MUSICAL INSTRUMENT MAKING AND REPAIR JOB ROLES Musical instrument makers build, repair and restore musical instruments and adjust or alter them to owners' specifications. Musical instrument makers may perform the following tasks: • design and make instrument parts using specially selected materials and techniques similar to those used in cabinetmaking, metal pipe making, silversmithing and wood carving • talk to, and take instructions from, musicians • install electrical wiring, assemble and glue parts together, attach strings as necessary and tune instruments • maintain instruments to keep them in working order • identify and repair damaged or faulty parts • play instruments to test for tonal defects and to check repairs • advise customers about the acoustic properties of the instruments. Musical instrument makers may specialise in one instrument or in a range of instruments usually from the same group (e.g. stringed, electronic, brass, woodwind or percussion). Each instrument has its own specific requirements. EMPLOYMENT PROSPECTS The Musical Instrument Making and Repair industry comprises businesses involved in highly skilled activities associated with making and repairing stringed, woodwind, brass and percussion instruments. Most businesses are small, employing less than 20 people, and the majority of activity relates to manufacture of stringed instruments. The niche sector reflects a time-honoured skill, highly regarded for its fine craftsmanship and beautifully crafted instruments. The nature of the sector attracts many young people in search of a trade calling in fine hand skills and passion for the workmanship. Musical instrument makers are usually self-employed or work as part of a small team. Many need to supplement their income by doing other types of work TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES At present you can work as a musical instrument maker without formal qualifications. You will probably get some informal training on the job. There have been national qualifications developed that are expected to be available for delivery in 2008.
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