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That’s why I always advise people who are serious about becoming a maker to start with a normal 4 year program. I don’t understand the problem with this advice…isn’t the normal way to go for most professions...

 

Wim Wakker

Concertina Connection Inc.

Wakker Concertinas

Hi Wim

 

Note even close. In the states, it's a myth repeated by the bastions of higher education perpetuated by the "academia nuts" deciding amongst themselves in isolation that it is good. Ask anyone who graduates what they can do and you'll be lucky if get more than a questioning blank stare in reply. Most have been taught what to think, and not how to think. It's called social engineering at it's best. There are many stories of PHDs waiting on tables and parking cars because they can't find a job, nor can they DO anything.

 

Community colleges are regarded as an extension of high school, nothing more. Trade schools are regarded in less esteem than a used car salesman or carnival worker, and generally are scams. It's hard to find a legitimate one.

 

There are really good teachers, but they are few and far is the distance between them. They are the exception rather than the rule. It's gotten so bad that the cliche of "Them that can, do. Them that can't, teach. If you can't do either, then consult." has become a reality. There is a small hint in your question. It's rare for it to be asked at all. Thanks for it.

 

Just so you know, I didn't arrive at this opinion in isolation, since I've taught quite a few aviation students over a lot of years, both in a college setting and out. It's a constant battle to demand they get it right or they will crash and die. They've never had to to that before. The concept is foreign to them and it's getting worse.

 

There really is no place in the States to do as you suggested. The really good craftsmen. who are sought out, are self taught from the beginnings with a labor of love that can't be taught by any institution. If their creation is superior or even inferior, then the market will decide. There is no licensing or credibility of a piece of paper. Their instruments speak for themselves.

 

Maybe after the coming supposed summer 1/3 devaluations of the dollar against the yuan, you could start a program that would cure the problem.

 

Part tongue in cheek, but real nonetheless.

 

Thanks

Leo

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Strange responses here. I'm sure nobody would deny there are many paths to becoming an instrument maker. If you're seriously in it for the long-term, and can get professional training or apprentice under an established maker, why wouldn't you? I know some people who have done just that. You can go at it simply by studying other instruments, experimenting, and trial and error, but of course that takes years of hard work too. In either case, if you don't have dedication and talent, you probably won't make great instruments. Background in history, performance, acoustics, and other related fields can only help. And busking and playing in bands and messing around with stuff on your own can only help too. You find the path that works for you, and if you make good stuff, people with discernment will realize it. Of course, it's easier to go out on your own when you're making a "folk" instrument, where personality and character are often valued more than absolute perfection. There's a niche for hobbyist makers. The classical world is a different story.

 

Why are people a bit bent out of shape by this? I don't see snobbery or exclusion...just a description of a path serious students can take, if they are so inclined.

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a) should I go and get some official training ?

 

But Geoff, think of all the people on your (10 year is it?) waiting list for uilleann pipes... :huh:

 

 

After 33 years in business and with hundreds of satisfied (I hope) customers. The waiting list is now more than 20 years long.

 

I am allways happy to help people who wish answers to problems or wish to 'get-started' into musical instrument making. My current 'Apprentice' is , this weekend, taking his first instrument ,that we are both satisfied with, to a special event for makers of this instrument. He has no formal education in this field BUT he has been working towards this goal for Five years!

 

Many years ago a young man came to me to ask what I knew about Concertina making. "Not much" was my reply, "I only play them". I went on to say that,in my opinion, the Concertina was a 'factory made' instrument which, in the past had required the skills of many different trades.

That up to very recent times no one person had build a concertina. He went on to build his first instrument, which took him a very long time indeed.

 

I have also seen the results of people who have gone through instruments making courses with about as much a mixture of results as one might expect from any group of School leavers. Some very very good, others,hmmmm!..... Some people are natural musicians... the rest of us would like to think we are. And that is also the way with any craft.

 

I do not decry what Wim Wakker is saying, I'm sure a good education is very usefull indeed, in the correct hands. In my opinion the best education is to ask oneself the questions.

 

To see the instrument that I make, look at my avatar. That is one of the finnest original sets of Irish pipes, made in 1852 (or thereabouts) and one of only three complete working examples by that maker to have survived. It has given me all the answers I needed but I had to ask it the questions and that is a long process of understanding. It simply is not good enough to spend a day measuring an instrument that is in a museum, you have to live with the thing for years.

 

When somone comes with a question like this one (this topic) it is very difficult to give any help without first knowing where that person is coming from, what their knowledge and skills base is.

Edited by Geoff Wooff
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................

That’s why I always advise people who are serious about becoming a maker to start with a normal 4 year program. I don’t understand the problem with this advice…isn’t the normal way to go for most professions...

 

Wim Wakker

Concertina Connection Inc.

Wakker Concertinas

Hi Wim

 

Note even close. In the states, it's a myth repeated by the bastions of higher education perpetuated by the "academia nuts" deciding amongst themselves in isolation that it is good. Ask anyone who graduates what they can do and you'll be lucky if get more than a questioning blank stare in reply. Most have been taught what to think, and not how to think. It's called social engineering at it's best. There are many stories of PHDs waiting on tables and parking cars because they can't find a job, nor can they DO anything.

 

Community colleges are regarded as an extension of high school, nothing more. Trade schools are regarded in less esteem than a used car salesman or carnival worker, and generally are scams. It's hard to find a legitimate one.

 

There are really good teachers, but they are few and far is the distance between them. They are the exception rather than the rule. It's gotten so bad that the cliche of "Them that can, do. Them that can't, teach. If you can't do either, then consult." has become a reality. There is a small hint in your question. It's rare for it to be asked at all. Thanks for it.

 

Just so you know, I didn't arrive at this opinion in isolation, since I've taught quite a few aviation students over a lot of years, both in a college setting and out. It's a constant battle to demand they get it right or they will crash and die. They've never had to to that before. The concept is foreign to them and it's getting worse.

 

There really is no place in the States to do as you suggested. The really good craftsmen. who are sought out, are self taught from the beginnings with a labor of love that can't be taught by any institution. If their creation is superior or even inferior, then the market will decide. There is no licensing or credibility of a piece of paper. Their instruments speak for themselves.

 

Maybe after the coming supposed summer 1/3 devaluations of the dollar against the yuan, you could start a program that would cure the problem.

 

Part tongue in cheek, but real nonetheless.

 

Thanks

Leo

 

Leo: I think the problem is not with education or the educational institutes per see, but with the expectations and motivation of some of the students. I’ve taught in several countries and like you in different settings. I too sometimes wondered why students enrolled. In fact, that’s why the B.M. concertina program I developed and taught was eventually discontinued.

 

After 16+ years of teaching and working in this field, I am still convinced that a structured education will provide a necessary knowledge base on which the student can build his own career. It is the beginning, not the end of the learning process.

 

Just to be clear, I did not invent the different categories. It is a common way in the music industry to differentiate between the different disciplines. Large scale ‘copiers’ are also known as producers, which may sound more familiar. The principle is the same: a producer does not have to have knowledge of the instrument. They need the blueprint and provide the machines/tools and operating skills. For example, our entry level line is produced this way. I designed them and hold the rights, but outsourced the production. In fact, 99% of the musical instruments are produced this way. These ‘cookie cutter’ instruments all sound the same. The producer does not have the knowledge/ability to customize the sound characteristics. Customizing appearance is sometimes an option. The term copier or copyist is generally used form small scale production (1 instrument at a time), and producer for large scale operations.

 

Going back to the original question, assuming Kaapenaar has the tools and wood work skills, this form of ‘maker’ might be an option.

 

The standard description of ‘ instrument maker’, that seems to be quite upsetting for some people, is used for someone with a more extensive background/education and experience. Again, I did not invent this term, it’s just an industry standard. As far as I am concerned, everyone can call himself an instrument maker/luthier. However, colleagues in this field will expect you to have knowledge of the technical aspects of free reeds, such as free reed physics, harmonics, scaling, reflection, acoustics, etc..

 

As a former teacher, I couldn’t resist…

I hope I don’t upset anyone with this, but it might illustrate real life problems when designing a reed scaling for an instrument (build from scratch, not copied). Since it seems that no one thinks a basic education is necessary, the following basic problem should not be any problem... It is one of the questions at the end of the 1st semester of “free reeds 101” that I used to teach:

 

In a high pressure (free reed) instrument, what is the most effective way to:

1 increase the treble reeds amplitude

2 flatten the equilibrium of the bass reeds

3 reduce the energy loss of a reed at high air flow values, or better utilize the energy of a strong air flow

 

Wim Wakker

Concertina Connection Inc.

Wakker Concertinas.

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As a former teacher, I couldn’t resist…

I hope I don’t upset anyone with this, but it might illustrate real life problems when designing a reed scaling for an instrument (build from scratch, not copied). Since it seems that no one thinks a basic education is necessary, the following basic problem should not be any problem... It is one of the questions at the end of the 1st semester of “free reeds 101” that I used to teach:

 

In a high pressure (free reed) instrument, what is the most effective way to:

1 increase the treble reeds amplitude

2 flatten the equilibrium of the bass reeds

3 reduce the energy loss of a reed at high air flow values, or better utilize the energy of a strong air flow

 

Not upset at all! If you please give us the answers maybe some of the potential students here can save a year or two of strenuous theoretical preparations :)

Joke aside - if there are some final answers are they not determined by experiment? Apart from that, please specify the questions a little:

1 Do 'treble reeds' act differently so that the "most effective way..." differs from mid range reeds? What defines a *treble reed*?

2 What exactly do you mean by "flatten the equilibrium"?

3 Do you mean increasing the efficiency (=sound amplitude/pressure ratio)at high pressure compared to low pressure values?

Add: Do you mean that one single measure would be the answer to all - 1,2,3??

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............It's way too long to read again. Hence the edit...........

 

Wim Wakker

Concertina Connection Inc.

Wakker Concertinas.

Hi Wim

 

Thanks. No didn't upset me. I didn't spill my coffee, but I'll be honest, I waited a day for it to sink in before I regained my composure. Let's call it version2. I suspect strongly in the States something like that would not be handled in a college type setting and be more suited to an independent type school, specializing in one thing and that would be build concertinas where all the requisite courses, theory, and practical applications could be handled in house. Like I mentioned, unfortunately most have earned a bad reputation, but the good ones are outstanding. Two come to mind (not music related), and by coincidence, they are local to me:

 

One has been in business since 1949 and is well known.

http://www.pagunsmith.edu/index.php

 

Another started in 1929 and has been training airplane mechanics that are all over the world.

http://pia.edu/

 

Just as a comparison the local community college has an aviation program that was started with the intent of having a quasi ab initio program similar to the European style of training pilots, where a person could come off the street, and get a two year Associate degree, and enough licensing and experience to get a job as an entry level airline pilot or flight instructor. There is an optional career path, and that's to get a job with the US Government as an air traffic controller. The unfortunate things that happened, are the state of the industry today and there are no real jobs. There isn't an option to start their own business, since buying airports and airplanes run into lots of dollars, and they drop out. That's the program I'm most familiar with. The program changed with the demands of the education system with some nonsense courses and it takes away from the time needed to focus on the aviation subjects. I would rate it as only one of the marginally better programs, but nowhere near what it was 10 years ago. Its quality has dropped considerably. I would consider it an institutional problem in Pennsylvania.

 

Do you have any thoughts in doing in the US something along the lines you did in Europe? Now that would be an interesting project to work on. If I were a few thousand miles closer, I might even attend.

 

I wouldn't want to judge your suggestion to kaapenaar, since he's in South Africa. I have no clue about the situation there, or Europe. I'm just very familiar with the going on in the US. It's different.

 

Thanks

Leo

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Geoff: you wondered a few nights ago whether you should look into some ‘formal’ education. I admit that I don’t know much about Irish pipes, but based on a few facts you gave, may I be so free as to give you a few suggestions:

 

Having satisfied customers is very important. It should be the first priority of every business. We also have a few of them, somewhere between 3000-4000 (we lost count) in every part of the world.

 

I know that in the folk music world a long waiting list is something of a status symbol, and some people even confuse it with quality. If that would be true, then Steinway makes inferior pianos, and Stradivarius would barely match the Chinese quality.

 

One can dramatically increase the number of satisfied customers by reducing ones waiting time. I don’t think yours is caused by long lunch breaks, but the modus of operation in your shop. I can relate to this because we just updated our production process again to shorten our waiting list. Personally I feel it’s a bit embarrassing when I have to tell customers they have to wait a few years for a musical instrument when Ferrari is able to make a high end sports car every 5 days…

 

If I were in your shoes and trying to improve my business, I would look into 2 programs: 1: a business program dealing with planning, projections etc., and 2: a course in automation. You’ll be amazed how much repetitive work can be done by high end CNC machines without infringing on crucial ‘has to be done by hand’ parts of the job. CNC machines are like highly trained apprentices with 30+ years of experience. We have 4 of them in our own shop.

 

It will take you a year or so to learn about programming etc. and it will cost you a little (about the price of a very nice car for a basic high end machine), but it will cut your waiting time at least in half (= more satisfied customers). In our situation, we make about 30 instruments per year, we managed to reduce our general waiting list to around 2 years. My goal is to reduce this in the future to a few months, which is more or less the standard in the music industry.

 

This thread has also been very educational for me. I now know that all these years (11 years in college and 5 graduate degrees) I thought I had a profession. I appreciate Stevens input explaining that the proper way to prepare for this profession (sorry) trade, is by helping a carpenter for a few years. I should have known something was wrong since I’ve never been poor. I guess I should try to have all my publications in professional periodicals worldwide removed and hope my many lectures did not cause any serious harm.

 

Ardie: you just asked the wrong questions… Based on your questions I don’t think you are involved in making concertinas.

In order to be able to find the answers, you need to have plain theoretical knowledge (like mathematics, science used in free reeds scaling) that you cannot get by trial and error, just like someone studying engineering or architecture uses formulas to calculate required strength etc.. Or, to use a more musical example; like a forte piano maker calculating the length and gauge of the strings he needs to use in order to get the result he is after.

 

Leo: I think we’re on the same wavelength regarding education. By the way, there are Universities here in the USA that offer very good luthier programs at B.M and M.M. levels.

As I said before, these programs are generally seen as a very valuable first step in the instrument making business. They provide the basic knowledge necessary to thoroughly understand and improve (in our case reed) performance etc.. There is a lot more to making instruments that wood working.

 

Wim Wakker

Concertina Connection Inc.

Wakker Concertinas

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This thread has also been very educational for me. I now know that all these years (11 years in college and 5 graduate degrees) I thought I had a profession. I appreciate Stevens input explaining that the proper way to prepare for this profession (sorry) trade, is by helping a carpenter for a few years. I should have known something was wrong since I've never been poor. I guess I should try to have all my publications in professional periodicals worldwide removed and hope my many lectures did not cause any serious harm.
I hope you realize that that's not what Stephen said at all. He wasn't disparaging your own education or knowledge, he was describing attitudes in England toward trades, professions and the trade/profession of instrument maker. So far as I know what he said was accurate. In my experience, attitudes in the US are not that different, at least among those in certain strata (college professors, medical doctors, attorneys, etc.). My own profession is the same as Stephen's former one. It typically requires a Master's degree, but there are lots of people, at least in the US, who feel that it's not a "real" profession either.

 

By the way, there are Universities here in the USA that offer very good luthier programs at B.M and M.M. levels. As I said before, these programs are generally seen as a very valuable first step in the instrument making business. They provide the basic knowledge necessary to thoroughly understand and improve (in our case reed) performance etc.
Which universities? Do any of them offer courses in free reed design? I'm not planning on going back to school myself, but I'd like to know what's out there.
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Sheesh. This is much like the "academic vs. traditional music" debates. I think some careful reading and realizing that people are honestly presenting the aspects of the issue they're familiar with makes any contentious feelings needless.

 

In any case, it's gotten me thinking about going to Europe and studying accordion repair and building (finding concertina relevance where I can). Then making myself (and maybe others?) funky honkin' accordions with alternative fingering schemes (such as Wicki).

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This thread has also been very educational for me. I now know that all these years (11 years in college and 5 graduate degrees) I thought I had a profession. I appreciate Stevens input explaining that the proper way to prepare for this profession (sorry) trade, is by helping a carpenter for a few years. I should have known something was wrong since I've never been poor. I guess I should try to have all my publications in professional periodicals worldwide removed and hope my many lectures did not cause any serious harm.
I hope you realize that that's not what Stephen said at all. He wasn't disparaging your own education or knowledge, he was describing attitudes in England toward trades, professions and the trade/profession of instrument maker. So far as I know what he said was accurate. In my experience, attitudes in the US are not that different, at least among those in certain strata (college professors, medical doctors, attorneys, etc.). My own profession is the same as Stephen's former one. It typically requires a Master's degree, but there are lots of people, at least in the US, who feel that it's not a "real" profession either.

 

By the way, there are Universities here in the USA that offer very good luthier programs at B.M and M.M. levels. As I said before, these programs are generally seen as a very valuable first step in the instrument making business. They provide the basic knowledge necessary to thoroughly understand and improve (in our case reed) performance etc.
Which universities? Do any of them offer courses in free reed design? I'm not planning on going back to school myself, but I'd like to know what's out there.

 

Daniel: Maybe I should have added an emoticon to clarify that it was meant jokingly. However, I do not agree with Stephen’s “professional versus tradesman” explanation. Based on the literature people with a background in music and designing instruments (e.g. Muzio Clementi, the Broadwood brothers, etc., and musicians/makers in France, Germany, Italy, etc.), referred to it as a profession, not a trade. In my understanding, tradesmen were employees that started at entry level in a company and received the necessary schooling from their employer. I am sure someone will correct me if I am wrong.

There are quite a few universities here in the US that offer musical instrument manufacturing courses. I know Washington State does and quite a few schools on the east coast. They don't offer any free reed classes as far as I know, mainly (historical) keyboard and string instruments.

 

I am starting to feel the need to summarize my contribution and leave it at that. Like I said with my first post, I had a feeling there is a potential for misunderstanding and toes being stepped on….

 

Initially, I wanted to clarify that in the music industry different terminology is used for different forms of making/producing musical instruments. Let me stress one more time that I did not invent these terms.

I also wanted to point out that according to the various salary indexes, instrument makers are normal professionals with comparable incomes.

 

My goal was to help Kaapenaar focus on a form that would best fit his objective. If I am correct, he has been looking for help for quite some time now. I am pretty sure we have corresponded in the past, and reading his request for information made me decide to add my 2 cents from a different perspective than the previous postings.

 

Unintentionally I ended up defending the industries general description of a luthier/instrument maker. It seems that several people were offended by that description. Again, I am only the messenger. I do fit the description myself, as do many colleagues in different disciplines, but I hope I also made clear that there are plenty of other routes. The general thought is that a luthier has a high level of knowledge (theoretical, technical and historical) that enables him to manipulate an instruments character (reed harmonics, equilibrium, etc.). To do this with a free reed instrument, you need thorough knowledge of reed physics which is theoretical and in my opinion and experience almost impossible to acquire on a trial and error base.

 

The little problem I gave describes what a concertina maker has to do when a customer wants an instrument with no dynamic difference between low and high notes, or prevent bass notes (duets) from overpowering treble notes, or build a loud instrument with good air flow economics, all by adjusting reed scaling and frame vent angles.

 

I think it is in the instruments interest to help prospective makers/copiers/producers obtain realistic information about required skill levels and opportunities. They will have to decide whether they are willing to invest the necessary time and money. In my opinion, just plain honest facts are the most helpful in these situations.

 

Wim Wakker

Concertina Connection Inc.

Wakker Concertinas

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Ardie: you just asked the wrong questions… Based on your questions I don’t think you are involved in making concertinas.

In order to be able to find the answers, you need to have plain theoretical knowledge (like mathematics, science used in free reeds scaling) that you cannot get by trial and error

 

Your own questions were rather vaguely formulated and I asked you to clarify them a little.This is partly just a semantic issue and the technical part of it is not at a higher level than being possible to make understandable.I am sure there are several readers here having the "plain theoretical knowledge" to be able to assimilate not only the questions but the possible answers.I think your reply resembles when the child asks 'where babies come from' and we say: "You can not understand now - you will when you get older".

 

There are quite a few universities here in the US that offer musical instrument manufacturing courses. I know Washington State does and quite a few schools on the east coast. They don't offer any free reed classes as far as I know, mainly (historical) keyboard and string instruments.

 

So - where around the World is "the basic knowledge necessary to thoroughly understand and improve (in our case reed) performance etc." achievable in real?

 

Unintentionally I ended up defending the industries general description of a luthier/instrument maker. ... I do fit the description myself,...The general thought is that a luthier has a high level of knowledge (theoretical, technical and historical) that enables him to manipulate an instruments character (reed harmonics, equilibrium, etc.). To do this with a free reed instrument, you need thorough knowledge of reed physics which is theoretical and in my opinion and experience almost impossible to acquire on a trial and error base.

 

Seems as if most of the mid 19th century makers do not fit that description and even fewer today.C Wheatstone would hardly qualify concertina-wise and neither would Stradivarius or Cristofori in their fields respectively.What is your own theoretical background in high level mathematics and technology?

 

The little problem I gave describes what a concertina maker has to do when a customer wants an instrument with no dynamic difference between low and high notes, or prevent bass notes (duets) from overpowering treble notes, or build a loud instrument with good air flow economics, all by adjusting reed scaling and frame vent angles.

 

And you mean such problems can only be solved theoretically and impossibly by practical trials? I am sure many instrument makers have a different view on that...

 

In my opinion, just plain honest facts are the most helpful in these situations.

 

You are welcome, just answer your own questions!

 

...all my publications in professional periodicals worldwide

 

Maybe you would like to present a list of all the publications?

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The thread of this discussion seems to have moved into a larger discussion that's common to many fields of endeavour. The modern era tends to bias heavily toward academic credentials, whereas in previous generations "experience" had the upper hand. Both have to be leavened with talent.

 

In fact, either perspective is just the same thing. Academic training does, however, distill experience and shorten the time frame to better outcomes. It does not mean instant results. Experience is still required. Neither approach will have the desired results without talent and diligence.

 

Practically, however, I can understand where Wim is coming from. How many of us can afford to pay a skilled craftsman for the countless hours to build an instrument purely from scratch? (How does that craftsman support himself while gaining the experience?) The application of modern techniques is required to achieve reasonable volumes and costs of output.

 

That is where the academic training comes in, as it allows the transfer of experience into a format that can be applied to modern CNC equipment, available materials, etc. The experience and talent have to be applied in a "sense of critical details". Of course you don't have to have all three. A talented and experienced individual can team up with one who is academically trained, or any other combination. This is fundamental to many business endeavours.

 

If one is doing something as a hobby, then it becomes a different matter.

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It seems that I am not able to get my point across. Just to get the facts straight and hopefully avoid misunderstandings.

 

This is what I am trying to explain:

Making musical instruments at a high/professional (or what ever you want to call it) level requires a certain amount of knowledge of sound production related technical aspects such as acoustics, harmonics, etc., as well as musical skills, such as the ability to play the instrument well and the ability to distinguish intervals, harmonics, etc. by ear. I am not talking about wood working etc. which I feel are just relatively simple skills.

 

These skills/knowledge have always been required throughout the centuries. I am surprised that some people seem to think that Stradivarius (modern violin) or Christofori (piano) did not have any schooling in their fields… I would strongly advise to read about the extensive schooling custom in those days before starting as maker.

I dont want to open up yet another can of worms, but Wheatstones role in the free reed world was limited to the development of the concertina, not free reeds. His family imported free reed instruments from Germany before the invention of the concertina.

 

With the rise of the music instrument industry worldwide (19th century), education/training started to be done centrally in all kinds of settings. Later on educational institutes started to developed programs at different levels and different specializations to supply the industry. The free reed industry is very, very small and mainly limited to Western Europe and part of Russia. That explains why you find most schools offering free reed classes in that area.

 

This is where I seemed to go wrong:

I assumed that the above information would be general knowledge. I thought that it would be obvious that making a musical instrument, especially a mechanical one like the concertina, would require a certain amount of knowledge, just like an electrician, dentist, architect, etc. has to have certain knowledge, and that the most common way to acquire this is through schooling, especially since the beginning of the 20th century. However, it seems that this concept is quite new for some people.

 

Having spent all of my professional life in this industry in different specializations, I completely misjudged how much/little people outside this little world know about it.

 

Ardie: The way I formulated the question would be crystal clear to anyone with even a basic knowledge of the subject.

 

Wim Wakker

Concertina Connection Inc.

Wakker Concertinas.

Edited by wim wakker
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This thread has also been very educational for me. I now know that all these years (11 years in college and 5 graduate degrees) I thought I had a profession. I appreciate Stevens input explaining that the proper way to prepare for this profession (sorry) trade, is by helping a carpenter for a few years. I should have known something was wrong since I've never been poor. I guess I should try to have all my publications in professional periodicals worldwide removed and hope my many lectures did not cause any serious harm.

I hope you realize that that's not what Stephen said at all. He wasn't disparaging your own education or knowledge, he was describing attitudes in England toward trades, professions and the trade/profession of instrument maker. So far as I know what he said was accurate. In my experience, attitudes in the US are not that different, at least among those in certain strata (college professors, medical doctors, attorneys, etc.).

 

Exactly so Daniel, I was in no sense meaning to disparage Wim's expertise or education and I'm truly very sorry if he feels I have done so. The path and the trouble he has taken to become a skilled instrument maker is very valid and highly praiseworthy, and I've every respect for him.

 

But I was confused by his use of the word "profession" (a term with legal meaning and implications in many countries, but which is frequently more loosely used) in his assertion that "150 years ago ... you could start in a lot of professions without much/any professional education" and I was seeking to clarify the term.

 

 

My own profession is the same as Stephen's former one. It typically requires a Master's degree, but there are lots of people, at least in the US, who feel that it's not a "real" profession either.

 

Well at least the Wikipedia article defining a Profession considers it to be one, though I wouldn't be so sure about some of the others on their list myself... :unsure:

Edited by Stephen Chambers
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This thread has also been very educational for me. I now know that all these years (11 years in college and 5 graduate degrees) I thought I had a profession. I appreciate Stevens input explaining that the proper way to prepare for this profession (sorry) trade, is by helping a carpenter for a few years. I should have known something was wrong since I've never been poor. I guess I should try to have all my publications in professional periodicals worldwide removed and hope my many lectures did not cause any serious harm.

I hope you realize that that's not what Stephen said at all. He wasn't disparaging your own education or knowledge, he was describing attitudes in England toward trades, professions and the trade/profession of instrument maker. So far as I know what he said was accurate. In my experience, attitudes in the US are not that different, at least among those in certain strata (college professors, medical doctors, attorneys, etc.).

 

Exactly so Daniel, I was in no sense meaning to disparage Wim's expertise or education and I'm truly very sorry if he feels I have done so. The path and the trouble he has taken to become a skilled instrument maker is very valid and highly praiseworthy, and I've every respect for him.

 

But I was confused by his use of the word "profession" (a term with legal meaning and implications in many countries, but which is frequently more loosely used) in his assertion that "150 years ago ... you could start in a lot of professions without much/any professional education" and I was seeking to clarify the term.

 

 

My own profession is the same as Stephen's former one. It typically requires a Master's degree, but there are lots of people, at least in the US, who feel that it's not a "real" profession either.

 

Well at least the Profession article in Wikipedia considers it to be one, though I wouldn't be so sure about some of the others on their list myself... :unsure:

 

 

I see from the list that 'refuse collector' is considered a profession. What a load of rubbish! :D

 

Chris

 

P.S. I have a friend who once found an old 20 button Lachenal anglo discarded in a skip. He managed to learn to play it quite well before it disintegrated from woodworm.

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This thread has also been very educational for me. I now know that all these years (11 years in college and 5 graduate degrees) I thought I had a profession. I appreciate Stevens input explaining that the proper way to prepare for this profession (sorry) trade, is by helping a carpenter for a few years. I should have known something was wrong since I've never been poor. I guess I should try to have all my publications in professional periodicals worldwide removed and hope my many lectures did not cause any serious harm.

I hope you realize that that's not what Stephen said at all. He wasn't disparaging your own education or knowledge, he was describing attitudes in England toward trades, professions and the trade/profession of instrument maker. So far as I know what he said was accurate. In my experience, attitudes in the US are not that different, at least among those in certain strata (college professors, medical doctors, attorneys, etc.).

 

Exactly so Daniel, I was in no sense meaning to disparage Wim's expertise or education and I'm truly very sorry if he feels I have done so. The path and the trouble he has taken to become a skilled instrument maker is very valid and highly praiseworthy, and I've every respect for him.

 

But I was confused by his use of the word "profession" (a term with legal meaning and implications in many countries, but which is frequently more loosely used) in his assertion that "150 years ago ... you could start in a lot of professions without much/any professional education" and I was seeking to clarify the term.

 

 

My own profession is the same as Stephen's former one. It typically requires a Master's degree, but there are lots of people, at least in the US, who feel that it's not a "real" profession either.

 

Well at least the Wikipedia article defining a Profession considers it to be one, though I wouldn't be so sure about some of the others on their list myself... :unsure:

 

Stephen: I did not take your post as personal, never crossed my mind. It was more my impulsive reaction to the different interpretation of such a common word. I imagine there might be a cultural reason for this. Like I mentioned before, I probably should have added an emoticon to clarify that it was meant jokingly.

 

Wim

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