Training in Musical Instrument Repair

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New and simpler approach to courses for 2024 and onwards.

Welcome to a new season of wind instrument repair courses here at Llangunllo School in Mid-Wales.

The 2024 season will begin earlier in the year than previously, the first course taking place in mid-February.

To go straight to the 'apply for a course' section, [click here].

General Courses information

All of our courses are suitable for those wishing to embark on a career in musical instrument repair, and anyone can attend.

Our courses are ‘hands on’ and are highly recommended by NAMIR (National Association of Musical Instrument Repairers) and the trade in general.

Enthusiastic amateurs, Instrumental music teachers and Musical instrument Retailers may also find the courses useful and rewarding.

There are no formal entry requirements to our foundation courses, and they designed with the complete beginner in mind. However, you must have good hand/eye co-ordination and be a practical ‘hands on’ person.

Some courses may have pre-requisites! Please see the following course descriptions on pages 9 and 10.

Do I need to play the Instrument I am learning to repair?

Although not essential, some ability in playing an instrument in your chosen area will prove invaluable in ‘trouble shooting’ and checking an instrument before and after repair.

Instrument repair technicians require a great deal of patience and skill, also the willingness to try and try again until perfection is achieved.

Make these essential qualities your goal, and you will be well on your way to a successful career in musical instrument repair.

How do you progress from being a complete beginner, to becoming a professional Instrument Repair Technician?

Let’s keep it simple:

First of all, attend a Foundation course in Brass and/or Woodwind Instrument repair. These courses are designed specifically for complete beginners.

You will learn to use the specialised tools and techniques employed by the trade!

Foundation courses are available in Brass and Woodwind Instrument Repair

On a Foundation course you will learn the fundamental techniques of repair in your chosen specialism, be it Brass or Woodwind.

You will be working alongside committed professional tutors, and enthusiastic students throughout your course.

Our professional workshop facilities are second to none, and as well as being a training workshop since 1986, has been a working repair facility for the same amount of time.

Our foundation courses are still the starting point for those wishing to embark on a new and exciting career or rewarding hobby in Musical instrument Repair.

Following on from your attendance on a Foundation course, practice your repairing skills in your own work space and at your own pace for at least a couple of months, preferably longer!

During this time, you will discover both your strengths and your weaknesses.

Then, to raise your skills and expertise to a higher level, join us for a skills continuation course, which can be repeated as many times as you feel necessary. (Details on page 5)

Please read on to discover the range and details of courses planned for 2024!

Woodwind Repair Foundation courses – Various Tutors

(Supported by Trevor Head)

A Foundation Course is the starting point if you are serious about becoming a Woodwind instrument Repairer, and no previous repairing experience is required.

The tutors delivering the courses all have different teaching styles and as such will deliver a different learning experience. All, have vast repairing and teaching experience.

The teaching environment is relaxed, and you will work at a comfortable pace to suit your own abilities and experience.

Please enquire, if you would like more information and help in selecting which of our tutors would be better matched to your own learning style.

During a Foundation Course, general woodwind repair skills will be taught on the clarinet, flute and saxophone. Some flexibility is allowed to individuals wishing to spend more time studying a particular instrument.

These will include dismantling procedures, cleaning techniques, pad replacement, pad seating, spring replacement, regulation and tenon re-corking. Dealing with jammed and/or bent screws. Some soldering and dent removal will also be included.

Techniques will be demonstrated, and then practised by the students.

In between formal group teaching sessions you will be able to work on any woodwind instrument(s) of your choice in the above-mentioned group.

You will receive a great deal of one-to-one tuition as each student is visited in turn, being guided and advised on the repairs in progress. The group will be frequently drawn together whenever an interesting repair problem occurs, or when a particular topic is to be demonstrated.

Double reed instruments (Oboe and Bassoon) may also be touched upon, depending on the general interest within the group.

The full itinerary for this course is available on request!

‘Saxophones Galore’

(Tutor - Richard Hamer)

This course is devoted entirely to the repair of the Saxophone, and is suitable for students of all skill levels, from complete beginner to those with more advanced repairing skills.

Working alongside one of the country’s leading saxophone repair specialists, you will develop your knowledge and skills in this area of repair work. Dent removal, soldering, body straightening, tone hole levelling, repadding and much more.

This course can be repeated by students wishing to develop their skills to an even higher level.

Brass Instrument Repair Foundation course

(Tutor Trevor Head)

This is the longest running of our foundation courses; the first course being held here in 1986.

Since 1973 Trevor has been training students, many of whom have subsequently held prominent positions in repair companies or have run their own successful repair and/or instrument making businesses.

Techniques and procedures are taught through demonstration, followed by student practice. Actual repairs will be undertaken throughout the course.

The following are just some of the topics covered on the Brass Repair Foundation Course:

Soft and hard soldering, dent removal, trombone slide repair, rotary valve servicing, repair and servicing of valves and slides etc…

Some tool making projects will also be undertaken during the course, and there will be an opportunity to purchase a limited selection of repairer’s tools and materials.

The full itinerary for this course is available on request!

Trombone slide repair and re-alignment

(Tutor Trevor Head)

Concentrating on the repair and re-alignment of trombone slides, eligible students must have first attended a brass instrument foundation course, or gained suitable repairing experience elsewhere!

Dent removal techniques, checking for straightness using a ‘back lit’ engineers’ straight edge, and complete re-building will be at the core of this course.

This course can be repeated by students wishing to develop their skills to an even higher level.

Skills continuation courses

(Various tutors)

Skills Continuation courses are available in Brass and Woodwind Instrument Repair and are suitable for students who have already attended a Foundation Course, and now wish to achieve a higher standard in their repair.

All ‘Foundation course’ tutors have be assigned to a 'Skills Continuation Course' This will allow for teaching continuity, and also the opportunity for group members and their tutor to re-unite, and catch up on personal and professional developments.

The course is also open to those who have gained repairing experience elsewhere!

The course will present you with repair challenges at a much higher level to those encountered on a Foundation course!

The content of the course will be largely ‘Student’ led, through consultation with your tutor before the course begins. This way you will study the areas of repair work that are of most interest and importance to your own personal development and needs. Content will also contain elements deemed necessary by your tutor.

In other words, you may work on any instruments and repairs of your choosing in your chosen discipline.

Another feature of a ‘Skills continuation’ course is that you can bring along those problem instruments that have been pushed to the back of the cupboard, and learn the more advanced techniques that will enable you to repair them.

We recommend continuous practise at your repair work, and of course you may find it beneficial to your professional development, to attend and possibly repeat a skills continuation course.

Lifelong learning and support

Ongoing learning enhances a sense of personal satisfaction and pride in your work and achievements, as well as furthering your career opportunities.

We would hope to develop a professional relationship with you, and to continue to engage with your individual requirements, and help you to develop your sense of personal achievement and increasing expertise to a highly professional level.

National Association of Musical Instrument Repairers - (NAMIR)

Many past students are now professional members of NAMIR and are running their own successful repair businesses.

NAMIR student membership is an option for all students completing a foundation course.

Certificates of attendance:

The school awards its own certificates of attendance, which will be presented on the final day of your course.

Tools and materials

Your tutor may suggest a ‘starter’ tool kit for those students wishing to own their own tools. This is not compulsory, as all tools needed for your course are provided.

Because of the extremely high cost of repairer’s materials, some items used for general practice and repairs to your own instruments will be charged for at cost price.

This will include such items as pads, springs, cork and any spare parts required for a specific repair. These will be provided by your tutor, and you will pay her/him directly for the items used.

Instruments to work on during the course

Please arrange to bring your own instruments with you to work on during the course. We are sometimes able to provide instruments for those travelling with limited luggage capacity. Please discuss this with your course tutor once you have completed your enrolment.

As a general guide, you will need three or four instruments to work on when attending a course. We strongly advise bringing the very best quality instruments that you can find. Your tutor will advise you once you have enrolled.

Important information on which instruments to bring with you:

Avoid bringing poor quality instruments to work on. A well-engineered instrument, manufactured from good quality materials will assist, not hinder the learning process. Vintage instruments too, should be avoided if at all possible, as these generally present repair problems which are beyond the scope of trainee instrument repairers.

Accommodation during your course

Please note: Accommodation during the course is not included in the course fee.

Some self-catering and bed and breakfast accommodation is available close to the school. There will be a greater choice available to students who have their own transport.

Further information on local accommodation will be sent to you once you have enrolled on a course, or if requested.

Lunches and refreshments

If there is sufficient demand, a home cooked, two course lunch will be available at the school.

The cost of the two-course lunch has remained unchanged for the past two years, and is still £14.50 per day!

Tea, coffee, soft drinks and biscuits are provided free of charge, and are available all day long for students to help themselves.

Group sizes

The size of each course group is usually between four and seven students, but generally averages at five throughout the year.

What to do next, and how to apply and pay for your course

Please speak to us if you are unsure which course will be most suitable for your needs and interests. Then, check that there is a place available on your preferred course. Do this by contacting Trevor by telephone, text message or email.

Telephone/text: 07971 083089 email:

Bank payment details and an enrolment form will be sent to you once we know that you are going to attend a course. Please send your completed enrolment form and make the payment of the course fee.

Payment by instalments

We are happy to spread the cost of your course by allowing monthly payments to be made, after paying an agreed amount as a deposit. Full payment being required no later than four weeks before the course begins.

Successful enrolment on to a course

You will be considered to have secured your place on a course, onlywhen we have received your fully completed enrolment form,together with the course payment or agreed deposit.

Completed enrolment forms can be overwritten and returned as an email attachment, or by post.

Brass Instrument Repair courses – 2024

Brass repair (foundation) - 5 days

Feb 19th to 23rd


Brass repair ‘Skills continuation’ Course - (4 days) See page 5for details

April 2nd to 5th


Just Trombone Slides - slide repair and re-alignment -3 days

May 4th to 6th


Brass repair (foundation) – 5 days

July 29th to Aug 2nd


Brass repair (foundation) – 5 days

October 7th to 11th


Brass repair ‘Skills continuation’ Course - (3 days) See page 5for details

October 19th to 21st


One-to-one training available on any brass repair or associated engineering topic by arrangement. Previous course attendees only!

Dates – By arrangement- limited to two days maximum

Enquire for pricing details

All of the above courses are taught by Trevor Head.

Woodwind Instrument Repair Courses – 2024

‘Skills continuation’ Course. (LW) 5 days See page 5 for details

May 27th to 31st


Saxophones Galore! (RH) 5 days

June 3rd to 7th


Woodwind Repair Foundation Course (RH) – 6 days

June 24th to 29th


‘Skills continuation’ Course. (KM) 5 days. See page 5 for details.

July 1st to 5th


Saxophones Galore! (RH) 5 days

July 15th to 19th


Woodwind Repair Foundation Course (LW) – 6 days

Aug 19th to 24th


‘Skills continuation’ Course. (RH) 5 days. See page 5 for details

Aug 27th to 31st


Woodwind Repair Foundation Course (RH) – 6 days

Sept 23rd to 28th


Double reed Foundation (LW) – 4 days

Oct 20th to 23rd


Instrumental music teachers Repair Workshop (LW) – 2 days

Oct 24thto 25th


Woodwind Repair Foundation Course (KM) – 6 days

Oct 28th to Nov 2nd


Tutors: Richard Hamer (RH) Lynne Williams (LW) Keith Magnall (KM)

Finally, please read the following terms and conditions carefully: