Cambridge Woodwind Makers are dedicated to keeping the skills of woodwind instrument makers alive.
To many, this may seem unnecessary; “we are a ‘modern’ world now and don’t need to make things with our hands”, but without an understanding and appreciation of how things are made and how materials behave we become unable to improve and develop the objects around us. We will become dependent on large factories, computers and managers to supply us with instruments. We will lose the ability to retain a national style or a means of influencing the future of western music. Plentiful are the sources that recognized not only the personal pleasure that can be derived from physical creation of objects, particularly musical instruments, but also the unstable nature of the world that may yet require us to maintain the skill of our hands for activities other than typing!
Make your own instruments and learn new skills.
Cambridge Woodwind Makers run courses in instrument making and repair for various levels of ability. If you don’t see what you are looking for, please get in touch.
One of the ways in which Cambridge Woodwind Makers promotes the preservation of woodwind instrument making in the UK is through running courses in instrument making which provides opportunity for and encourages participation by children and adults.
Our courses appeal for many reasons; some non-players will be interested in the historical manufacturing techniques, others may wish to own and play an instrument they have made themselves. Many professional players may wish to make their own instrument tailored to their own specific playing requirements.
The benefits of playing your own music and listening to music are well researched and acknowledged. The joy and reward in making your own instruments are lesser known but adequately substantiated. See our ‘Related Information‘ pages for examples.
The course we arrange at Cambridge woodwind makers are run by some of the finest craftspeople in our industry. We provide the tools and material they require in our purpose designed workshop and they design and deliver the course in their own unique style.
In the summary of each course information section we try and give a flavour of what to expect from that particular course.
We have been running courses for over 6 years now and have had students from every continent in the world, with many students coming back for more of the same or on another course. To date (2017) we have had four students who have gone on to be professional makers.
To make the experience as enjoyable as possible, we provide lunch each day and go our for dinner on at least one evening during the week, all included in the price.
On every course you will be involved in every aspect of the manufacture of your instrument and in most cases you will leave with a fully working instrument, often to professional performance quality.
All material and equipment is provided, though you will need to bring your own tough and fully enclosed footware.