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Nestorvass

Scuola internazionale di Liuteria “Antonio Stradivari”

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Hello,

 I am Nestor, from Greece I study physics in the university of Athens and I am really close to receiving my degree. Violin making (and musical instrument making in general) has been a passion of mine and I would like to become a professional luthier in the future. I was condisering to go and study at Scuola internazionale di Liuteria “Antonio Stradivari” in Cremona after I finish my studies in Greece

 One of my concerns is that I don't speak Italian. So I have a few questions if anyone is kind enough to answer them.

Are the lessons strictly in italian or are there any in english for foreign students?

Also I was informed by a luthier who studied there that there is no tuition cost and that I only have to pay for a place to live. That the actual school is free. Is this true and does this apply only for Italians or for foreign students as well?

Thanks in advance

~Nestor

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32 minutes ago, Wood Butcher said:

Thank you I have already contacted this school. They expect me or anyone who wants to enroll in their course to pay 45000€ which imo is considered profiteering .Plus I dont have that much money anyway. Only advantage is that they have courses in English but still for 45000€ not really an option...

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I understand, but the courses will cost money to provide. How could they do it if everything was free?

In my country, entry to this type of course still has to be paid for, but is subsidized to an extent by the government. Those from overseas cannot claim this subsidy, and have to pay the full rate, which is substantially higher.

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11 minutes ago, Wood Butcher said:

I understand, but the courses will cost money to provide. How could they do it if everything was free?

In my country, entry to this type of course still has to be paid for, but is subsidized to an extent by the government. Those from overseas cannot claim this subsidy, and have to pay the full rate, which is substantially higher.

Yes ofcourse they have to be paid. I was shocked when I was informed that it is free because I would assume there would be a tuition fee. That's why I created this thread to make sure that this is actually the case because I was in disbelief.

I suppose that you are from the US. If that's the case I know that foreigners pay a lot there. I used to go to an american school in Greece and many of my classmates went to study in the US and I know there is quite a difference in tuition fees (naturally).

But in Europe its a bit different sometimes. For example one can go study at a German (public) university and there are no tuition fees if i am not mistaken. The same applies for Greece. So there  could be a possibility that some Italian Universities/Schools such as the Antonio Stradivari School of Violin making could be free as well. But I am not sure hence the thread :)

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I paid something like £25,000 to do my degree in musical instruments and another £7,000 for the Masters Degree. Education is expensive.

No free University in England anymore, only in Scotland.

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5 minutes ago, Nestorvass said:

but in Europe its a bit different sometimes. For example one can go study at a German (public) university and there are no tuition fees if i am not mistaken. The same applies for Greece. So there  could be a possibility that some Italian Universities/Schools such as the Antonio Stradivari School of Violin making could be free as well. But I am not sure hence the thread :)

I think on MN, Davide Sora may be able to shed some light on this. Perhaps he will reply when he has time.

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3 minutes ago, Wood Butcher said:

I think on MN, Davide Sora may be able to shed some light on this. Perhaps he will reply when he has time.

Yes I think you are right. I will probably send a message to Mr. Sora but I will wait for a day before I do so , in case anyone replies here. I don't want to waste any of his time without having tried here first. If I don't get an answer by tomorrow, I will most certainly contact him.

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21 minutes ago, Shelbow said:

I paid something like £25,000 to do my degree in musical instruments and another £7,000 for the Masters Degree. Education is expensive.

No free University in England anymore, only in Scotland.

I am not saying its cheap I am saying what I was told. Also this is in Italy, not in Scotland or England.

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9 minutes ago, Nestorvass said:

I am not saying its cheap I am saying what I was told. Also this is in Italy, not in Scotland or England.

Yes I am aware of this, I was just stating that there are not that many places where you can get specialised education free anymore. 

My friend studied at cremona about 3 years ago, I will ask him what occurred for him. 

 

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4 minutes ago, Shelbow said:

Yes I am aware of this, I was just stating that there are not that many places where you can get specialised education free anymore. 

My friend studied at cremona about 3 years ago, I will ask him what occurred for him. 

 

That would be great if you could do that.:) I know education isn't usually free but sometimes it is in Europe.

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Have you tried contacting the Foundzione Lucchi?

https://www.fondazionelucchi.it/en/scholarships/

If people have attended for free, perhaps this is how it has been done?

From their website:

"The Fondazione Lucchi, main supporter of  Academia Cremonensis, allocates at its discretion scholarships to pupils attending Violin and Bow making courses at the Academia Cremonensis in Cremona. Applicants are invited to contact the Fondazione at the following email address: borsastudio@fondazionelucchi.it  "

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In addition to Mr. Sora, @Bruce Carlson will no doubt have some valuable input.  When I was there, many years ago, it was true that there was no tuition.  In fact they even provided me lunch every school day at a local cafeteria until they figured out I wasn't attending the religion and english classes, at which point they cut me off.  I got along fine with minimal Italian language skills.  Most of the things that needed to be communicated were fairly simple and when there was something more involved I didn't understand, there always seemed to be someone nearby who was happy to translate.

 

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2 minutes ago, Mark Norfleet said:

In fact they even provided me lunch every school day at a local cafeteria

Italy could be the only country where the school meals are actually delicious.

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Thank you for posting this Mr. Burgess. No I have not but arent the Academia Cremonensis and The Antonio Stradivari School different? The Academia I know for sure isn't free because I sent them an email a few months ago and they informed me that they have a one year course for about 15000€ which I wouldn't bother since it seems too short and a 3 year one which is 45000. So the scholarships may be for that school and not the Stradivari which is the one I am interested in. Correct me if I am wrong i am not really sure.

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8 minutes ago, Mark Norfleet said:

In addition to Mr. Sora, @Bruce Carlson will no doubt have some valuable input.  When I was there, many years ago, it was true that there was no tuition.  In fact they even provided me lunch every school day at a local cafeteria until they figured out I wasn't attending the religion and english classes, at which point they cut me off.  I got along fine with minimal Italian language skills.  Most of the things that needed to be communicated were fairly simple and when there was something more involved I didn't understand, there always seemed to be someone nearby who was happy to translate.

 

Thats great to hear thank you for letting me know, I hope it remains the same till this day, meaning no tuition fees. Also based on your experience I'll make sure not to skip classes in case I go there :D

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3 minutes ago, Nestorvass said:

Thats great to hear thank you for letting me know, I hope it remains the same till this day, meaning no tuition fees. Also based on your experience I'll make sure not to skip classes in case I go there :D

They just stopped giving me free lunch, I was still able to attend the violin making workshop etc.  This was a long time ago though and I have little doubt policies have changed.  And hopefully the english teacher employed there now knows how to speak the language...

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5 minutes ago, Mark Norfleet said:

They just stopped giving me free lunch, I was still able to attend the violin making workshop etc.  This was a long time ago though and I have little doubt policies have changed.  And hopefully the english teacher employed there now knows how to speak the language...

Oh I thought the cut you off the school. Well maybe I shouldn't attend english and religion too because I have put a few pounds recently. I doubt free meals wil help :lol: By the way what kind of lessons due they do. Do most of them involve actual woodworking/ making the violin or are there many theoretical ones such as english and religion that you mentioned (eg history, physics etc?)

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22 minutes ago, Nestorvass said:

 So the scholarships may be for that school and not the Stradivari which is the one I am interested in. Correct me if I am wrong i am not really sure.

I don't know, either. I would expect that Bruce Carlson or Davide Sora (both of whom attended the school, post here, and still live in Cremona) would be much more up on that.

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Just now, David Burgess said:

I don't know, either. I would expect that Bruce Carlson or Davide Sora (both of whom attended the school, post here, and still live in Cremona) would be much more up on that.

No problem, I will contact them then probably tomorrow because there is still a chance that they might see this thread and get to me before then.

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4 hours ago, Nestorvass said:

Hello,

 I am Nestor, from Greece I study physics in the university of Athens and I am really close to receiving my degree. Violin making (and musical instrument making in general) has been a passion of mine and I would like to become a professional luthier in the future. I was condisering to go and study at Scuola internazionale di Liuteria “Antonio Stradivari” in Cremona after I finish my studies in Greece

 One of my concerns is that I don't speak Italian. So I have a few questions if anyone is kind enough to answer them.

Are the lessons strictly in italian or are there any in english for foreign students?

Also I was informed by a luthier who studied there that there is no tuition cost and that I only have to pay for a place to live. That the actual school is free. Is this true and does this apply only for Italians or for foreign students as well?

Thanks in advance

~Nestor

Hi Nestor,

the Cremona violin making school (IIS Stradivari) is a state school and therefore there are no fees to pay, you just have to pay some fees which however amount to a few hundred Euros.

But knowing Italian is a required requirement, there is an entrance exam for this, although normally they are not very strict, but something you need to know about the language. In reality, even if you don't know much, you can still register but you will be obliged to attend Italian lessons organized by the teachers themselves of the school, which will be added to the lesson hours. In any case, the lessons are held only in Italian, you can only hope to find a workshop teacher who knows English, but it is rather rare and in any case you cannot choose the teacher.

You must also be aware that there are not only subjects related to violin making (it's a state school equivalent to a high school, when you got the diploma you could go to university:)), but if you already have a degree you can take exams and be exempted, taking advantage of a credit system by reusing the hours by participating in workshop lessons, if you find a teacher who has place for further students in his workshop (not easy, ask immediately to every teacher because there are many request and few workbench avaiable).

I have met many foreign students who almost didn't speak Italian, but usually they are forced to enter the first year and have to do all five years of school (only 7 hours of workshops per week in the first two years ...). If you can chew something of Italian instead you can try to take the exam to directly access the third year, which consists of an Italian, a violin and a workshop test, usually making a fingerboard starting from a block and sharpen a chisel or something similar.

The other school, Academia Cremonensis, is a private school, dedicated exclusively to violin making but rather expensive. If you take information, however, you can perhaps access funding or scholarships from the Lucchi Foundation, I have no idea how it works.

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25 minutes ago, Davide Sora said:

Hi Nestor,

the Cremona violin making school (IIS Stradivari) is a state school and therefore there are no fees to pay, you just have to pay some fees which however amount to a few hundred Euros.

But knowing Italian is a required requirement, there is an entrance exam for this, although normally they are not very strict, but something you need to know about the language. In reality, even if you don't know much, you can still register but you will be obliged to attend Italian lessons organized by the teachers themselves of the school, which will be added to the lesson hours. In any case, the lessons are held only in Italian, you can only hope to find a workshop teacher who knows English, but it is rather rare and in any case you cannot choose the teacher.

You must also be aware that there are not only subjects related to violin making (it's a state school equivalent to a high school, when you got the diploma you could go to university:)), but if you already have a degree you can take exams and be exempted, taking advantage of a credit system by reusing the hours by participating in workshop lessons, if you find a teacher who has place for further students in his workshop (not easy, ask immediately to every teacher because there are many request and few workbench avaiable).

I have met many foreign students who almost didn't speak Italian, but usually they are forced to enter the first year and have to do all five years of school (only 7 hours of workshops per week in the first two years ...). If you can chew something of Italian instead you can try to take the exam to directly access the third year, which consists of an Italian, a violin and a workshop test, usually making a fingerboard starting from a block and sharpen a chisel or something similar.

Hello Mr. Sora :),

Thank you for replying to my thread. Those are extremely useful information because I am 10 subjects away from receiving my degree and I didn't really how to proceed at becoming a violin maker. My plan was after getting my physics degree here (hopefully this year) to do my army duties, because in Greece service in the army is compulsury for 9 months. Meanwhile either on my own or with a teacher I was thinking doing many italian language lessons per week till I reach an acceptable level. I've been told by my mother that if you study its not that hard to learn, she is proficient in italian and took her about 3 years to get there without too many lessons. 

So the plan is army first, then some italian lessons which will hopefully pay off and then the Stradivari School. Its great news that its (well almost) free because that 45000€ that the other school asked kind of ruined my hopes to be honest with you.

The only part that I didn't really understand how it works, is the equivelence with the high school. You mentioned that if I have a degree that I can be exempted by taking exams. What kind of exams are they? The ones you mentioned in the end of your reply about making a fingerboard or in something else?

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1 hour ago, Nestorvass said:

The only part that I didn't really understand how it works, is the equivelence with the high school. You mentioned that if I have a degree that I can be exempted by taking exams. What kind of exams are they? The ones you mentioned in the end of your reply about making a fingerboard or in something else?

The violinmaking school is in all respects a high school, that is, it provides a high school exam at the end of the course, which you too will have to do to get the diploma. For school-age students it is like attending any other high school, after graduation they can enter university (sorry, I don't know how to compare it with Greek or English schools). For this reason, there are teaching subjects that have nothing to do with violin making but which are mandatory by law. If you already have a degree you can avoid attending these subjects, but you must present qualifications (degrees, diplomas) that must be recognized by Italian law. A special commission will examine the documents that are presented, and decide whether to exempt you from attendance or whether to undergo a verification examination, every year or every three months depending on the cases and the value of the documents presented. If you obtain exemption from attending these subjects, you can use the hours during which these subjects will take place in the school timetable  to attend the lessons of other teachers of your choice who are teaching in the same hours on the timetable (usually workshop, varnishing and maintenance/repair). The problem is that many make this request, and the teachers already have their students and have to see how many unoccupied workbenches remain available. For example, when I was teaching at this school, my class was 11 students, the laboratory had 15 workbenches, so I could only accept 4 extra students, but I had received at least 20 requests. Whoever asks first finds the place...;) Not all classes have the same number of students and not all workshops have the same number of workbenches, so it's best to ask all the teachers as soon as possible and see what the situations are like. Of course you could also decide to use the hours you are exempt from to stay at home, especially if you are able to work at home (workbench, tools, wood etc.). Being able to work at home is quite basic, because there are not many workshop hours at school and the number of students in a single class is quite high, one of the most critical points of this school.

The exam to directly enter the third year by skipping the first two is another thing, it is a single preventive exam to evaluate the working skills and mastery of the Italian language (also the violin playing technique, but if you can play some basic scales I think that there are not many problems for this:rolleyes:). Depending on the outcome of this exam you will be admitted to the third year or postponed to the first or second year, usually it also depends on the places available in the various classes.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Davide Sora said:

The violinmaking school is in all respects a high school, that is, it provides a high school exam at the end of the course, which you too will have to do to get the diploma. For school-age students it is like attending any other high school, after graduation they can enter university (sorry, I don't know how to compare it with Greek or English schools). For this reason, there are teaching subjects that have nothing to do with violin making but which are mandatory by law. If you already have a degree you can avoid attending these subjects, but you must present qualifications (degrees, diplomas) that must be recognized by Italian law. A special commission will examine the documents that are presented, and decide whether to exempt you from attendance or whether to undergo a verification examination, every year or every three months depending on the cases and the value of the documents presented. If you obtain exemption from attending these subjects, you can use the hours during which these subjects will take place in the school timetable  to attend the lessons of other teachers of your choice who are teaching in the same hours on the timetable (usually workshop, varnishing and maintenance/repair). The problem is that many make this request, and the teachers already have their students and have to see how many unoccupied workbenches remain available. For example, when I was teaching at this school, my class was 11 students, the laboratory had 15 workbenches, so I could only accept 4 extra students, but I had received at least 20 requests. Whoever asks first finds the place...;) Not all classes have the same number of students and not all workshops have the same number of workbenches, so it's best to ask all the teachers as soon as possible and see what the situations are like. Of course you could also decide to use the hours you are exempt from to stay at home, especially if you are able to work at home (workbench, tools, wood etc.). Being able to work at home is quite basic, because there are not many workshop hours at school and the number of students in a single class is quite high, one of the most critical points of this school.

The exam to directly enter the third year by skipping the first two is another thing, it is a single preventive exam to evaluate the working skills and mastery of the Italian language (also the violin playing technique, but if you can play some basic scales I think that there are not many problems for this:rolleyes:). Depending on the outcome of this exam you will be admitted to the third year or postponed to the first or second year, usually it also depends on the places available in the various classes.

 

 

Oh I see so if I understood correctly the for first two out of five years, if I understood correctly (forgive me if I haven't but Greece school system seems a bit different) there is a chance that I have to attend classes with people who may be aged under 18. I really hope that I am exempted because i am currently 22 going to 23 that would be quite akward. Also studying high school subjects is not really what I had in mind especially if they are in italian, I thought I was done with high school 5 years ago :D. So based on my understanding and hopefully by common sense I will be exempted from these subjects since I will have a high school diploma and a university degree. I really hope I am able to skip directly to 3rd year if the italian language level that is required isn't too high (meaning native speaker high).

The violin playing may pose a bit of a problem, because though I do play the violin decently,  I am self taught by ear and thus I have absolutely no idea what notes I am playing :unsure:.Nor do I know any music theory. However I doubt thats going to be too hard to learn, I'll just have figure out what notes I've been playing all this time. Maybe attend a few violin lessons before giving these exams.

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