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"There is a real love for the craft of lutherie at the Whetstone School. It comes through in the instruction, and really shows in the quality of the instrument I made there."
- Kevin Champney



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Kristen

"The products of the Whetstone course were better than I could have possibly imagined – a better me, and a great guitar."
- Kristen Porter-Utley

We don't just teach instrument making
... we live and breathe it

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If you’ve ever imagined building a musical instrument, you’ve come to the right place. We offer hands-on workshops in acoustic guitar making and guitar repair – plus courses in mandolin and ukulele building. Our small class size, expert instruction, and top-notch programming have earned us a reputation among the best lutherie schools in the land.

We are located in the rural community of Brattleboro, in the southern Green Mountains of Vermont. Brattleboro is a fun place to visit with a vibrant downtown, and an eclectic variety of eateries, pubs, and places to stay while you're visiting us.

 

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Our educational philosophy, and what you can expect to experience here...

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We believe that instrument making is one of those endeavors in which you never really stop learning. To flourish as a luthier requires patience, practice, and a steadfast commitment to the process of ongoing improvement.

Ultimately, our job is to provide you with a strong foundational experience that you can build on through practice, exploration, and future training.

Our sole focus is teaching instrument making, and we've organized our school specifically for that purpose. The main classroom is spacious, comfortable, and has great light. Each student has their own workspace, and we provide all the tools and materials necessary to build your instrument. The machine room is fully equipped with finely tuned machinery, and a large capacity dust collection system. Our students tell us all the time, it's one of the nicest workshops they've ever seen.

In the classroom you'll learn techniques and methods used by many of today's most successful builders. We'll also teach you how to organize your process, think strategically, and work mindfully. Following this structured approach, you'll make a beautiful instrument that will give you a great sense of pride, and a lifetime of pleasure. For students interested in continuing their building practice, you'll also acquire the confidence and understanding you need to move forward successfully with your own projects.

For most folks, the best way to learn how to make musical instruments is one-on-one with a seasoned instructor. Teaching the craft effectively involves listening, and observing, and skillfully guiding each person through the process. We limit enrollment in our building courses to just three students, so everyone has lots of personal interaction with their teacher. The result is a rich, interactive experience you simply can't get by building a kit, watching a video, or trying to go it alone.

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