Viola

The viola is not a violin!
All tutors at International Music School Cardiff are hand-picked, highly trained professional musicians with an enthusiasm for teaching their instrument. Lessons take place in our city-centre venue, and it is our vision to create a place where music tuition of the highest quality is delivered alongside regular professional concerts and public performance opportunities for our students.

What should you expect from viola lessons?

A good viola teacher will be a very good and experienced chamber musician. This means your teacher will have a lot of experience playing as a member of string quartets, string trios, orchestras and so on. The viola isn’t primarily a solo instrument, which is why the ensemble experience is absolutely crucial. As many viola players learn the violin first, basic bowing technique, intonation and the mechanics of the instrument should be already familiar to the viola student. To arrange a taster lesson with one of our professional viola players and for further information on any aspect of the instrument get in touch now and we’ll be happy to advise you further!

A little bit about the instrument

The viola is a very social instrument. It is of enormous importance in all ensembles, groups and orchestras, even though it is rarely given the credit it deserves! Mozart and Beethoven both loved the viola, more than any other string instrument. That’s because the viola provides the interesting middle-parts in most ensemble and orchestral pieces, whereas the violin mostly only plays the melody and the cello the bass parts. Being a good viola player means you are an excellent listener and you look for details. Since you will rarely play the tune of the piece, most people won’t notice you. But the same rule applies as with most bands: if you don’t notice the drummer or bassist, it means they are doing a good job! Because of its bigger size, the viola tends to be an instrument that children graduate to after having started on the violin. The way both instruments are played is very similar, particularly with regards to posture and bowing. The main difference is the size and thus the pitch.

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