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. Each student has their own workspace, and we provide all the tools necessary to build their 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 3 people, so that each person has lots of personal interaction with their instructor. The result is a rich, interactive experience that you simply don’t get by building a kit, watching videos, or trying to go it alone.
In class we teach students how to make instruments from scratch using high quality materials. We've drawn from our experience working in small shops and factory settings, to design processes that combine the best of both these worlds. We work with traditional hand tools, and also simple shop made tools we've developed specifically for our courses. In the machine room, students receive extensive instruction on how to use power equipment safely and effectively. We've documented all our building proceedures, and each student receives a comprehensive course manual for their use.
Our connection with our students doesn't end with their class. Many become friends, and we enjoy staying in touch and hearing about their lutherie projects. We also support graduates of our building courses by providing access to the alumni area of our website, where they can explore our growing library of reference resources. Graduates of our building courses also earn a 10% discount on any future classes at the school.
Please don't hesitate to contact me personally if you have any questions - I'm happy to help!
Scott Hausmann - Director