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Where should I go to school?

  • Southeast Technical College, Red Wing MN

    Votes: 2 66.7%
  • Roberto-Venn, Phoenix AZ

    Votes: 1 33.3%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey, Folks.

I need your help here. I've done all my research and ran my numbers twice. I just simply can't make a decision. Next year I am planning on going back to school to learn how to build guitars and repair. There are two schools that I am interested in and I just can't make up my mind on which one I want to go to. So, I'm going to run all the info that I have and hopefully with our brains together we can come up with a decision for me. Hopefully with all our brain power combined we can make a decision.

Here's the first school I found out about.

South East Technical College in Red Wing, Mn formerly known as Red Wing Technical College
http://www.southeastmn.edu/academic_pro ... ogramID=10

This school is located about an hr south of St. Paul, MN and is just another Midwestern river town like where I'm from. Here's the numbers for the school. I only live 6 hrs from this school. Will have to provide my own furniture unless I decided to choose the option from renting a room from a local family.

Length = 9 months for the main diploma or 18months with the second year.
Tuition = $9,812 this includes books, supplies and fees
Materials = $1,100 this for both an acoustic and electric guitar
Tools = $1200
Room and Board = No housing provided but I found a 1 bdrm 1 bath apartment for $610. This includes all utilities except electricity. There are other options if I want to share a house with strangers .

So just tuition and material expense it comes to $12,112 with R&B $17,602. ($610 * 9)

The next school I am thinking about is Roberto-Ven in Phoenix, AZ. This area will be completely new to me as I've never been that far west. This schools is just over 11 hrs from home.
www.roberto-venn.com

Length = 5 months
Tuition = $9,950
Materials = $1,425
Tools = $900
Room and Board = Found a nice studio apartment close to the school for $495 with all utilities except electrify. Includes a Murphy Bed and a dresser. Also will need to provide rest of the furniture.
Application fee: $250 with $50 for the fee and $200 as a deposit.

Total cost $12,125 with room and board it's $14,600 ($495*5)

So, as you can see the cost of the school is pretty close. Only a $13 difference. I really want to go to Roberto-Venn cause it's in Phoenix so it will be warmer weather. I'm tired of these snowy winters. However, I just like Red Wing better cause it's an actual college instead of just a family operated shop. Red Wing does have an additional year you can take which is more advance. Has a cnc class, advance finishes, advance neck repair, and archtop construction such as Mandolins.

Red Wing is a member of Minnesota State education.
Roberto-Venn is accredited by ACCSCT (Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology)

So, what do you guys think? I hope this isn't to confusion. I just really can't make up my mind.
 

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So youve done a tonne of research and you want some strangers to tell you what you should do with your life, and not done any research ?

Mate we only get a few things in life for free, and with the ever looming carbon taxes, breathing is soon not for free.

Making your own decisions in life is what empowers you.

The way I see things, no matter what you decide to do, it ends up being the right one, because the decision becomes a part of your History and history in General and you cant go back and change it. So that means the Universe played out the way its supposed to, and means your choice was the right one.

Just go with your gut feeling. Deep down you know the answer.

good luck !!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, I completely understand your point. One week I think Phoenix and the next I think Minnesota. More and more I think MN will be the "smarter" choice.
 

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I completely agree with Freak. It's one thing to ask what guitar or gear you should get--you've seen the replies to those threads, but a decision that is life-changing is a much bigger one. Yo7mll get 50% of replies to go to one place, while the other 50% will say the other. This is a decision you have to make. There are also a bunch of other good schools. Basing your decision on location rather than quality of instruction is not a smart move. Do a bunch of research, read reviews, contact people that have attended those schools, etc.
 

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As a full time professional luthier I can tell you this. Save your money. You cannot learn in a year what you need to know, and anyone purporting to be able to teach you that is a scam artist.

One of the "Best" luthier school in the country is just down the street from me, and every 6 months I get a crop of idiots who know nothing about doing a good job beg me for employment. I would never hire a graduate from a school. If you are serious about this, find the best you can and become his/her apprentice. You will learn much more and be more qualified than that joke that a school can make you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
As a full time professional luthier I can tell you this. Save your money. You cannot learn in a year what you need to know, and anyone purporting to be able to teach you that is a scam artist.

One of the "Best" luthier school in the country is just down the street from me, and every 6 months I get a crop of idiots who know nothing about doing a good job beg me for employment. I would never hire a graduate from a school. If you are serious about this, find the best you can and become his/her apprentice. You will learn much more and be more qualified than that joke that a school can make you.
You're referring to AGW's aren't you?
 

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Not at all, those guys learned at the school I am referring to. I do a lot of clean up work for them, I have seen a little bit of acceptable work leave their shop, but most is piss poor to say the least.
I was referring to Luthiers International.

Seriously don't be taken for a fool. Call around nation wide and see how well respected a certificate from ANY lutherie school is, or rather, isn't. Anyone remember bartending school? Same thing here, a big ass SCAM.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Actually I've seen job posting from Fender asking for a certificate or diploma from a lutherie school such as Roberto-Venn.
 

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Call the big name custom shops (Fender, PRS, etc.) and ask them how they go about recruiting their master luthiers.

Call the Dept. of Education and find out from them which one of those schools is accredited not only by the state but US wide.

Musikron's comment is not 100% right. He is correct in telling you that, in an area such as guitar luthiery, spending 6 months to a year in a school won't teach you the things you would learn from a master luthier that has been doing it for far longer. However... If on the other hand, the professors that would be teaching you at the school you decided to go to were masther luthiers that had been practicing their craft for a long time, then Musikorn's advice would not necessarily be true.

Academic advancement is a very important part of someone's career and future. If you don't do your research and make some solid decisions, you could be lamenting your choice later on.

Jimmy:smile:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Alaskabat. I comepletly agree with you. I think I got excited over Phoenix because of it's location and ideal weather. I can always attend Southeast then move to Phoenix at a later date. I just contacted Ibanez to see how I can get a job with them.

And the thing I found out about apprenticeships is that hardly know one wants to do it anymore. They don't want to waste their time training.

There are two main instructors.

David Vincent handles the Acoustic side of things. Here is his website.
http://davidvincent.squarespace.com/

Brian Boedighemier is the instructor who handles the electrics.
http://www.redwingmusicrepair.org/guitar/boedigheimer.html

Brian does his own custom work as well but could not find a webpage.

I will contact Fender tomorrow and see what they say.
 

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Alaskabat. I comepletly agree with you. I think I got excited over Phoenix because of it's location and ideal weather. I can always attend Southeast then move to Phoenix at a later date. I just contacted Ibanez to see how I can get a job with them.

And the thing I found out about apprenticeships is that hardly know one wants to do it anymore. They don't want to waste their time training.

There are two main instructors.

David Vincent handles the Acoustic side of things. Here is his website.
http://davidvincent.squarespace.com/

Brian Boedighemier is the instructor who handles the electrics.
http://www.redwingmusicrepair.org/guitar/boedigheimer.html

Brian does his own custom work as well but could not find a webpage.

I will contact Fender tomorrow and see what they say.
What Musikron meant by working as an apprentice was not with a large company. He was alking about a local luthier. Once you have that experience under your belt--then apply to the big companies. Those major manufacturers don't have the time to take younglings under their wings--they need experienced workers.
 

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If you are serious about this, find the best you can and become his/her apprentice.
Took the words right out of my mouth.

One of the "Best" luthier school in the country is just down the street from me, and every 6 months I get a crop of idiots who know nothing about doing a good job beg me for employment. I would never hire a graduate from a school.
Seriously you wouldn't hire a graduate from a school? I guess none of them would want to be hired as an apprentice though. I agree though that no school can teach someone to do a good job. But I wouldn't expect them to either. I would expect that they have learned about woods and tools etc..etc.. I guess I would think a school prepares someone for an apprenticeship.
 

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Never would I hire someone based on the "school" they attended. For starters, this is a totally unregulated industry. Anyone here can start a school themselves and teach any old wrong method you like, there is no one to stop you. It is a waste of money as well. They do not teach you the first thing about becoming an actual luthier, all they do is supervise you during the assembly of a kit guitar they will purchase from stewmac, and have you do the easy work in their shop (rewires, setups, maybe some fret work if they are really hard up) on paying clients guitars. It really is a big assed scam. Just like bartending school and recording school like Full Sail.

It take YEARS of dedication to become a luthier. You have to understand fully every aspect of every guitar, it need to become nature for you, that can not be accomplish at any school, sorry.

But a sucker is born every minute and a fool and his money are soon parted and all that jazz.
 
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