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Musical Instrument Maintenance

In many cases, on-the-job training or an apprenticeship can prepare individuals for a musical instrument maintenance and repair career. Continue reading to gather information about education and employment in this field.

Inside Musical Instrument Maintenance

Professionals in musical instrument maintenance can care for a variety of instruments, including guitars, violins, horns and pianos. These maintenance specialists may focus on a specific instrument or family of instruments. Some specialists also provide tuning services, particularly for hard-to-tune instruments, like pianos and harps. Additional job duties include repairing cracked wood or replacing component parts using lathes, clamps and hand tools.

Education Information

An individual seeking a career in musical instrument maintenance and repair will find that formal degree programs in the field aren't common. Colleges and universities may offer one or two courses in instrument maintenance through degree programs in music education, and a few schools offer associate's degree programs in band instrument repair technology. Sometimes, general music degrees can lead to a position that includes on-the-job training in instrument maintenance.

An apprenticeship may provide an alternative method for entering this field. Basic playing ability in a particular instrument or instrument family - like woodwinds or brass - is helpful, often even required. However, it's important to note that, like degree programs, apprenticeships are rare. Other options include summer workshops and 1- to 2-month courses, which may be available in piano technology and stringed instrument repair. In addition, some schools offer lutherie courses that cover guitar building, finishing and repair techniques. Explore these Education-Portal.com articles for additional information about training options in this field.

Distance Learning Options

Musical instrument maintenance involves hands-on practice, so most programs and courses are campus-based. The music programs discussed in the articles below include classes in related topics, like music business, music theory and instrumental practice techniques which provide a background for musical instrument repair careers.

Career Options

Instrument maintenance specialists may repair guitars, pianos, woodwinds and other instruments. The Education-Portal.com articles in this section discuss job duties for individuals who specialize in piano and guitar maintenance.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

In 2013, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) noted that the median annual salary for instrument repairers and tuners was $31,750. According to the BLS, there were roughly 7,000 musical instrument repairers and tuners nationwide as of May 2013 (www.bls.gov). From 2012-2022, the BLS expects employment opportunities for instrument repairers and tuners to grow slower than average, at 6%.

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