What Are the Benefits of Playing the Viola?
With the world-wide popularity and notoriety of the violin and the cello, the viola often gets overlooked as a string instrument choice. However, there are a number of benefits of learning to play the viola. In addition to the advancements you can make academically, playing the viola offers lifelong advantages for those who choose this remarkable, adaptable instrument.
If you’re uncertain about which instrument to choose to learn, this list of benefits can help you decide whether or not you think the viola would be a good fit for your situation.
Like all string instruments, learning to play the violaoffers incredibly positive academic influence. Over the last few decades the impact of learning music has been studied extensively, and the results have altered the way many parents and educators view the importance of music instruction early on. That means that when you choose a viola for beginners program, you’ll immediately begin to see the positive effect manifest in your grades and your overall academic comprehension, especially in mathematics. Music is mathematically based—from the division of the notes to the measure of tonal frequencies—and the impressions and connections that it helps forge in your brain improves cognition and understanding in many key math areas, including temporal sequencing and reasoning.
Early Training Brain Benefits
A study lead by Nina Kraus in 2012 found substantial evidence that early music training helps increase brain plasticity (how fast you comprehend speech and sounds) in later life. Even if you haven’t played the viola in years, the connections created during childhood help you retain faster responses than those who’ve never had musical instruction. Moreover, music training that is started before the age of seven has actually been shown to enhance white matter connectivity, delivering increased motor skills, dexterity, and a host of similar personal benefits.
Workplace and College Acceptance Advantages
Even if you aren’t planning to set the world ablaze with your professional performances and gain lasting fame and fortune by playing the viola, students still build real world skills that translate into workplace and higher learning advantages. Employers and college acceptance boards look for marketable abilities in applicants such as teamwork proficiency and leadership qualities; both of which you’re able gain by having experience playing the viola.
For instance, many students participate in group orchestras or “garage” bands that require you to adapt quickly, manage your time effectively, and keep commitments. Moreover, learning to play music in a group develops teamwork skills that are instrumental for succeeding in most workplace environments. Playing the viola gives you a leg up when applying for a job or your school of choice.
Although the viola forms an integral part of many ensembles, because it lacks the ‘glamor’ of more recognizable instruments, viola players are typically in high demand among private musicians. Professional musicians perform in a variety of venues, from corporate events and gala celebrations, to weddings and other private assemblies. There are also avenues of opportunity in the hospitality industry playing for cruise lines or in similar globetrotting jobs. Playing the viola means that you’ll have more opportunities to pursue in the music industry and can choose a job that gives you a way to see the world.
Like almost all string instruments, playing the viola offers you a wonderful way to find personal fulfillment, express your emotions, or develop an effective stress reliever. Often in life (and especially during your teenage years) it’s difficult to process big changes or define your feelings verbally. Knowing how to play the viola provides a healthy outlet.
Although this list includes some of the major advantages of playing the viola, doubtlessly there are many more. However, as you can see, the lifelong benefits it provides will help you reach your personal goals by delivering the tools, experiences, and unqualified advantages you need for success.