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Minnesota State College Southeast
A Technical & Community College

Band Instrument Repair - Diploma


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

Translate your love of music into a rewarding hands-on career in Band Instrument Repair at Minnesota State College Southeast in Red Wing.

From across the United States and around the world, students come to Red Wing, Minnesota, to study band instrument repair, where you can learn the skills necessary for employment and advancement in this rewarding, viable career option. Our training is rigorous, requiring tenacity and a desire for excellence.

In 2 semesters of comprehensive study, the Band Instrument Repair program will teach you the fundamentals of repairing clarinets, trumpets, flutes, trombones, saxophones, French horns, oboes, bassoons, and large brass. You will also learn how to fabricate tools and instrument parts using lathes, drill presses, sanders, and bench motors.

Up to 48 students enroll yearly in Band Instrument Repair, many coming from either performance or music education backgrounds - men and women looking to channel their interests and talents in a challenging educational setting where hands-on practice is central to success.

You will join graduates who are successfully employed in repair shops associated with music stores, school districts, and independent repair shops. In 2017, 97% of our graduates found work in the field.

For additional information, go to www.redwingmusicrepair.org. To become a student, apply for admission to MSC Southeast.

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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


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
 
Please note that direct entry into these required general education courses is dependent upon basic skills results as determined by the Accuplacer Placement Exam. Entry into the English/Communications requirement requires a reading comprehension test score of 78 or higher on the Accuplacer. Entry into the Math requirement requires an elementary algebra test score of 46 or higher on the Accuplacer. If your scores are lower than those indicated above, the college requires mandatory placement in additional developmental coursework; the levels and sequence of these courses are determined by your Accuplacer score. Learn more about the Accuplacer Placement Exam and its role in academic planning.
 
 
TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS
BIRT1100
Woodwind Repair Fundamentals
This course introduces the student to safe use and handling of shop equipment, tools and supplies. The student will learn to diagnose and repair basic problems associated with woodwind instruments. Techniques of disassembly, tenon corking, key fitting, padding, key corking, regulation as well as play testing the instrument will be covered. In addition, nomenclature, care of wood, crack sealing, key straightening, and spring replacement will be taught. As a project for the course, the student will perform a complete repad on a clarinet including record keeping and invoicing requirements. It is recommended that the student have playing skills on the instrument prior to enrolling, as a playing proficiency is required for completion of the course. Grading is based on project evaluation and written tests. (Prerequisite: None) (5 Credits: 3 lecture/2 lab)

Download the Course Outline

5 cr
BIRT1104
Woodwind Repair I
The student will build on previous skills learned in diagnosing and repairing basic problems associated with woodwind instruments. Techniques of disassembly, tenon fitting, head corking, key fitting, padding, key corking, regulation as well as play testing the instrument will be covered. In addition, nomenclature, care of metal and finishes, body straightening, key alignment, spring replacement, and soft soldering will be taught. As a project for the course, the student will perform a complete repad on a flute including record keeping and invoicing requirements. It is recommended that the student have playing skills on the instrument prior to enrolling, as a playing proficiency is required for completion of the course. Grading is based on project evaluation and written tests. (Prerequisite: BIRT1100 or field experience commensurate with course content as determined by instructor) (4 Credits: 2 lecture/2 lab)

Download the Course Outline

4 cr
BIRT1110
Brasswind Repair Fundamentals
This course covers the basics of brasswind repair, including nomenclature, chemical flushing, porting procedures, common dent removal, the straightening and alignment of parts, soft soldering and spot finishing. The trumpet will be used to learn a majority of these repairs, though larger brasswinds may be included for the advancing student. Aspects of a safe work environment as well as instrument inspection, repair and invoicing are also included. Grading is based on project evaluation and written tests. (Prerequisite: None) (4 Credits: 2 lecture/2 lab)

Download the Course Outline

4 cr
BIRT1125
Brasswind Repair I
This course parallels topics and tasks learned in BIRT1110, adding solder projects, complete instrument repair, introduction to trombone handslide repairs and trumpet playing methods. Machine tool operation, aspects of a safe work environment as well as instrument inspection, repair and invoicing are also included. Grading is based on project evaluation and written tests. (Prerequisite: BIRT1110 or field experience commensurate with course content as determined by instructor) (5 Credits: 2 lecture/3 lab)

Download the Course Outline

5 cr
BIRT1130
Band Instrument Repair Open Lab I
This elective allows students independent work time over and above required coursework to focus on advancing repair skills through working projects assigned in BIRT courses and other specialty projects as approved by instructors. (Prerequisite: Enrollment in BIRT1110, BIRT1125, BIRT1100, and BIRT1104) (1 credit: 0 lecture/1 lab)

Download the Course Outline

1 cr
BIRT2100
Woodwind Repair II
Using the saxophone as the focus, the student will learn techniques of disassembly and assembly, neck corking, tenon fitting, key fitting, hinge rod making, key corking, padding, regulation, lubrication, and play testing the instrument. Body straightening tone hole leveling, post and key alignment, soft and silver soldering will also be included. It is recommended that the student have playing skills on the instrument prior to enrolling, as a playing proficiency is required for completion of this course. As a project for the course, the student will perform a complete repad on the saxophone including record keeping and invoicing requirements. Grading is based on project evaluation and written tests. (Prerequisites: BIRT1100 and BIRT1104 or field experience commensurate with course content as determined by instructor) (5 Credits: 2 lecture/3 lab)

Download the Course Outline

5 cr
BIRT2104
Woodwind Repair III
This course will involve the study of common aspects of repair as it relates to the oboe and the bassoon. Using the oboe as the project, nomenclature, installation of cork pads, regulation, play testing, and focus on key mechanism interrelationships will be covered. Topics related to wood care, moisture tube removal, and tone hole replacement will be introduced. Bassoon nomenclature as well as padding and regulation techniques will be covered. Wood treatment, sealing, tenon wrapping, and "U" tube gasket replacement will be studied. It is recommended that the student have playing skills on the instruments prior to enrolling. A playing proficiency on oboe is required for completion of the course. Grading is based on project evaluation and written tests. (Prerequisites: BIRT1100, BIRT1104, & BIRT2100 or field experience commensurate with course content as determined by instructor) (4 Credits: 2 lecture/2 lab)

Download the Course Outline

4 cr
BIRT2110
Brasswind Repair II
Using the trombone as focus, the student will learn aspects of handslide repair including tube straightening, dent removal, crook repair and installation, and tube installation. Bell section repairs will include alignment, crook dent removal, and gooseneck and flare repairs. The student will also be introduced to piston brass casing, valve and thread repairs. Machine tool operation, aspects of a safe work environment as well as instrument inspection, repair and invoicing are also included. Grading is based on project evaluation and written tests. (Prerequisites: BIRT1110 & BIRT1125 or field experience commensurate with course content as determined by the instructor) (5 Credits: 2 lecture/3 lab)

Download the Course Outline

5 cr
BIRT2121
Large Brasswind Repair
The french horn will be used to introduce the student to large brasswind repairs as well as rotary valve stringing, adjustment and bearing work. Dent work will focus on the bell section and mouthpipe. Work on other large brasswinds such as baritone horns and tubas may be included for the advancing student. French horn playing methods, aspects of a safe work environment, as well as instrument inspection, repair and invoicing are also included. Grading is based on project evaluation and written tests. (Prerequisites: BIRT1110, BIRT1125 & BIRT2110 or field experience commensurate with course content as determined by instructor) (4 Credits: 2 lecture/2 lab)

Download the Course Outline

4 cr
BIRT2130
Band Instrument Repair Open Lab II
This elective allows students independent work time over and above required coursework to focus on advancing repair skills through working projects assigned in BIRT courses and other specialty projects as approved by instructors. (Prerequisite: Enrollment in BIRT2110, BIRT2122, BIRT2100, and BIRT2104) (1 credit: 0 lecture/1 lab)

Download the Course Outline

1 cr
 
38 crs

Total Credits Required for this Major: 42 Credits


Estimated Costs for this Major

Approximate Tuition/Fees:$9,012
Minimum Tool Cost:$1,350
Books/Supplies:$550
Estimated Total:$10,912
 

 


Career Opportunities

  • Music Stores
  • Repair Shops
  • School Districts
  • Musical Instrument Manufacturers
  • Entrepreneurial Opportunities (with experience)

Outcomes

Program graduates will be able to:

  1. Evaluate, repair and play test clarinets, flutes, and saxophones; evaluate and become familiar with oboe and bassoon repair techniques.
  2. Evaluate, repair and play test trumpets and horns; evaluate and repair trombones and large brass instruments.
  3. Perform basic fabrication and repair support techniques using a bench motor, metal lathe and sander, incorporating related accessories and hand tools.
  4. Exhibit attitudes and behaviors commensurate with employer expectations.

Highlights

  • All students in the musical instrument repair programs at MSC Southeast pay in-state tuition regardless of state/country of origin. The cost of living in Red Wing is also quite reasonable.
  • Our instructors are active members in the National Association of Professional Band Instrument Repair Technicians (NAPBIRT), presenting clinics, producing videos, and writing articles for TechniCom, NAPBIRT's printed journal. Go to www.napbirt.org for more information.
  • Frequent guest speakers and clinicians will give you their perspectives on what employment in the craft is like and help you prepare for your career.

Instructors

  • John Huth has his Bachelor of Music Degree from Bowling Green State University and his Master of Music Degree (Trumpet) from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He was apprentice-trained as a repair technician and joined the teaching faculty of Minnesota State College Southeast in 1987. John is a Master Repair Clinician in the National Association of Professional Band Instrument Repair Technicians (NAPBIRT) and has presented numerous clinics throughout the United States.
    Learn more about John Huth.
  • A 1992 graduate of the Band Instrument Repair program in Red Wing, Greg Beckwith began teaching at MSC Southeast in 1996 and has been a full time instructor since 2003. He has a BS in Technical Education from Bemidji State University and a Master of Science in Education from Mankato State University. For further concentrated study he spent time in Oslo, Norway learning horn building from Daniel Rauch of Rauch horns. A member of NAPBIRT, Greg has presented clinics for regional and national conferences. Greg is principal horn of the Rochester (MN) Symphony and has performed as an extra/sub for the Minnesota Orchestra. He is a graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy and studied with Verne Reynolds at Eastman School of Music, Roland Pandolfi at the St. Louis Conservatory, and Kendall Betts in Minnesota.
    Learn more about Greg Beckwith.
  • John Maddox joined the Band Instrument Repair faculty as a full time instructor in 2018. He holds his bachelor's degree in Trombone Performance from the University of South Florida. He graduated from MSC Southeast in May 2012, then worked at Davenport Instrument Repair in Brooklyn Center, MN and operated his own business specializing in professional/custom repairs. Beginning in 2013, John served as an active member of BIR's Advisory Committee, conducting student assessments and recommending improvements to instruction and facilities. Through NAPBIRT, John has presented regional clinics on flute shimming techniques and on sourcing tools and supplies on a budget.
    Learn more about John Maddox.

Media

 

Other Majors in the Band Instrument Repair program

Band Instrument Repair AAS

 

RedWingMusicRepair.org

Instrument Close Ups

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

 
 

© 2020 Minnesota State College Southeast

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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