The viola is slightly larger than a violin.   It produces a lower and deeper sound.  Accordingly, its notes are spread out further along the fingerboard. 

The viola’s stiffer strings and heavier bow require the violist to bow more intensely.

Music written for the viola primarily uses the alto clef, otherwise rare except for the trombone.

It is tuned the same as is a cello but one octave higher, which allows it to play pieces originally written for the cello.

The viola tends to be used for accompaniment purposes.

As with the violin, acquiring a confident bow stroke and secure finger placement are the keys to developing a good sound on the instrument.

I have found several Mel Bay Publication song books that offer very enjoyable Americana-type material. Working through those songs fosters an appreciation for tunefulness.

Here again, persistence pays off.