I fell in love with an old Czech workshop viola about twelve years ago. I took lessons for three years, then had to move to a different town. I am mostly self-taught from ViolinLab.com, You Tube videos and books.
I find that for me, at over age 70, learning has meant always revisiting the fundamentals and a slow conquest of new territory. I work on Bach, Ravel and Scottish music. I bought a Yamaha silent viola a couple of years ago; it is much easier to play in tune than the 90-year-old one but not as beautiful.