On December 20th, 2019 the New World School graduated its final student and ended the full-time program of violin making. However the doors to the shop are not closed. Small group seminars and individual tutoring concerning specific subjects of violin making are possible. If you have a need to further your education on a specific point such as the carving of a scroll, setting a neck, etc., then an arrangement may be possible. Please contact the instructor for further details.

By the way the book, The Manual of Violin Making, is still available for purchase, and I will continue to build violin family instruments

The New World School of Violin Making (NWS) hopes to instill in each student the knowledge and skill needed to become a violinmaker or repairperson.

The school is located in Presque Isle, Wisconsin. The school is accepted by the Educational Approval Board of Wisconsin.

The program’s focus is on the construction of instruments in the violin family based on classical and master models and traditional hand tool techniques. Each student will receive personal attention and will work on a one-to-one or small group basis with the instructor. Students develop the fundamental knowledge and hand tool skill necessary to enter the field of violin making and repair as professionals. The graduate will be prepared for employment in an established shop where he or she can continue advanced training.

Students must know how to play the instrument in order to learn about problems of sound production in relation to construction. Students must be able to play at least simple classical literature. Three years is not enough time to adequately learn how to play the violin; however, the student must demonstrate adequate advancement each semester. Presently the NWS does not provide a music director. It is the student’s responsibility to seek private music lessons.

For more information on the school, take a look at the School Catalog and Course Outline.

School Overview

School Official: Brian T. Derber, Owner/Instructor
Program Length: 3 – 3 1/2 years contingent on completing requirements
Construction Requirements: Six instruments
Daily Hours: 8:30 am to 3:30 pm
Clock Hours per Semester: 560
Total Clock Hours for the Program: 3360 (six semesters) to 3920 (seven semesters)
Tuition: $2,975 each semester plus a one-time registration fee of $75.  Total cost for 6 semesters is $17,925, and $20,900 for 7 semesters.

Course Overview

The focus is on construction of violin family instruments. A minimum of 6 instruments is required to graduate from the three year program: the first 3 are violins, the 4th is a viola, and the student has the option to choose from a violin, viola, or cello for the remaining two instruments.

  • Three violins
  • One viola
  • Two chosen from violin, cello or viola (student choice)

Some minor and basic repair techniques are also taught as time allows.

Each student is responsible for compiling a construction notebook for the full term of the program. This will also be presented during the graduation examination period. A daily log book of work/goals accomplished must be maintained by each student.

Technical drawing is taught each semester. Students complete at least two technical drawings, one of which is executed during the final examination period, and becomes a part of a student’s permanent record.

The theory of sound production and violin design is discussed throughout the program. Strong emphasis will be placed on varnish formulation and application. There will be some required reading regarding the history of classical makers, and artist’s materials and techniques.

For more information on the school, take a look at the School Catalog and Course Outline.