The shop is the heart of the school. Ours is simple and flexible. It is not a production shop, but one that crafts one-of-a-kind instruments. Each of us has his or her own bench and tools, and easy access to the stationary tools and the few specialized tools that we use to do our work. We emphasize and rely on the skillful care, use, and sharpening of the common hand tools and small routers to keep ourselves flexible and ready for new work. We present a method of working that seeks to maximize innovation and distinction, not production runs.

The one or two-person version of this shop fits easily into a garage, large bedroom, or basement. The finishing methods are non-toxic, and non-aromatic, and can be used without respirators, spray-equipment, or buffing wheels. We want graduates to be able to continue their own creative work as soon as possible without the need for a large investment in expensive tools and equipment, or building lots of jigs. The shop is open everyday from 8am to 10pm. The typical day runs from 8 AM to 4 PM.

LIVING ACCOMMODATIONS

Located in Post Mills, VT, Vermont Instruments is a short walk from Lake Fairlee, a beautiful swimming lake in East-central Vermont. The quiet rural setting is complimented by proximity to the cultural offerings of Dartmouth College, making for a relaxed but stimulating environment. Our grounds are covered with flower and vegetable gardens, or snow, and the cat and dog keep strict order at all times.

There are two living quarters for students to choose from right here on campus. The shop apartment, directly over the shop, has three separate rooms. The music room space, as we call it, is a 1000 sq. ft. performance building with a rap-around balcony each side of which has a semi-private sleeping area. Both apartments have their own kitchen, bath, and living areas. Each group of students decides how to organize their cooking, cleaning, and food shopping. There are telephones and WiFi in each apartment. Please note that we have no room for student spouses or over-night guests, or pets.

I signed up for the guitar building course for many reasons with the main reason being that I wanted to have the experience of building my own guitar.”

”From the first day of choosing the wood for the face (cedar) and then for the sides and back (a gorgeous Paduk) the entire process was supervised and taught by two men who have probably seen everything there was to see in building a guitar. Whenever I ran into what I thought was a huge problem, George would look at it, think for a minute, and then offer an alternative that would save me hours of work redoing my mistake. For three weeks I lived and breathed guitar building. It was a remarkable experience, one that I’ll remember fondly and with an instrument I am very proud of. The group of guys I went through the three weeks with was very special. I would love to someday return and build another guitar. I can’t recommend this course enough. Thank you George.
— Amy Holderness