, from beginning to advanced students.
Because the viola should be a larger size, it is generally recommended for slightly older students and therefore we recommend students wait study viola until at least at age of 5 or 6. Often, if a string student starts younger than 5, they will start on violin and switch to viola after a few years.
Students will learn how to:
Hold the instrument correctly
Develop a good bow hold
Train their ear
Play real songs
Our teachers are wonderful with young children and adults alike.
Watch your child delight in playing their first song and build confidence as they continue to advance and share their music with family and friends.
How often and how long are lessons?
Lessons are generally once a week and we offer 30-minute, 45-minute, and 60-minute time slots. The lesson length that is ideal will depend on the age of the student and their goals. For young beginning students under the age of 10, a thirty-minute lesson is ideal. For older or more advanced students, we generally recommend a longer lesson time to allow time for more questions, discussions, and cover more repertoire.
We recommend consistent weekly lessons. Consistency is one of the most powerful habits for students to develop for musical success.
Coming to lessons every week ensures that students don't lose ground on the progress they've made and that bad habits don't have time to take hold.
Monday-Friday: Early Afternoon & Evening
Saturday: Mornings & Early Afternoon.
What progress should I expect?
Experienced Students: In the first couple of lessons, your teacher will be getting a sense of your learning style, goals, and making a plan for your learning path to keep building upon the experience you already have.
Beginning students: While everyone learns and understands musical concepts at a different pace, here is a general guideline for the progress students should expect to make:
During your first few months, lessons will be all about setting the foundation. Lessons are generally focused on the basics of violin technique and an introduction to note reading and rhythms.
After 3 months, a beginning student should be able to read easy sheet music, understand simple rhythms, play with a steady beat, and have completed a few of simple songs.
After 6 months, students should be starting to have relative ease with reading their sheet music, and starting to master basic bowing techniques and coordination.
Learning the viola isn't easy, but with the right teacher, can be a wonderful experience. Patience is key and students should focus on gradual and small improvements, which will compound over time.
What Styles Do You Teach?
Our string teachers are classically trained musicians who will teach students proper and traditional viola technique.
We believe that first establishing a solid musical foundation will give students the tools they need to ultimately learn any style they wish!
In lessons students learn:
How to read sheet music
Understand and play various rhythms
Proper instrument and bow hold
How to play in tune
How to play with a metronome
Music Theory as it applies to their music
Just like being able read lends itself to a whole world of knowledge, reading sheet music opens up a whole world of music!
Do I need a viola?
Yes, students will need an instrument for lessons and home practice. A decent student instrument can sometimes be costly, so we recommend renting to start out.
We highly recommend Old Town Violins (www.oldtownviolins.com) for your instrument rental. They supply quality student instruments to students of our Academy, and even deliver your instrument to the school for you before the first lesson! There are many other perks, so we encourage you to check them out!
But what if...
We've often heard reasons why a student thinks they can't learn an instrument:
My fingers are... too short, too long, and even too fat!
I have... learning difficulties, short memory, bad eyesight
But we're here to tell you that very little will prevent you from being able to learn an instrument if it's your wish.
Let us help you overcome your barriers and make music for yourself!