Musical Instrument Builder

Musical instrument builders not only build musical instruments, but also restore, repair, alter or adjust them, by using special techniques such as wood carving, silver smithing and cabinet making. They make and design instruments and their parts.

Musical instrument builders make and assemble instrument parts, tune instruments, attach strings and install electrical wiring for instruments. They also tell their clients about the instrument and its acoustic properties.

Musical instrument builders need to know exactly what people are looking for. Most musical instrument builders specialise in one instrument, but some specialise in various instruments, usually from the same group, eg. electronic, wind, string or brass.

How to Enter

Schooling & School Subjects

  • The minimum requirement is a Grade 8
  • National Senior Certificate or an N3

What to Study

TVET colleges offering a certificate in carpentry, e.g. Umgungundlovu.

Experienced musical instrument builders may provide in-service training


  • instrument or music stores or factories
  • self-employment, with enough experience and capital, can start own business or work on freelance basis, for example as a piano tuner

Getting Started

  • arrange to speak to musical instrument makers and watch them at work
  • consult the Registrar of Manpower Training concerning relevant learnership programmes available in your area

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