Violin2Viola was founded to help violinists who want to explore the beautiful sound of the viola and expand the range of possibilities in their lives as students, amateurs, professionals, and teachers. Viola players who switched from violin previously but lack confidence in their viola skills and knowledge may also find this to be a helpful educational opportunity.
Violin2Viola debuted in Summer 2015 when Nana Vaughn held a summer workshop at University of Maryland, Baltimore County. After that initial workshop, it was put on hiatus when UMBC asked her to head up a different summer program. However in 2020 the global pandemic prompted her to rethink Violin2Viola as an online workshop. With the addition of Karin Brown and Renate Falkner, a great artistic and educational synergy was created with each instructor bringing different strengths, experiences, and ideas. Gaining Shar Music as a sponsor proved to be another important part of the program, as they generously ship out free trial instruments to all the participants who do not have a viola. The online workshops were a great success, garnering 181 applicants from five countries. A total of 54 participants were accepted in our three online programs.
As V2V moves toward offering in-person learning opportunities and summer residencies, we seek as always to provide our participants with a chance to open new doors in their musical journeys. As one participant recently shared on social media, "This program changed my life." We hope it changes many more!
When I switched to viola as a grad student, I was too timid to admit that I didn't really know how to produce a good viola tone or vibrato. I was embarrassed that I didn't know any of the important viola repertoire or viola players. I didn't even know what size strings to buy for my viola. People who switch from violin to viola sometimes miss out on important fundamental aspects of viola playing. Violin2Viola helps to fill in those gaps for viola players, even if you switched long ago. That was my own situation, and is part of the reason I had the idea for creating Violin2Viola. ~Nana Vaughn