Tuition is given in the principles of making, assembling and setting up the instrument, violin, viola or cello, or allowing you to complete one of these instruments already in progress or start a new one. During the course you should increase your knowledge and extend your skills in the making of musical instruments by traditional methods. The outcome is guided by individual projects and goals.
Teaching is generally on a one-to-one basis catering for individual needs and dictated by previous experience, knowledge and ability. There are group demonstrations where appropriate. As the course takes place in a large workshop, adjacent to the other courses in this series, interaction with fellow students and other tutors also plays a valuable role in the learning process.
To complete an instrument in this area may take several courses, depending on the instrument selected and your woodworking experience.
West Dean College has run musical instrument making courses for more than 40 years. This nine-day and supplementary five-day courses can provide an insight into full-time study on the College's FdA Historic Craft Practices - Musical Instruments.
Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential to arrive by 6.45pm
6.45pm Welcome followed by dinner (included)
8.00-9.00pm First teaching session, attendance is essential
9.15-5.00pm Classes (lunch included)
From 6.30pm Dinner (included)
Evening working – Students may have access to workshops, but only with their tutor’s permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.
9.15am-12.30pm Classes (lunch included). Workshops must be cleared by 3.30pm.
Residential students to vacate rooms by10am.
Available from shop:
Please note: Humidity levels in the workshop are variable to dry; whilst the College has addressed this, some factors are beyond our control, therefore instruments are brought and left in the workshop at your own risk. Each tutor will take a half-day break, in rotation with the other tutors, to be decided during the week. They will discuss suitable work for that session with you if you wish to continue working.
"Having an opportunity for specialist learning at a high level and learning with an excellent teacher with people who have become friends."Jayne, 2019
Nigel Melfi is a Newark School trained Violin maker of approximately sixteen years. During this time, he has made a number of violins, violas and two cellos, which are currently played by a number of talented musicians around the country. He can usually be found at the BVMA 'Makers Day' in London, where he will sometimes display some of his recent work. In 2018, Nigel took part in the Cremona 'Trienalle' Violin Making Competition, where both his instruments, a violin and viola, did well. He teaches at Newark now.