Minnesota State College Southeast
A Technical & Community College

Violin Repair - Diploma


Career Area: Musical Instrument Repair & Building
Program: Violin Repair Program
Campus(es): Red Wing

Study repair and maintenance of violin family instruments — violin, viola, cello and bass — as well as bow repair and rehairing.

In the Violin Repair diploma at Minnesota State College Southeast in Red Wing, students learn about tools, woods, materials, and common repair and maintenance techniques.

The Violin Repair program at MSCS is unique in that it is structured for an entire academic year. Other institutions offer shorter workshops, some as brief as a week, that offer an overview of the repair process. There are 3 and 4- year programs that teach violin construction but do not provide the same degree of in-depth focus on repairing instruments and bows. Our students learn in-depth by completing many different repair process multiple times during the year of study.

  • Fine motor skills, patience and the ability to focus on the work at hand are essential.
  • No previous experience with woodworking is required as violin repair is very different from other woodworking crafts. You will learn from the ground up.

The aim of the program is for students to be prepared to work in the best violin shops in the world and to continue the lifelong process of learning the art. In recent years,our students have achieved 100% job placement: those who earn the Violin Repair Diploma and are seeking employment have consistently found work in the field.

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Cluster/Pathway
Career Field: Engineering, Manufacturing & Technology
Cluster: Manufacturing
Pathway: Maintenance, Installation & Repair
Recommended high school classes and basic job/program skills

Download the Program Plan

Courses

1) 1000 level (minimum) General Education courses required unless specified

Violin Repair - 39 credit Diploma
Program Reports

GENERAL EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS
English/Communications requirement
Choose one 2 credit (or greater) English or Communications course.
2 cr
Math requirement
Choose one 2 credit (or greater) Math course.
2 cr
 
4 crs
TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS
VLNR1301
Introduction to Tools
This course covers hand tool preparation and use, and power tool safety, set up, adjustment and use. Time is spent on tool preparation and sharpening and some tools are made. Accurate measuring, marking and shaping using hand and power tools is practiced. (Prerequisite: None) (2 credits: 0 lecture/2 lab)

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2 cr
VLNR1305
Basic Materials
This course covers trees, instrument parts, adhesives, and wood identification, characteristics, and movement. (Prerequisite: None) (1 credit: 1 lecture/0 lab)

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1 cr
VLNR1312
Introduction to Violin Playing
A basic skill at violin playing is necessary for adjusting instruments for sound. Students learn correct left and right hand positions, bow motion, scales, simple pieces and basic music theory. (Prerequisite: None) (1 credit: 1 lecture/0 lab)

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1 cr
VLNR1315
Violin History
The important violin makers of the past and present are the subject of this class. Italian, French, English, German, and American makers are covered, including stylistic differences and comparative values. (Prerequisite: None) (2 credits: 2 lecture/0 lab)

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2 cr
VLNR1321
Bow Rehairing
This course is largely hands-on and covers rehairing of violin, viola, cello, and bass bows. (Prerequisite: None) (4 credits: 1 lecture/3 lab)

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4 cr
VLNR1325
Bow Repairs
This class covers several kinds of grips, tip plate replacement, eyelets and frog and stick cracks. Materials identification and history of the modern bow are included. (Prerequisite: none) (2 credit: 0 lecture/2 lab)

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2 cr
VLNR1327
Violin Varnish
This course covers varnish ingredient, preparation and use, including colors, resins, vehicles and techniques. (Prerequisite: None) (2 credits: 1 lecture/1lab)

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2 cr
VLNR1341
Ebony Work
This course covers the parts of instruments normally made of ebony, including pegs, nuts, fingerboards, saddles, and end buttons and end pins. There is a fee of $12 charged for this course. (Prerequisites: VLNR1301, VLNR1305) (5 credits: 2 lecture/3 lab)

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5 cr
VLNR1351
Bridges and Soundposts
Soundposts and bridges are critical to the sound and playability of an instrument. Students learn where and how to fit the soundpost and bridge to each individual instrument and how to carve the bridge for optimum sound and aesthetic appeal. Students will fit at least 12 violin/viola soundposts and bridges, five cello soundposts and bridges and one bass soundpost and bridge. (Prerequisites: VLNR1301, VLNR1305, VLNR1321) (8 credits: 2 lecture/6 lab)

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8 cr
VLNR1361
Violin Repairing
This course covers basic violin family repair work. (Prerequisites: VLNR1301, VLNR1305, VLNR1327, VLNR1341) (8 credits: 2 lecture/6 lab)

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8 cr
 
35 crs
OPTIONAL CLASSES
VLNR1370
Violin Construction I
Violin Construction is for students wishing to learn the basics of building a violin. The course covers tool skills, use of appropriate materials, points of violin making style, and some historic context. (Prerequisites: Introduction to Tools, and Basic Materials, or instructor permission) (6 credits: 2 lecture/4 lab)

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6 cr
VLNR1371
Violin Construction II
This is the Spring Semester continuation of VLNR1370. (Prerequisites: VLNR1372 and VLNR1373, or VLNR1370) (6 credits: 2 lecture/4 lab)

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6 cr
 
12 crs

Total Credit Requirement - 39


Estimated Costs for this Major

Approximate Tuition/Fees:$8,369
Minimum Tool Cost:$1,450
Books/Supplies:$120
Estimated Total:$9,939
 

 


Career Opportunities

  • Music Stores
  • Repair Shops
  • Musical Instrument Manufacturers
  • Entrepreneurial Opportunities

Career Information

Outcomes

Program graduates will be able to:

  1. Perform setups on violins and bows
  2. Diagnose and perform repairs on violins and bows
  3. Identify and use ingredients used in violin varnish and touch-up
  4. Prepare and use hand and power tools
  5. Identify instrument woods and related materials
  6. Restore and make violins

Highlights

  • Unique in length and comprehensiveness in the United States

Instructors

  • Steve Rossow earned diplomas from the Guitar Repair & Building and Violin Repair programs in at MSC Southeast 2002. He apprenticed with luthier John R. Waddle in Saint Paul, under whom he studied violin making and restoration. Returning to MSC Southeast as a full-time instructor in 2010, Steve designed a curriculum for incorporating CNC work into guitar making and teaches computer-aided drafting and CNC in second year guitar program. He also teaches in the Violin Repair program.

  • Charlotte Matis graduated from MSC Southeast in 2002 with a diploma in Violin Repair, and also completed Archtop Instrument Construction in 2003. After a year doing repair in Milwaukee at Cascio Interstate Music, she moved to the workshop at Claire Givens Violins, whom she worked for until 2012. That spring she opened Blackbird's Music Store in Minneapolis, where she is shop foreman and teaches violin. Charlotte can also be found playing her fiddle with various local bands.

 

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Transfer Credits

Expand your opportunities. Learn how your credits can transfer to other colleges and universities.

College Articulated Transfer Agreements: Specific agreements between MSC Southeast and other institutions to accept transfer credits.

Minnesota Transfer: Transfer information provided by Minnesota State colleges and universities, Minnesota private colleges, and the University of Minnesota.

Transferology: A nationwide network to assist students in determining which courses will transfer.

 

RedWingMusicRepair.org

Instrument Close Ups

Learn more about the musical instrument repair programs on our Red Wing campus at RedWingMusicRepair.org.

 
 

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RED WING CAMPUS | 308 Pioneer Road | Red Wing, MN 55066 | 651-385-6300
WINONA CAMPUS | 1250 Homer Road | Winona, MN 55987 | 507-453-2700

Minnesota State College Southeast is an affirmative action/equal opportunity educator and employer. ADA accessible. MSC Southeast is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination in employment and education opportunity. No person shall be discriminated against in the terms and conditions of employment, personnel practices, or access to and participation in, programs, services, and activities with regard to race, sex, color, creed, religion, age, national origin, disability, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, or sexual orientation. In addition, discrimination in employment base on membership or activity in a local commission as defined by law is prohibited.

 

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