Many gifted musicians start playing at an early age, and Vitouš (his name is almost always spelled Miroslav Vitous, without the caron) began playing the violin at the age of six. He subsequently played the piano at age 10, before settling on the bass at 14. He studied under F. Posta at the Prague Conservatory in Czechoslovakia. The history of the conservatory is fascinating, with noteables such as Antonín Dvořák serving as their director. The conservatory has a very disciplined program requiring all students to study for 6 years and pass stringent exams.