AMATEUR VIOLIN MAKING COURSES IN THE UNITED KINGDOM

A number of part-time and residential short courses in violin making exist in the United Kingdom, and cater to all levels from the completely inexperienced to skilled woodworkers looking for a musical challenge. These courses can be invaluable for potential violin makers to get a flavour of the kind of work involved in violin making, and to develop crucial tool skills before going to a formal violin making school. Violin making is a commitment, and you will not complete an instrument over a year of evening classes or a ten-day residential course. Evening and weekly courses are directly below. Week-long residential courses are listed towards the bottom of the page.


EVENING CLASSES AND WEEKLY COURSES


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THE VIOLIN MAKING WORKSHOP, CAMBRIDGE

The Violin Workshop, based in Cambridge UK and run by The Cambridge Violin Makers, offers one week summer courses in violin making and bow making. We have students of all ages and professions coming from all over the world to learn from our team of professional craftsmen.
Evening and daytime classes in violin making have been run by The Cambridge Violin Makers for over fifty five years now for those within regular traveling distance;  week long summer courses have been running for almost forty years now for those who are coming from further afield.
In 1990, Bowmaking was added as an option for both evening class and summer course, although subsequently the evening class ended. Daytime classes in Furniture Restoration, Small Furniture Making, Woodcarving, Drawing & Painting and most recently guitar making are also available.


BRAMPTON COMMUNITY CENTRE, CUMBRIA

The Tutor, Corrie Schrijver, is based in Brampton and is a professional luthier since 1980.  She has been involved in teaching violin making since 2007. Her own classes started in April 2014, in the well-equipped woodworking room of the Centre, with all specialist tools supplied for the use of the students.

The course includes short lectures on tool maintenance, design, choice of materials etc.

Presently the classes are run on a weekly basis on Thursdays, with the possibility of (extra) tuition at other times.

For more information please contact Corrie Schrijver:
E-mail: corrieschrijver@hotmail.com
Phone: 0771 4138963 / 016977 2649


Hillingdon Adult Education Centre, London

Evening classes in Hillingdon Borough, London for 30 weeks a year in instrument making.
Tutor: Jean-Pierre Dondelinger
Please contact administrator direct for all queries:
Jean Marc Teychenne
Tel: 01895 464079
Email: jteychenne@hillingdongrid.org


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THE WORKERS EDUCATION ASSOCIATION, SHEFFIELD

Professional violin maker, John Cockburn runs evening classes (7-9pm) at Silverdale School i Sheffield for 36 weeks per year in 12 week blocks. Instruction is given on all aspects of instrument making as well as general tool skills. Specialist tools are provided.

The course is run by the Workers Education Association, and enrolment is via the WEA website, but please be aware that enrolment only goes “live” a couple of weeks before the start of each term.  Please direct all initial enquiries to the course tutor.

Course Tutor: John Cockburn 
Email : john@jc-violins.com
Phone : 07769 264051


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MERTON COLLEGE, LONDON

Merton College provides part-time courses in violin and guitar making alongside its more advanced two year study in Musical Instrument Making and Repair. Teaching time is during the daytime in term time. For further details visit the college website


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Newark School of Violin Making, NEWARK

Newark School of Violin Making offers evening classes in violin making during term time for amateur makers. For further information … [pending]


RESIDENTIAL COURSES FOR AMATEUR MAKERS


THE VIOLIN MAKING WORKSHOP, CAMBRIDGE

The Violin Workshop, based in Cambridge UK and run by The Cambridge Violin Makers, offers one week summer courses in violin making and bow making. We have students of all ages and professions coming from all over the world to learn from our team of professional craftsmen.
Evening and daytime classes in violin making have been run by The Cambridge Violin Makers for over fifty five years now for those within regular traveling distance;  week long summer courses have been running for almost forty years now for those who are coming from further afield.
In 1990, Bowmaking was added as an option for both evening class and summer course, although subsequently the evening class ended. Daytime classes in Furniture Restoration, Small Furniture Making, Woodcarving, Drawing & Painting and most recently guitar making are also available.


MUSICAL INSTRUMENT MAKING AT West Dean College, WEST SUSSEX

West Dean College provides an enormous range of short craft courses ranging from a couple of days to over a week in length, including various valuable courses in tool sharpening and general woodwork skills. Residential Easter and summer courses in instrument making have a long history at the college and stem from its tradition of diploma courses in early musical instrument making. As a result the courses have an enormous diversity of violin, viola da gamba, guitar making as well as the making of a myriad of early stringed and keyboard instruments. The course is better suited to more advanced amateurs who normally return year after year and are able to work on their projects unsupervised through the year. (The college website button links to the search term 'musical instrument courses’, explore for further woodwork and craft courses).


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HALSWAY MANOR (NATIONAL CRAFT ASSOCIATIOn), SomERSET

The Violin making workshops held twice a year and lasting a week are extremely popular at Halsway Manor, with many of the participants coming back year after year. The workshop gives maximum continuous time at the workbench supported by Neville Gardner, who has been teaching violin making for the last sixteen years. He is joined by Corrie Schrijver to ensure that there is a ratio of 1 tutor to no more than 5 participants giving plenty of patient and knowledgeable support.

This course is for all levels of ability and beginners are very welcome. As well as the violin family, support can also be given for making a rebec (an ancient ancestor of the violin). The class size is limited so that participants have plenty of support from the two tutors. Before enrolling please contact Neville Gardner Neville@njgardner.demon.co.uk to discuss the suitability of the course for your needs.

A separate course is run by Andrew Bellis on bow making. Andrew Bellis is a professional bow maker. He’s been playing the violin and viola since childhood, and studied music at the Birmingham School of Music. He’s been making musical instruments since the 1970s combining his passions for both engineering and music. He learned his skill in bow making with John Clutterbuck and Arthur Bultitude and has been in business as a professional bow maker since 1980. He has taught bow-making since the 1990s in the Faculty of Music at Oxford University, the faculty which houses the Bate Collection of historical musical instruments.