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.
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.
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 2018 graduates of Violin Making & Repair (VM) were in fine form for their End of Program Exam, where their work was favorably evaluated by an esteemed panel of examiners. The examiners included Chris Reuning, a maker and internationally renowned expert in violin identification; Ben Ruth, recipient of the Hors Concours from the Violin Society of America; award-winning makers and VM guest lecturers Kevin Kelly VM '92, David Polstein VM '89, and Andrew Ryan; and special guest Samuel Zygmuntowicz, who is "among the most acclaimed makers in the world today."
Do you dream of making musical instruments for a living? Strings Magazine offers advice for those considering violin making school from two established luthiers, including Julia Felix, who attended our Violin Making & Repair program.
Two recent Violin Making & Repair graduates won awards for their work at the biennial Violin Society of America convention—and it was their first time entering a piece. According to Department Head Roman Barnas, "The makers who compete at the VSA represent the highest level of violin making in the world. What Justin and Evan have achieved is unheard of."
NBSS was recently featured in Strings Magazine! Read about one student's path to North Bennet Street School and our Violin Making & Repair program.
"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