The aim of the first year is to complete a substantial part of the making of a violin, if not the whole. Typically, progress would include completing the mould and rib structure, making the front and back to the arching stage and carving at least one scroll. Some students complete the whole instrument, others less work: it is all dependant on your particular learning style. The course is 2 days per week.
Each week will present new challenges and techniques to work at: from drawing skills in week 1 through to scroll carving in the latter part of the year. Students always learn and progress at different rates, so the teaching style allows for this. During this year you will be developing your hand skills and technical knowledge constantly through practice, with speed of progress being secondary at this stage.
The work is obviously highly practical: you will need to learn to measure, mark out and cut wood accurately. We will work through the procedures for sharpening and setting up tools to the very high standards demanded by the skill of instrument making.
As you will be taught alongside students on other years of the course there will be opportunities to join in lectures and tutorials on a wide range of making or repair topics. In fact, the course can be very flexible and allow students to follow individual goals such as learning particular repair methods or alternative techniques for making.
Various books and websites will be recommended for background reading, in order to maximise your workshop time.
The workshop is equipped with a good range of hand and machine tools. You are recommended to set aside a budget for buying some of the more popular tools however as this will greatly aid progress and efficiency in the workshop, as well as allowing you to complete further work outside course hours.
There is a fee for consumables which includes the wood for your first violin and a contribution towards the costs of tools and materials used during the course.
Your tutor will give you feedback and advice.
You can further your knowledge by taking another course at the College.
All courses run subject to demand and the content listed here should be used as a guide only. Course content may vary according to a range of factors such as course duration, campus, teaching staff and requirements from awarding bodies. Check our course and fee guidelines for further details.