Viola Buyers Guide
from the MMF! Music Library
Student violas are machine made and built for budget-minded families. Maple is sometimes used for the pegs and fingerboards, and then dyed to resemble Ebony, found on more expensive violas.
Intermediate violas are built with better quality wood and workmanship. They are nearly always built by hand. The result is a viola that sounds better. These instruments are designed for students that have been playing for at least 2 years, and have acquired basic playing skills.
Professional violas are made from woods of exceptional quality, and great attention is given to every detail. Because of the number of hours required to produce an instrument of this high quality, and the cost of fine wood used in construction, the price of a professional viola is considerably higher than an intermediate line viola. These high-end instruments are recommended for high school students and above. Parents desiring to save a little should start with a student viola and transition into a professional line viola in high school, by passing the intermediate level instrument.
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