Viola at Arts Academy

Why Study Viola at Interlochen

At Interlochen, our viola studies are designed to help you achieve your goals—whether that's learning at a top conservatory or college, or adapting what you have learned to a broad range of potential vocations. Unlock the viola's vast potential and discover the endless possibilities of this refined instrument.

What You’ll Learn

If you have your sights set on conservatory or a professional career in music, we can help you reach your goals. Our boarding school for viola, Interlochen Arts Academy, is the destination for young viola players. 

Our six music tracks are meant to help you find your focus. Whether in private lessons, small and large ensembles, or studio classes, our renowned instructors will make sure to give you the individualized attention you need. You'll hone your technique, musical gesture, and knowledge of music from all periods. Plus, you'll refine your practice habits and develop performance skills that will make you shine in any audition.

How to Apply

Audition Requirements

Meet the Faculty

Renee Skerik, D.M.A.

Instructor of Viola and Chamber Music

Learn more about Renee Skerik, the Academy’s instructor of viola, or browse the entire Academy Music faculty.

All Faculty

Guest Artists

Past guest artists include:

  • Lila Brown, Boston Conservatory at Berklee
  • Ann Marie Hudson Brink, DePaul University, Interlochen alumna
  • Caroline Coade, University of Michigan, Interlochen alumna
  • Molly Gebrian, University of Arizona
  • Elias Goldstein, University of Delaware
  • Jeffrey Irvine, Cleveland Institute of Music
  • Stanley Konopka, Cleveland Orchestra, Interlochen alumnus
  • Mathew Lipman, Stonybrook College, The Juilliard School
  • Dimitri Murrath, San Francisco Conservatory
  • Lynne Ramsey, Cleveland Orchestra
  • Masumi Rostad, Rochester University
  • Christine Rutledge, University of Iowa, Interlochen alumna
  • Yizhak Schotten, University of Michigan
  • Daniel Sweaney, University of South Carolina, Interlochen alumnus

Program Highlights

Performance Opportunities

Viola students have performance opportunities with our full orchestra, string orchestra, and chamber music ensembles. Learn more in our Explore Ensembles section below. We also showcase solo engagements on Interlochen Public Radio.

Master Classes and Workshops

Past chamber music master class guests include members of Pacifica Quartet, Juilliard Quartet, and Lincoln Center Chamber Music Players.

Distinguished College and Conservatory Preparation

Along with Interlochen's Academic and College Counselors, our viola and music faculty will provide guidance in your college, conservatory, or career path. Our faculty have extensive experience as performers and educators who can provide insights when you're deciding your next step.

The Music Center

Our state-of-the-art 60,000 square-foot music facility has two 3,500 square-foot rehearsal halls, two recording studios which allow for rehearsal and performance recordings in multiple venues on campus with multiple ensemble and practice rooms, and individual faculty teaching studios. Learn more about The Music Center.

Explore Ensembles


Assembled at the faculty's discretion, chamber music ensembles are offered as electives in the Music division. Each ensemble is coached by one of the Arts Academy's acclaimed instrumental faculty.



A recipient of the American Prize, the Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra performs an advanced repertoire that includes symphonies, concerti, contemporary works, and original compositions.


Wind Symphony

The American Prize-winning Interlochen Arts Academy Wind Symphony presents a diverse and challenging repertoire in regular live, prerecorded, and public radio performances.


Popular Music

Named for iconic backing bands of the 21st century, the Popular Music Ensembles provide hands-on learning opportunities for aspiring contemporary musicians.


A group of students playing viola

Since coming to Interlochen, my worldview has changed completely. Everyone here is so dedicated to their art that it propels everyone forward. At home, I didn't really have competition and couldn't really be pushed, but here, I've never been pushed harder. The people and experiences I've gained have helped me grow so much, and I'll never forget them.

Charlotte, Music

Jay Laureta

Representation and determination: An interview with Jay Julio Laureta

Viola alum Jay Julio Laureta chats about the Los Angeles Orchestra Fellowship, poetry, and equality in the arts.

Read Jay's story

College Matriculation

Recent Interlochen Arts Academy Music Division students have continued their education at the following institutions and beyond.

  • Berklee College of Music
  • Boston Conservatory at Berklee
  • California Institute of the Arts
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Cleveland Institute of Music
  • Curtis Institute of Music
  • Indiana University
  • The Juilliard School
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Manhattan School of Music
  • New England Conservatory
  • New York University
  • Northwestern University
  • Oberlin College and Conservatory
  • Rice University
  • San Francisco Conservatory of Music
  • University of Miami
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Rochester
  • University of Southern California
  • Vanderbilt University

Dive deeper into Interlochen Arts Academy with a free digital viewbook

Arts Academy Viewbook Thumbnail

In our free informational booklet, you'll learn more about: 

  • Each of our seven arts areas 
  • Renowned faculty 
  • College-preparatory academics 
  • Student resources 
  • How to apply and financial aid information 
  • And more