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.
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)
11 Kendal Avenue South
Piano Tuners Association
British Violin Making Association