Ask the Teacher - Juliet Barker

barker

The respected lutherie teacher explains how she encourages patience and careful listening

What’s the first thing you do when someone who has never made an instrument before arrives in the school?

We ask them how much woodworking experience they’ve got, and if they have none, we usually tell them that’s a good thing, because violin makers don’t work in the same way as joiners and carpenters. The people we are terrifi ed of are retired woodworking teachers!

What’s the first thing you get them to do?

We encourage them to make a Guarneri because it’s easier to bend the C-bout. We talk to them about choice of wood – how it is cut and what to look for when you’re choosing. They start off making the corner-blocks and end-blocks, and planing up the ribs. The method is almost exactly the same as the one I followed in Mittenwald. Everyone was working on piecework there, so they developed a method that was quick. A method that is quick is usually the simplest method. That’s why we take an inside mould rather than an outside mould.

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 - online subscriptions from £4.50/month

    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.