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Learning to play viola? 
 

Learning to play viola?

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Learning to play viola?    15:03 on Sunday, October 17, 2004 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes
(dram)
I`m 17 years old (almost 18). Is it difficult to learn viola at my age? Am I too old at this point? I know nothing about playing music and was wondering how to get started. Next year I will be in college but I`m not sure if it will be a huge university. What should I do? Where do you look or go to learn viola? Is it expensive? How long does it take to learn? I know I`m asking a lot of questions but I am kind of in the dark. I wish to someday play in an orchestra.

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Re: Learning to play viola?    10:26 on Monday, October 18, 2004 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes
(BestViolistEver)
It is NEVER too late to learn how to play any istrument. Viola is an awesome instrument! We have our own clef (alto) and eventually you will have to learn treble clef and possibly bass clef (but that`s waaaaaay down the road).

The best thing to do is to get a cheap viola off of ebay to begin with and if you choose to take it farther, then get a better viola.

The Suzuki method books are great to learn with! I recomend those to start with.

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Re: Learning to play viola?    15:14 on Thursday, October 21, 2004 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes
(Viola Learnerr)
It`s never too late! I`m now learning the viola in high school. No worries.

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Re: Learning to play viola?    15:25 on Thursday, October 21, 2004 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes
(Nox)
You`re certainly not too old...esp. to play in an orchestra...

Although I had and have played the violin...I just got a viola back this past string and absolutely love it! Good luck! Viola players are always in demand...you`ll be in an orchestra before you know it!

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Re: Learning to play viola?    15:36 on Thursday, October 21, 2004 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes
(Nox)
Sorry...missed the other questions:

"What should I do? Where do you look or go to learn viola?" I strongly suggest you start with lessons. If you`re going to University - the music department will be a great place to start looking for a teacher. If not, try asking at your local music stores.

"Is it expensive?" That depends on you. I`d start with a decent beginner instrument. I`d suggest you spend at least $500-600 US on a good package (viola, bow, case). You can buy new or used.

"How long does it take to learn?" That depends a great deal on the individual. Just to give you an idea, to play in most mature orchestras violists need to play at the ( min. ) Grade 6 to (most often) Grade 8 level (RCM) which is roughly Suzuki Books 6-8. Children tend to learn at a rate of 1 Grade per year...but many people progress faster at the beginnner learning basics. Then sometimes learning slows down as the music and the required techniques become more difficult.

At the very least, it will take you a few years to become proficient enough to play with a mature orchestra...given you practice regularily. Again, practice time depends, but if you want to noticeably move forward expect to spend a min. of an hour a day. Sounds like a lot, esp. when your busy taking University classes...but if you can squeeze in 30 in. in the morning and 30 min. in the evening (which you should be able to do most days - even during exams - when you break from studying) you should show good progress.




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Re: Learning to play viola?    18:58 on Thursday, October 21, 2004 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes
(godzilla_violist)
Hello,
I`m in a rather similar situation. I`m seventeen ( as of July ) and I started this march. Its seven months later and I`m progressing quite quickly. Do NOT worry about your age. My viola teacher ( who is in an orchestra and teaches at a well known conservatory ) didn`t even start playing the viola till she was in her twenties! Its only a bit late for proffesional status if you start around 40 or 50.
But I would really recomend getting a teacher. They will tell you things that seem easy, like bowhold a posture, but are rather tricky to figure out all by yourself.
Learning will seem slow and painfull at first ( the first squeeks and groans especially ), but after a few days one gets over the initial "dying cat" phase. With in a month you`ll pobably be able to play tunes and in a year or so play in an amateur orchestra. There are never enough violas!
Godzilla

PS: oh, and just in case the viola is not for you ( i.e. you discover your inner bassoonist ), RENT a viola, don`t buy one.

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Re: Learning to play viola?    22:48 on Tuesday, December 07, 2004 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes
(DonK7921)
I hope 17 is not too old! I am 63 and just started this last summer. It has been certainly useful that a decade of chorus singing and piano lessons gave me music theory and reading skills, but the physical skills are completely new.

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Re: Learning to play viola?    15:32 on Wednesday, December 29, 2004 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes
(Kate)
You`re never too old to learn. I picked up clarinet when I was 16, and now I`m a professional. I`m still learning new instruments, too. I`ve taught violin to adults who were 40+ and who`d never played anything before. Go get yourself an instrument and preferably a teacher, and start playing!

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Re: Learning to play viola?    11:07 on Friday, January 07, 2005 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes
(Andrew)
I`m 21 and in university and i just started learning the viola. I`ve been playing guitar for around 8 years now, so it comes slightly easier to me, since i can read notes and my hands are accustomed to strain. my guitar teacher had started the viola in his 30`s and he has a diploma for it.
From what i understand, to acquire solid proficiency in such instruments one has to dedicate quite some time to them. But i`m guessing everyday practice could get you to fairly decent level after a year or so.

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Re: Learning to play viola?    17:22 on Saturday, January 15, 2005 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes
(Bree)
Hi all

I am already 22 but a violinist (Grade 8) and just switched to the viola. It`s actually not as easy as I thought, but the transition was fast indeed. In 2 months I could play a Grade 8 viola piece and acutally passed the auditions for a youth orchestra as well. I just love being a violist in the orchestra coz it`s easy, and the viola solos in some symphonies are totally cool.

I`m waiting for my cello that I bought on ebay to come on Monday and I`m gonna learn it quickly too - I can`t wait! Just don`t give up and practice hard if you have a lot of time - it doesn`t matter how old you are!

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Re: Learning to play viola?    05:39 on Wednesday, January 19, 2005 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes
(nix)
i think it`s absolutely fab playing the viola. it`s is such an expressive instrument. ive been playing for six years and just starting year 11. i wish to become a viola teacher and teach others the beauty of it. it is definately something to look into.

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Re: Learning to play viola?    22:28 on Tuesday, January 25, 2005 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes
(Duck Fiasco)
Hey I`m 18 too and I have my first viola lesson this Friday. I`ve played piano for 11 years and even cello for a few, but I just never cared for it much. Then I heard a viola for the first time at a choir rehearsal when we brought in the string trio needed for a song. The sound totally blew me away and I didn`t have the money until today to rent one and take lessons (140 upfront to rent!). I`ve fallen in love with its reedy, warm tone and the intensity of its upper range. It seems so much more versatile and expressive than a cello or violin.

This reply`s about five months late, but I hope you`ve stuck with it!

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Re: Learning to play viola?    21:28 on Thursday, February 17, 2005 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes
(nessagirl)
I started playing the viola when I was in 5th grade up until my sophmore year in high school ( i quit playing in protest to my favorite orchestra teacher leaving and I`ve regretted it ever since) I am now almost 21 and am planning to re-learn it--it`s always been with me--the desire to play but I`m really doin it...there`s something about the viola---its different-its unique and it has a sound of it`s own. I am aiming to someday soon become good enough to be in an orchestra. I can`t wait!

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Re: Learning to play viola?    20:46 on Saturday, February 19, 2005 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes
(Angela)
Hiya!!
I`m currently in 8th grade and have been playing viola since 4th Grade. I have to admit, playing from a younger age is definately an advantage. However, it`s never to late to start.. It`s better to start now then to start later =)

I recomend renting a viola to start with, I purchased mine only this year. It can be quite cheap to rent one, and if it gets broken (which they do easily.. little brothers, pets, etc..) You can get it repaired =) I recommend also finding a good teacher to begin with! There are many great teachers who`d be so willing to help you learn =)

The viola is quite a unique instrument.. Everyone plays the violin -.- Being a viola-ist sets you apart.. and it`s so fun!!! The beginning may be hard, and you may want to keep up... but don`t give up, because nothing is impossible.. and before you know it, you`ll be in an orchestra yourself! Good luck! ^.^;;

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Re: Learning to play viola?    21:34 on Friday, October 07, 2005 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes
(sunnystrings)
i learned to play when i was 10. It is pretty confusing and hurts your shoulders and fingers at first, but later it seems part of the regular routine!

PS-I hope you like playing violas!!

   





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