Musical instrument technician
Craft & Food Trades

A musical instrument technician is responsible for designing, making, tuning and repairing musical instruments.

Work Activities

Musical instrument technicians usually specialise in either brass, piano and keyboard, drums and percussion, stringed and electronic instruments and may work with raw materials, such as wood and metals, using specialist tools and equipment to produce them. They need the ability to tune and test instruments to the required standards and diagnose and repair faults to ensure they perform effectively, therefore a strong knowledge of playing and understanding instruments is required.

Musical instrument technologists may be employed by music instrument manufacturers, music shops and repairers and by orchestras, many work on a self-employed basis.

Responsibilities may include:

  • working with customers
  • diagnosing issues and faults and performing high quality repairs
  • designing and making new musical instruments
  • tuning and testing instruments
  • dealing with suppliers for instrument parts and strings

Personal Qualities and Skills

Key skills for musical instrument technicians

  • ability to play and understand instruments
  • good listening skills
  • accurate and precise
  • broad knowledge of instruments and their design
  • able to work independently
  • strong problem solving skills
  • ability to work in a team

Pay And Opportunities

Typical employers

  • musical instrument manufacturers
  • music studios, venues and concert halls
  • orchestras
  • musical instrument retailers and repairers

Qualifications

Qualifications and training provided

Apprenticeships are offered by some employers. The ability to play an instrument to a high standard can be an advantage.

The National Association of Musical Instrument Repairers (NAMIR) lists specialist courses offered, including those at Merton and Newark Colleges.

Glasgow Clyde College offers a Level 5 Stringed Musical Instrument Making course. London Metropolitan University offers short courses in music and instrument making and specialist training is also available via the Pianoforte Tuners Association, the British Violin Making Association and the Totnes School of Guitar Making

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