The 3-year program is divided into nine 14-week trimesters for a total of 126 weeks (3,780 class hours). Class days are Monday through Friday from 8:30 A.M. to 3:30 P.M. Students work with the instructors on an individual and/or small group basis; most instruction is given through demonstration. The program's focus is on construction of instruments in the violin family. A minimum of six instruments are built in the three years; of these, two must be violins and one must be a viola. The remaining three instruments are the student's choice, with instructor approval. The building of a cello is optional.
Bi-weekly, half-hour individual violin lessons and large ensemble are required, and are an important aspect of the program. Previous playing experience, while helpful, is not required for admission.
Each student compiles a construction notebook from notes taken during demonstrations and lectures. Using diagrams, drawings, and written notes, this notebook becomes the student's bench manual in which revisions and additions will be made throughout the three years. The completed notebook is a requirement for graduation and will be presented with the student's work at the graduation program.
Technical drawing is incorporated regularly into each trimester schedule. Students will complete at least two technical drawings, one of which will be made during the six-week graduation testing period. The theory of sound production and violin design is incorporated into the construction learning process. Students are given opportunities through tours and visiting lecturers to see and hear violins made by old and modern masters. Required reading history and identification is supplemented by lectures and discussions.