The 3-year, full-time program's focus is on construction of instruments in the violin family. A minimum of six instruments are built in the 3 years; of these, two must be violins and one must be a viola. The remaining instruments are the student's choice subject to instructor approval. A cello is optional. One trimester in the third year will be devoted to the study and practice of set-up, basic instrument maintenance, and repair.
Bi-weekly, 30-minute private lessons and string ensemble sessions 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 3 years.
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. Students are encouraged developing expertise in Cremonese style violin making and in-cooperated in their own making.