Through my music fraternity, Sigma Alpha Iota, I met the Outreach Coordinator of the Houston Symphony, Allison. She let me borrow instruments from their Instrument Petting Zoo for our students for several days! I am so excited for students to try them!
Of the instruments, there was a violin and viola. A viola is similar in look and feel of a violin with a deeper sound and it also plays lower notes than the violin. Because it is a bit bigger than the violin, it takes a strong extended arm to hold up the viola under the chin. The students enjoyed playing the viola and felt very comfortable as they had already held and played a violin. They said it was almost easier to play than the violin because it was bigger, had more room to bow across, and they liked the deeper low sounds.
They were so proud of themselves in playing a song for their friends on either the violin or the viola. In many of the classes, students clapped after each person had a turned. It was like they were attending a private concert just for them, put on by their friends. They watched and listened without judgement and cheered when their friends were successful in playing. There are many students who were natural on the violin and viola with great hand-eye coordination, musicality in their rhythm and note choices, and played with ease. Watch out for these future string players!