‘Be the person to teach them how to learn’ - Training an apprentice


Sarah Kluge explains her method of training an apprentice from scratch, including an essential list of dos and don’ts

Over the past two decades of violin making, I have become a professional learner. In my role as head of a workshop, I need to work alongside my colleagues while at the same time maintaining the role of team leader. In the process, I have discovered how this mindset of leader–partner translates from industry to industry, and from teacher to student. (Given my other role as a trainer of horses, I’ve even realised how it extends to different species!) Before training as a restorer more than 20 years ago, I worked for a time in human resources where I was exposed to matters such as ‘training scales’ and the ideas I explain in this article. They have helped me during my own apprenticeship, through to owning my own shop and my participation on the board of the Violin Society of America. I also found it helpful when I was setting up my own musical charity.

I believe that the rules and guidelines described here can inspire learners to participate fully in workshop matters, and grow more quickly by preparing the way both psychologically and developmentally…

Already subscribed? Please sign in

Subscribe to continue reading…

We’re delighted that you are enjoying our website. For a limited period, you can try an online subscription to The Strad completely free of charge.

  • Free 7-day trial

    Not sure about subscribing? Sign up now to read this article in full and you’ll also receive unlimited access to premium online content, including the digital edition and online archive for 7 days.

    No strings attached – we won’t ask for your card details

  • Subscribe 

    No more paywalls. To enjoy the best in-depth features and analysis from The Strad’s latest and past issues, upgrade to a subscription now. You’ll also enjoy regular issues and special supplements* and access to an online archive of issues back to 2010.


* Issues and supplements are available as both print and digital editions. Online subscribers will only receive access to the digital versions.