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What is the Student Instrument Sales Policy?

All instruments made by a student, with the exception of the violin made for the final exam, are the sole property of the Chicago School of Violin Making.  The school will provide the wood for five of six minimum required instruments the cost of which is included in tuition.  Each student provides his/her own wood and set-up materials for the sixth instrument used for evaluation in the final exam. These materials can be purchased from the school or any other supplier.  The final exam instrument is the student's property regardless of the final exam results.

In addition and upon graduation, the student will receive his/her first violin at no cost. The student may elect to purchase from the school any other instrument he/she completes.  All instruments of students who do not complete the program remain the property of the school.

Do I need to know how to play an instrument?

No.  While previous playing experience is helpful, it is not required.  All students, beginners and advanced alike, take a bi-weekly violin lesson as part of the curriculum, included in tuition.

Are financial aid options available to students through the school?

We currently have limited financial aid options. The Chicago School of Violin Making has a small fund for scholarships reserved for current students who are in acute financial need.

When is the best time to apply?

Application submissions fill up quickly.  It is better if you apply as soon as possible.  In the event that the upcoming September and January classes are full, you will be put on a waiting list.

What type of visa will I need as a foreign student?

Our school is considered a vocational school, and students here are required by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to obtain an M-1 student visa. The M-visa is more restrictive than an F-visa issued to students studying at 4-year colleges & universities.

An applicant for an M-visa is required to submit USCIS form I-134 (Affidavit of Support). On this form, the student's financial sponsor (or the student, if self-supporting) must prove financial resources sufficient for support for the full 3-year program. (Including tuition and living expenses). The U.S. government does not allow M-visa students to hold jobs while studying in the U.S.

The form I-134 and supporting financial documentation is required when making an appointment at the U.S Embassy or Consulate to apply for the M-visa.

Will I receive a certificate upon completion?

The student will receive certification upon completing the program. 

What is the current tuition?

Currently, tuition is $3,600 per trimester ($10,800 per year)  and may be paid in monthly installments of $900.

Do I need to know English?

An English test is not required.  If the instructor feels that a student's understanding of the language is not sufficient, he/she may be required to take evening English classes in the community.

Can I visit the school?

Yes, we would love to have you.  Please contact us directly to schedule your visit.

Are there any accommodations made for religious holidays (e.g. Rosh Hashanah, Sukkot, Passover)?

Yes.  As long as arrangements are made in advance, a student will not be counted absent on those days.

What are the job prospects for graduates?

It varies from making instruments to repairing them.  The job market is good if you are flexible about relocating.

What recognitions have graduates received from organized bodies such as The Violin Society of America?

Many of our graduates are members of the American Federation of Violin and Bow Makers.  We also have a number of graduates that have been awarded prizes in the Violin Society of America's bi-annual violin making competitions.

How much homework is expected on a regular basis?

There is some reading on the history of the violin and each student is expected to keep a log and notebook. 

Does the curriculum include the making of instruments other than the violin?

Yes. Students may make violas and cellos. The tools and skills learned at the Chicago School of Violin Making can be applied to the construction of other instruments as well.

What is the average age of the typical student?

We have a variety of students from diverse backgrounds ranging in age from 18 to 60.

Is there a lunch break during the school day?

Students have one lunch break during the school day at noon.  The school has both a microwave and refrigerator for student use.

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