Viola Sizing


For the violin and viola, the arm length dimension is found by having the player extend their left arm out straight and level with their shoulder, with the palm facing upwards. Arm length for the charts below is the districe from the student's neck to the center of their left palm. The distance in the chart is the minimum distance that would apply to that size. If the distance is greater than the chart distrance, that indicated size should be comfortably playable by the student up to the next size indicated. (For example: If the length of the players arm is 22", you should go with a 13" viola).

It has four strings producing tones a fifth lower than the corresponding strings on the violin and is slightly larger. The viola is particularly child-friendly in that it comes in a variety of sizes. As a student grows, the instrument can be traded for larger sizes

It's critical that a student has the proper size instrument. A viola that is too large in proportion to the size of the student can create a very uncomfortable situation. In extreme situations, this can lead to tendonitis leaving students discouraged and turned off to the instrument.

A viola with a body length of 15-inches or greater is considered to be “full size”.

Viola Size Arm Length
16.5" 26.5" or more
16" 26"
15.5" 25.25"
15" 24.5"
14" 23"
13" 21.25"
12" 20"
11" less than 20"