PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT COURSES & BVMA MASTERCLASSES

For more than fifteen years, the British Violin Making Association has run a biennial professional residential course at West Dean College for professional training in violin restoration and bow making and restoration. The course was designed as response to the Oberlin workshops in America and quickly grew to become a world renowned institution in its own right, attracting teachers and students from all around the world. From 2019 the BVMA took the decision to extend its range of professional development courses and masterclasses to provide refresher courses for established craftsmen and to address the gap between violin making school and the increasingly higher standards demanded from the trade. All applicants to BVMA courses must be members of the association prior to application for the courses.


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THE BVMA WEST DEAN VIOLIN RESTORATION AND BOW MAKING & RESTORATION COURSE

The West Dean course has been the flagship of the BVMA’s commitment to professional training for over fifteen years. This takes place at West Dean College every two years and normally lasts for ten days. There is a high tutor-to-student ratio with teachers picked from the top of the international trade, and attendees coming from around the world tend to be advanced professionals taking on particularly difficult work. Applicants must be members of the BVMA prior to application.


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BVMA BOW MAKING AND MAINTENANCE COURSE

Tim Baker leads a course run by the BVMA at Halsway Manor (the National Centre for Folk Arts)


FURTHER PROFESSIONAL LEVEL COURSES IN THE UK aND around the world

In attempting to maintain a list of professional level courses available for violin makers and restorers around the world, the following are provided below. To make it onto the list, the course needs to be (or intend to be) a regular event happening periodically, and it needs to be one that a member of the BVMA would be able to attend subject to basic conditions. For example, a course run by a sister-organisation that would require an applicant to be a member will be listed, however various professional associations may be closed to an international membership because of their particular requirements. These will not be listed. The BVMA lists events on the basis of good faith and takes no responsibility for external websites or for the accuracy of information. Please get in touch with the course organisers directly.


LEARNING TRADE SECRETS

Learning Trade Secrets grew out of bow courses run in the United States by Rodney Mohr at his shop in Ashland, Ohio. The company now runs a variety of workshops throughout the year on everything from bow rehair, to varnishing and setup, largely designed to bridge the gap between college and professional standards.


australian luthier and archetier congress

The inaugural ALAC takes place in July 2019, providing a week-long workshop under the tutelage of several of the well-known tutors from American’s Oberlin workshop as well as some of Australia’s leading figures in violin making. It has been established in order to support high professional standards of making and repair across the globe. This hopes to be a biennial gathering of makers and restorers, and is open to anyone of professional level from around the world.


oberlin summer workshops

Since 1986 the Violin Society of America has sponsored workshops in conjunction with Oberlin College in Oberlin Ohio. The workshops, offered every summer, offer an outstanding and important opportunity for violin and bow makers to learn methods and subtleties associated with fine stringed instruments and bows. The original Restoration Workshop was created by the noted restorer Vahakn Nigogosian.

Today there are six programs held during the summer, which offer in-depth instruction by a distinguished faculty supplemented by renowned luthiers. The current programs are: Violin Making (advanced professional); Bow Making (advanced professional); Restoration; Bass Making (advanced professional); and Acoustics. For exact programs, please follow the link below.