I’ve been playing viola for a little over 2 years as a part of my high school’s orchestra in Chicago. I started off in beginning orchestra and my teacher found that I learned quickly and moved me up to the advanced string orchestra the following year but that meant I skipped an entire year of music theory and fundamentals. Since a lot of viola parts in our music don’t utilize shifting, I haven’t had a chance to practice it in the context of a song rather than just scales. Vibrato is also not taught in any of the classes so I need to learn that on my own as well as the shifting. I tried to play with the school’s symphony but after a week I realized my skills were not good enough (also because I entered the class a month late so I was behind on learning the music). The pieces I need to start working on learning are American Sketches by Joshua Reznicow (as an ensemble) and St. Paul’s Suite by Gustav Holst (as an orchestra).