Musical Instrument Maker/Repairer Careers

How to become musical instrument maker and repairer

What does a musical instrument maker and repairer do?

Musical instrument makers and repairers build, renovate and repair musical instruments. Depending on the type of work, they might use traditional materials such as wood and metal, or modern materials including plastic and fibreglass. They might also fit electronic units such as guitar pickups or other amplification aids.

Most musical instrument makers/repairers specialise in one family of instrument: violin or guitar; early stringed instruments; early keyboard instruments; brass or woodwind instruments; organ or piano tuning.

Piano tuners adjust piano strings to the correct pitch using a tuning fork and tuning hammer.


What's the working environment like for musical instrument maker and repairers?

Musical instrument makers and repairers normally work a 40-hour week, Monday to Friday. Some part-time opportunities may be available. Many are freelance and can choose their working hours.

Most instrument makers work in small workshops, or work from home if self-employed. Piano tuners and organ builders visit customers’ homes and other premises, usually within a local area, to service or repair instruments on site.


What does it take to become a musical instrument maker and repairer?

As an instrument maker/repairer, you should:

  • have excellent woodwork and metalwork skills

  • have a knowledge of basic electronics

  • have the knowledge and experience to trace and solve problems

  • be prepared to continually learn new techniques

  • have manual dexterity

  • be patient and thorough, and able to pay attention to detail

  • have a good appreciation of pitch and quality of sound

  • have good communication skills.

The ability to play an instrument, though useful, is not essential.


Further information

If you would like to know anything about working as a musical instrument maker and repairer that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

National Association of Musical Instrument Repairers

Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM)
10 Stratford Place
Tel: 020 7629 4413

Institute of Musical Instrument Technology (IMIT)
Northfield House
11 Kendal Avenue South

Piano Tuners Association

British Violin Making Association

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