The Professional Band Instrument Repair Technician (PROBIRT) resource site is an online community for people interested in musical instrument repair as well as a digital repository of band instrument repair educational materials. The site features articles, tutorials, tips, videos, clinics, and member forums. Our active members include professional band instrument repair technicians, musicians, students, music educators, and instrument collectors. The site is owned, developed by, and operated by Michelle Williamson, a band instrument repair technician and web developer from Pennsylvania (USA).
We believe it's better to put good, solid information into people's hands than to let them "hack" or muddle their way through band instrument repair. While there's no substitute for schooling and/or apprenticeship, keeping information private and out of people's hands only harms the field as a whole. Our goal is to help ensure that anyone who has his or her instrument repaired will receive quality work. To that end we believe modern communication technologies can help make this goal achievable.
The idea for PROBIRT sprang from a discussion between several band instrument repair technicians about how the Internet and modern technology could be harnessed to assist in their continuing education. Realizing that there is a strong need for this, particularly in light of how difficult it can be to receive band instrument repair training at an affordable price, Michelle registered the domain name and began developing the concepts and web site design. In January 2005 the site was ready for beta testing by a group of practicing band instrument repair technicians. Word spread quickly and a large number of people outside the trade showed interest. The decision was made to open the site to non-technicians as well. This meant putting the project back into development so it would be more easily accessible to people with differing levels of technical abilities as well as able to accommodate increased site traffic. In December 2005 PROBIRT went live, opening its doors to anyone with an interest in band instrument repair.
The future of PROBIRT is wide open. We're currently working on additions to the site as well as developing new ideas to improve its usefulness and effectiveness. Your ideas are always appreciated! There's no governing board, lengthy approval process, bureaucracy, or politics to deal with, so if you have an idea, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. If it's feasible, it will get done.