Instrument Shop is a hands-on educational program dedicated to empowering teens through the activity of building musical instruments.


Students who participate will learn to build instruments under close supervision by qualified instructors.  Participants will gain a strong foundation in woodworking, learn how to use a wide variety of tools, and gain soft skills they can use well beyond the program.  Instrument Shop believes strongly that all youth, regardless of socio-economic status, should have the opportunity to experience the self-confidence and expanded skill set that is gained from building a musical instrument. 

The world of instrument building has a profound offering for young people.  A kid arrives at Instrument Shop potentially overwhelmed by all the different instruments and their precisely fit-together parts that they will make.  Soon this dissipates as they acclimate to the friendly atmosphere, choose an instrument to build, and begin learning about shop safety.  After the first few sessions, the student has milled down wood, and glued pieces together with the instructor to form the foundation of the instrument.  The parts are shaped and sanded, then fit together.  Fun design choices are made along the way as the instruments combine with arts and crafts techniques.  Eventually the first sounds are heard, whether it be strings, percussion, an electronic sound or wind…  The finishing touches are put on the instrument and the final setup and tuning takes place.  At the end of the season, the instrument is shared at the concert, sharing with the community the student’s work.