Analysis September 2020: Weathering the storm
What is the future for violin making schools in the era of Covid-19? Tutors from around the world explain the form their courses are likely to take during the autumn term. By Harry White.
It’s difficult to imagine an area of education more vulnerable to the disruption of Covid-19 than violin making courses. They are hands-on by their very nature, and the sharing of tools, equipment, materials and varnish ingredients – as well as knowledge – are integral to any educational enterprise. Jill Maynard, head of learning and skills at the Newark School of Violin Making and Restoration in the UK, says that the suddenness of the lockdown on 23 March required creativity and flexibility to ensure craft courses remained viable. ‘Our courses are focused on “time at the bench” in college, and we couldn’t maintain this while the college was closed,’ she explains. ‘But since lockdown began here, the teaching team across all our Musical Instrument Craft degree courses have tested a number of new ways of working to help students complete their studies with success, which has included holding tutorials online instead of face to face.’