The Whetstone School of Lutherie offers professional instruction in guitar making and guitar repair, plus we also offer classes in mandolin, ukulele, and banjo building.
We are a growing community of students, musicians, and luthiers who are captivated by the art of building musical instruments. Our teachers are seasoned professionals with accomplished backgrounds in their field of expertise. We are passionate about our craft, and dedicated to sharing what we've learned with our students.
The school is located in Brattleboro, Vermont which is centrally located between New York City and Boston. Brattleboro is a fun place to visit with a vibrant downtown area, and a wide variety of recreational opportunities for students and family members alike.
Instrument making is one of those endeavors in which you never really stop learning. To grow 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 class we'll teach you techniques and methods used by many of today's most successful builders, but you'll also acquire the confidence and understanding you need to move forward successfully with your own projects.
Our sole focus is teaching instrument making, and we've set up our school specifically for that purpose. The main classroom is spacious, comfortable, and has great light. Students each have their own workbenches, and we provide all the tools necessary to build their instruments. Our machine room is equipped with a full complement of finely tuned machinery and a large capacity dust collection system. The space is carefully organized, well lit, and uncluttered. Students tell us all the time it's one of the nicest workshops they've ever seen.
Teaching folks how to make musical instruments is much more than the simple presentation of information. Every person is different, and effective teaching is about listening, and observing, and compassionately guiding each student through the process. To facilitate that exchange we limit enrollment in our building courses to just 3 people, which guarantees that each student has plenty of one-on-one interaction with their instructor. The result is a rich educational experience that can often be life changing.
In class we teach students how to make instruments from scratch using commonly available materials. We've drawn from our experience working in both small shops and factory settings to design processes that combine the best of both these worlds. We do lots of work with traditional hand tools, and we also use shop made tools developed specifically for our courses. Students also receive instruction on how to use simple jigs in conjunction with power equipment, to help them work safely and more effectively. We've documented all of our building proceedures, and each student receives a comprehensive course manual for their reference.
Our connection with our students doesn't end with their class. Many become friends, and we enjoy staying in touch and hearing about their building projects. We also support graduates of our building courses by providing access to the alumni area of our website, where they can review our documentation and explore our growing library of reference resources. Graduates of our building courses also earn a 10% discount on any future classes at the school.