Analysis August 2021: Adaptive learning


During the pandemic, some luthiers have begun making online courses to record their techniques and share their knowledge. Is it a viable alternative to one-to-one teaching? By Peter Somerford

In this era of unprecedented knowledge-sharing among instrument makers, YouTube is one of the most accessible forums for students of the craft. Some luthiers are particularly active on the platform, demonstrating their methods and sharing repair tips. A number of makers, such as Peter Westerlund from Sweden, have created long series of videos documenting their complete process of making an instrument ( While YouTube is free, makers have also monetised video content, using membership platforms such as Patreon, or by creating standalone, paid-for online courses. Two such courses launched in early 2021: a 12-hour professional-level neck graft course by UK-based restorer Iris Carr, on the platform Teachable (; and a 37-hour violin making course by Cremona-based maker Lucas Fabro, available from guitar maker Robert O’Brien’s website (…

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