3-Year Apprenticeship Program


The Canadian Violin Making Institute offers exceptional programming and instruction for aspiring Canadian and international luthiers.

3-Year Apprenticeship Program

  • September – May
  • Institution hours: 8-3 Mon-Fri
  • Total cost: $43,200 ($14,400 per year)
  • Mount Royal University Cont.Ed. Online Management Diploma (optional, but highly recommended).
  • Music lessons on an as-needed basis (individual responsibility)

About the program…

  • Construct 7 instruments (5 violins, 1 viola, 1 cello) – See note below *
  • Hand tool construction
  • Varnish making
  • Materials science
  • Forestry studies (harvesting, rendering, curing)
  • Art
  • Music studies (violin, viola or cello): if required
    • * NOTE: Students retain ownership of their first and last instruments, for which they supply materials. The CVMI retains ownership of the middle five, for which it provides materials.

Skills Taught

  • Hand-eye coordination
  • Hand tool skills (knives, planes, chisels, gouges, files, reamers, scrapers, etc.).
  • Sharpening
  • Power tool use, safety and maintenance
  • Varnish making
  • Tool making
  • Jig design and creation
  • Mould and counter-form design and creation
  • Purfling making
  • Draftsmanship
  • Instrument construction

Program Outcomes

Provide exceptional instruction by helping the student to:

  • Develop the skills of an employable entry level professional violin maker.
  • Learn all the tool skills required to construct instruments at an internationally acceptable level (results will vary depending on individual inputs and strengths).
  • Develop an eye for form and style.
  • Be exposed to current acoustics studies and measuring systems for instruments.
  • Be in contact with current professional players and teachers
  • Develop an understanding for the desired tonal and aesthetic requirements of the violin family.
  • Develop attention to detail as it pertains to the various classical styles of making.
  • Learn about violin making history and regional influences.
  • Develop an understanding for the physical characteristics and tonal properties of a variety of wood species as related to growth conditions, DNA, harvesting, curing methods and rendering.
  • Understand ergonomics of instrument design.
  • Understand tonal relations to design characteristics (arching, outline, sound hole placement, string heights and tensions, etc.).
  • Facilitate different playing styles through optimized instrument set up.
  • Understand string and rosin characteristics, and their affects on playability.
  • Understand temperature and weather quality on playability and structural stability.
  • Repair and maintain instruments at an acceptable professional standard.
  • Conduct themselves within the boundaries of good business and interpersonal ethics.