We don't just teach instrument making
... we live and breathe it
Since early 2010, the Whetstone School of Lutherie has offered scores of students professional training in the art of instrument making. Currently the cirriculum includes courses in guitar making and guitar repair – plus mandolin, ukulele, and banjo building. Our small class size, expert instruction, and top-notch programming, have earned us a reputation as one of the leading lutherie schools in North America.
We are located in the charming community of Brattleboro, in the southern Green Mountains of Vermont. Brattleboro is a fun place to visit with a vibrant downtown, and a wide variety of recreational opportunities for students and family members.
If you want to quickly explore our course offerings, click on the link below.
Our goals and educational philosophy
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 self-learning and personal exploration.
In the classroom you'll learn techniques and methods used by many of today's most successful builders, and we'll also teach you how to organize your process and think strategically. Through this structured approach, not only will you make a great instrument - you'll also acquire the confidence and understanding you need to move forward successfully with your own projects.
What makes the Whetstone School special
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 necessary to build your instrument. The machine room is fully equipped with finely tuned machinery, and a large capacity dust collection system. Students tell us all the time, it's one of the nicest workshops they've ever seen.
We believe that the best way to learn how to make musical instruments is one-on-one with an experienced instructor. Teaching the craft effectively involves listening, and observing, and skillfully guiding each student through the process. We limit enrollment in our building courses to just three students, so each person has lots of personal interaction with their teacher. The result is a rich, interactive experience that you simply can't get by building a kit, watching a video, or trying to go it alone.
If you still need convincing, we encourage you to spend some time reading the stories on our Testimonials page and listen to what some of our students are saying.