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Joined: January.19.05
Location: USA
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Posts: 3
Posted: May.06.05 at 12:13pm | IP Logged Quote MattStevens

I was curious about how everyone has learned their craft. Who here was trained through a school? Apprenticeship? or self-taught? I spent four years training side-by-side with a fantastic repairman, and now after a couple years on my own, I'm wondering how everyone else did it.

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Joined: January.21.05
Location: USA
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Posted: May.08.05 at 7:04am | IP Logged Quote KarlPratt

I went to Red Wing,drove 182 miles/day for 9 mos, then I worked in a small Overhaul shop for about 1 yr, then I moved to a store that was 3x volume and got a real education. I have attended most of the regional clinics in my area, and also 6 NAPBIRT Annual Conferances. Next year the annual will be in my home state.  
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Joined: January.26.05
Location: USA
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Posted: May.11.05 at 7:58pm | IP Logged Quote ChrisKane

I started as a salesman in my store after college(BM). I did that for 3 years, but just I was about to quit they offered me an apprenticeship in the shop. Now after 3 years of shop work, I know just how lucky I was.
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Joined: February.06.05
Location: USA
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Posted: May.17.05 at 11:10pm | IP Logged Quote nathanwallace

I went to work at the local music store at the urging of my high school band director. I thought I'd be doing retail, but the guys in back taught me how to clean and then repair clarinets. I did that almost exclusively for a couple of years (we had a lot of clarinets!). Then I decided I wanted to go to school. So I went to Renton Tech. for a year, riding busses for 2 1/2 hours each way, with an hour long trip to get to work on top of that. It made for a long year. Now I work on my own in a family run shop! It's pretty neat to be building a shop from scratch!
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Technician & Clinician
Technician & Clinician

Joined: January.20.05
Location: USA
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Posts: 24
Posted: May.28.05 at 5:44am | IP Logged Quote LarryMueller

My private oboe teacher in high school encouraged me to do any minor repairs and adjustments I could, since oboe repair specialists are so rare. Many top oboists do their own tone hole and bore reaming (using files and sandpaper on a stick!) You'd be surprised by the amount of repairs and tuning adjustments I was shown by other performers (even if they can't level a pad or solder a key). I started working in music stores in college, as an apprentice. Many stores will apprentice an oboist, it's a good way to work into it. I have no repair school training. I learned half of what I know from major orchestra players, and half from experienced repair shop guys. After 20 years of dabbling with it, I got serious and studied with an oboe maker, and studied machining on my own. I keep it interesting by always studying techniques, or trying something new, always "moving forward".
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Joined: April.08.07
Location: United States
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Posts: 28
Posted: April.09.07 at 6:51pm | IP Logged Quote motomom

I apprenticed at Wiese Music Bandstand in Fort Worth, TX. The main woodwind tech that was there at the time, Roger Marsh, taught me. He was such a craftsman, I feel very lucky to have had the experience. He was a heavy drinker, and not much to have around in other respects, but put him at a bench and it was amazing what he could do. I also got to watch him make a 2-piece-custom-made pool cue at the lathe, it was beautiful when he was done.
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