As with all of the traditional trades taught a North Bennet Street School, violin making and repair is learned through hands-on work. The bench rooms are well equipped and include a library and drawing area.
“NBSS challenges you to work at the highest level of craftsmanship and gives you the supporting tools to do it — excellent instruction, a well-structured program, and access to Boston’s world-class professional violin makers, restorers, experts, and musicians.”
Peter Bingen ’06
Roman was born in Zakopane, Poland. At age 14, he entered the Secondary School of Fine Arts in Zakopane and began making his first violins. Roman attended the Paderewski Academy of Music in Poznan, Poland, where he studied music and violin making for five more years. He received Master of Fine Arts Diploma graduating with honors. During his school years and after graduating, Roman had visited a number of famous violin-making workshops in Europe where the owners and employees shared their wealth of knowledge with him.
Roman came to the U.S. in 1996 to work at Psarianos Violins in Troy, Michigan where he worked for over nine years specializing in violin restoration and set up of violins, violas and cellos. Roman has also studied violin making with Boyd Poulsen and violin restoration with Hans Nebel and regularly participates in the Oberlin Violin Making Workshop. He plays violin, accordion, and double bass.
Roman continues to make instruments and enjoys playing his violins right after the completion and just before it is presented for sale. Among his past commissions was for the late Nathan Gordon, former Concertmaster of Detroit Symphony Orchestra and great violin and viola virtuoso, who after his retirement decided to give up his ownership of a beautiful Gaspar da Salo viola and had commissioned a large viola model made by Roman Barnas to replace his previous instrument. At the October 2010 Violin Society of America violin making competition, Roman received a certificate of merit for tone for his violin.
David is a maker of bows for stringed instruments and a frequent guest teacher in the violin department. His shop is in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He began bow making with William Salchow and later studied with Stephane Thomachot in Paris. He headed the bow department at Reuning and Sons in Boston for eight years. His formal education includes a Bachelor of Music from Berklee College of Music, and two Masters of Music (Jazz Guitar and Composition) from New England Conservatory. He is a member of the American Federation of Violin and Bowmakers and the Violin Society of America. His work on both modern and baroque bows has received numerous awards and praise from internationally acclaimed musicians. David is a regular guest instructor in the Violin program and leads bowmaking workshops at North Bennet Street School. His website is http://www.violinbows.net/.
Read all NBSS faculty profiles here.
Graduates of the NBSS Violin Making and Repair program are well prepared to start work in the stringed instrument field as violin makers or repair technicians. Since the inception of the program graduates have found employment in shops all over the world. As their work experience and technique develops, many NBSS alumni pursue careers in instrument building and restoration, working in renowned shops. Others launch their own businesses as luthiers. Read more about violin making and repair careers here.
Click here for the school's gainful employment report.
NBSS offers rolling admissions and accepts qualified applicants throughout the year. Violin Making and Repair offers enrollment in both the Fall and Spring. Since the program is extremely competitive and fills quickly, it is to your advantage to plan ahead and apply early. Successful applicants display woodworking skills and a devotion to the craft. Learn more about the admissions process.
Hours of Instruction, Tuition, Tool and Materials
Classes meet 8:00 am- 3:00 pm, Monday - Friday, September through June.
The course length is three, ten-month academic years (40 weeks per year, 120 weeks or 3900 class hours***).
Students are admitted in September and February.
The maximum course size is 12 students.
The tuition is $24,860* yearly totaling $74,580** and may be paid in 30 monthly installments of $2,486.
The estimated cost of hand tools is $2,100.
The estimated cost of materials for violins is $1,000 per year billed in monthly installments of $100.
Students who complete the program receive a Diploma of Violin Making and Repair.
*The tuition rate is for students entering North Bennet Street School between September 2015 and June 2016.
**North Bennet Street School reserves the right to increase tuition in the second and subsequent years of a course. If the school does increase tuition for a course in subsequent years, that increase will not exceed 7.5% of the previous year’s tuition. Should the school exercise its right to increase tuition, the school must give the student a minimum of ninety (90) days written notice prior to the effective date of the increase and a new enrollment agreement will be executed.
*** Class hours equals clock hours.