Nathan Abbe VM '20 and Cooper Jonas VM '20 are set to graduate from the Violin Making & Repair program this summer, once they finish up their final projects. Though not an ideal setup, they've transformed their "former" living room into a benchroom, complete with varnishing station and makeshift desks. As part of our "In the Making" series of video interviews with members of our community, we learn how they're adapting to the new now, while maintaining their productivity and health along the way.
The three-year, comprehensive Violin Making & Repair program at NBSS is one of the few full-time instrument making programs in the U.S. The curriculum provides a solid foundation to the art and science of stringed instrument making, and an introduction to restoration.
Violin Making & Repair is learned through hands-on work. The program follows the highest standards of the craft and teaches repair, restoration, and set-up of stringed instruments. Over the course of this three-year program, you’ll build six violins and a viola. Students, alumni, and faculty regularly receive international recognition for the craftsmanship and tonality of their instruments.
- Curriculum: Investigate what students learn over the course of the three-year program.
- Facilities: Virtually walk through the program space and bench room.
- Faculty: Meet our talented instructors, who are experts in their field.
- Tuition: Check out tuition, costs, class hours, schedule, and program length.
- Careers: Explore the variety of careers available to Violin Making & Repair graduates and the employment outlook.
- Profiles: Read about our alumni, including how an education at NBSS opened doors for them.
- Violin Making & Repair program brochure: Download at-a-glance details.
Admissions, Financial Aid, and Employment Information
- Admissions Info: How to get your application started and what you need to apply.
- Financial Aid: We're dedicated to helping you afford the cost of your education. Learn about our financial aid options.
- ACCSC Graduate & Employment Data: View the 2018 Report here.
Nathan Abbe VM '20 and Cooper Jonas VM '20, third-year Violin Making & Repair students – and roommates – show us their home workshop in Somerville, Massachusetts.
Our Violin Making & Repair program had a very special guest in January: the Gregg violin, brought by The National Trust for Scotland Foundation USA. Our students enjoyed an up-close look at this 18th-century Scottish fiddle with intricate hand-painted designs, which was played by the poet Robert Burns and his dancing master, William Gregg.
Experts agree that violin making reached its highest potential in 17th-century Cremona, Italy, with makers such as Andrea Amati, Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesù, and Antonio Stradivari. Although modern luthiers still use traditional methods to examine those Italian-made instruments — measuring, tracing, following patterns, looking at photographs, and using moulds — computed tomography (CT scans) allows a detailed look inside without having to take it apart.
NBC10 Boston TV featured the NBSS Violin Making & Repair program in a story on their Uniquely Boston program. Watch the full video story here, which included interviews with Department Head Roman Barnas, NBSS President Sarah Turner, current students, and violin instructor Sasha Callahan, who played instruments made by students.
The Boston Herald featured our Violin Making & Repair and Piano Technology programs in a March 2019 article, including video and photos of our students creating violins, restoring grand pianos, playing instruments they've worked on, and describing what drew them to a career where music and hand skills intersect.
"Attention to detail and a hard work ethic were the greatest benefits of my NBSS education. The group dynamic in the violin workshop inspired me to work harder and dream larger than I had ever thought possible."
Colin Skofield VM '05View More Violin Making & Repair Alumni Profiles