Vermont Instruments School of Lutherie
Vermont Instruments is a teaching lutherie begun in 1982. As a lutherie we make acoustic guitars and other instruments for sale, and as a school we teach the craft in both short and long-term courses of study. Anyone who wants to build a guitar for him or herself or to train for a professional career in the craft is welcome to attend.
Five-week Introductory Guitar Building Course
As an introduction to the craft we offer a one-month course of study for one or two people at a time. During this course students build a straight-ahead, high-quality guitar by hand from scratch with special attention paid to the most important aspects of the instrument: craftsmanship, tonal quality, playability, and strong design. The five-week introductory course is $5400, which includes instruction, materials and housing.
The methods used are low-tech and hands-on, relying only on basic hand and small-scale power-tools, and a few simple jigs, following the hand-building tradition, not the factory model, and striving to promote the craft by blending useful and labor saving modern technologies with traditional wisdom and technique. We prepare students to begin working in their own shops as soon as possible, with minimal investment in tools and equipment.
We teach the rudiments of the craft: the care and use of tools (especially chisels, planes, knives and scrapers), understanding the nature of wood as a working medium, practical acoustic theory, and repair and jig-making strategies. An illustrated shop manual with step-by-step instructions is provided. No woodworking experience is necessary, but facility with one’s hands is.
Living accommodations are included, as well as phone service, Wi-Fi, kitchen equipment, and bedding.
Long-term studies must be negotiated with the school following the completion of a five week introductory course.
Early Summer 2018 Course: June 17 - July 21
Late Summer 2018: Course: August 19-September 22
Fall 2018 Course: October 14-November 17
Late Winter 2019: March 10-April 13
Late Spring 2019 Course: May 5-June 8
Early Summer 2019 Course: June 30-August 3
Late Summer 2019 Course: August 25-Sept 28
Fall 2019 Course: October 20- November 23
Long-term study, either six months or one year, is available for those who want deeper involvement. Here, after an introductory five weeks building their first instrument, students plan their own course of study, keep their own hours, and focus on what is important to them.