Guitar Repair Schools and Colleges in the U.S.
Programs for guitar repair vary from one school to another. Students searching for a school for guitar repair may want to consider types of credentials offered, location, program length and career goals. Prospective luthiers (stringed instrument makers) may also wish to seek out a guitar repair program that includes hands-on experience constructing guitars.
How to Select a Guitar Repair School
With very few accredited colleges that offer this field, it may be necessary for the student to relocate in order to pursue a certificate or degree program in guitar construction or repair. Finding a public college offering a suitable program may be difficult, and private institutions tend to be more expensive.
Students may be interested in programs that include both electric and acoustic guitar repair, which most do, in order to better compete. Prospective luthiers (instrument makers) may also wish to seek out a guitar repair program that includes hands-on experience constructing guitars.
Guitar repair and construction involves both woodworking and machine elements. An understanding of music theory is also required. Students will learn to diagnose guitar problems and to execute the proper adjustments and repair actions required.
Certificate and Diploma Programs
Certificate and diploma programs in guitar repair tend to take from one to two years to complete and focus narrowly on career skills. These programs may include advanced instruction in building guitars as well as fixing and maintaining the instruments.
Certificate and diploma programs tend to be short and focus exclusively on guitar repair techniques. Students work hands-on in the lab. Mastery of both hand and power tools is intrinsic to the art of the modern luthier. A luthier certificate can also be part of a more comprehensive fine woodworking or music associate's degree.
Associate's Degree Programs
Students may opt to pursue their luthier certificate as part of an Associate of Arts degree program in woodworking or music. Some programs include instruction in repair and building of other instruments, such as mandolins, violins and basses. Also, some programs offer advancement to fine woodworking in cabinetry, furniture and door making. Individual courses may focus exclusively on single aspects of the guitar, such as wood body, neck adjustment, frets or finishes. Electric guitar repair courses will include electronic concepts related to the circuitry involved in such instruments.
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