Our Guild

The Violin Guild of America was founded in 2011 by master violin maker, William Bartruff of Minneapolis Minnesota. William's goal in founding the guild was to pass on his knowledge to a new generation of luthiers and preserve the tradition of violin makers. The results have been notable.

A violin in the making.

The guild now has 8 apprentices in different stages of learning, making high end stringed instruments for both student and professional players. The students' instruments are played in 20 major orchestras including the Minnesota Opera and the Chicago Symphony.

Our Mission

We pledge to conduct ourselves and our guild in the most ethical manner possible. We will, through our actions, attempt to increase the standing of the music profession. We will endeavor to increase our professional standards and abilities whenever possible. We shall be objective in all matters brought to us for our expertise and we will be fair and impartial in all dealings with our students and our fellow members of the music community.

A row of violins.

Our Curriculum

The Violin Guild of America course of study to complete the program and earn a Violin Maker certificate requires two years and is open to all beginning violin making students. There are no prerequisites for this course of study.

Each year is composed of three terms. Each term lasts twelve weeks with a week off for the Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year holidays.

Classes are four days a week, Monday through Thursday, four hours per day from 11:00a- 3:00p with a required lab on Friday.

First Year: Becoming a Violin Maker

First Term: Build a Violin
Second Term: Build a Viola
Third Term: Build a Cello

Second Year: Mastering Violin Making

First Term: Build a Violin
Second Term: Build a Viola
Third Term: Instrument and Bow Repairs

A certificate of completion will be awarded to those students who satisfactorily complete the course of study. Additionally, the VGA will assist with job placement and recommendations.

If you are interested in joining the VGA or in our curriculum please contact us.