Viola Lessons: Advantages and Disadvantages of Learning the Viola from Teachers


If you are a newbie to an instrument, then it is natural you might find the entire idea of starting to learn from scratch daunting. There is an element of the unknown and you might get stuck at any point. On the other hand, finding a good teacher is also difficult, though not impossible. Let’s see what positive and negative aspects are of learning the viola through teachers. If you are a beginner viola teacher, refer to the following article to learn about crucial aspects of teaching –


  • There are some things that you cannot learn by yourself. Sure, you can work on the music and work out how to play a certain tune by developing an ear for it. But, the fact remains that musical techniques are very important for any stylistic and advanced learning and playing. For this, you need to take viola lessons from a teacher, who can help you in developing these techniques properly.
  • If you are planning to get certified as a professional viola player through a recognized academic programme, having a teacher to guide you through the curriculum is advisable. It is especially useful if the teacher themselves have had such training and know what is expected of the student at such exams. In fact, without a decent teacher to guide you, you might miss out on crucial aspects. Even worse, you would miss out on networking opportunities.
  • There are some things that only another person can pinpoint while playing. It stands to reason that you would not be able to put your finger on all the mistakes you are making. So, unless you have a group of dedicated violists who can help you, hiring a teacher is a good idea. Preventing bad habits from being formed is very important, and your teacher can be of immense help here.


  • The fact that a teacher will teach you all the techniques can be a problem for some students because it interferes with them developing an ear for the music. If you are one of those people, then it might be a better idea to first get a feel for the music and the instrument before joining private viola lessons. If you don’t develop an ear for playing the viola, you can never hope to rise above the mediocre.
  • Your teacher will have his or her own method of progressing, and it might include things that you don’t want to do. Unless you are studying to be a professional, this might hinder you from performing spontaneously. You might even end up losing interest in the instrument if you never get to do what you want and have to adhere to your teacher’s strict curriculum.
  • When you learn by yourself, you can set your own pace. Even a private teacher would want to move on at some point. As for group lessons, it is simply impossible for the teacher to cater to everyone. If you are an especially slow learner or if you simply don’t have the time to dedicate to what your teacher expects of you, you are likely to fall behind and leave essential things unlearned.

There is much to be said about whether or not to hire a viola teacher, but the choice remains yours. Only the student can decide what aspect is more important for him or her and then make a decision. For more information on the viola, check out our viola page