Basic Violin Setup I and Tool Use

Basic Violin Set-up I & Tool Use is a hands-on introductory workshop that addresses the basics of 4/4 violin set-up and teaches some of the basic bench skills required for repair and maintenance of a full-size violin. Topics include: proper use of bench grinders; sharpening knives, plane blades, and chisels; fitting pegs in the scroll; setting and making sound- posts; and making bridges. We will also discuss string selection and sound-post adjustments, although keep in mind the practice of sound adjustments takes years to master. Basic Violin Set-up is highly recommended for music teachers, musicians, shop owners, and others interested in string instrument repair. While you do not need to have previous experience working on violins, previous woodworking experience is beneficial. Basic Violin Set-Up I & Tool Use is highly recommended to as a precursor to Violin Set-Up II, Adjustment and Basic Repairs.

Class will meet in person from 9am to 5pm, with additional open workshop hours in the evening.

Materials and Tools
Two full-sized violins with ebony fingerboards. Inexpensive violins with or without pegs are recommended. They may be previously set up. We will be using these to fit new pegs, sound-posts, and bridges. They should be in good condition with no open cracks or seams. Other items needed include pegs (regular thickness and thick shaft), bridges, sound-post material, and strings. A complete list of suggested tools and materials may be found at https://training.unh.edu/violin

Tools & Materials


Basic Violin Setup I and Tool Use

A list of tools and materials can be found here.

Instructor Bios


Basic Violin Setup I and Tool Use

  • Michael Anthony Daddona

    Michael began his career in woodworking as a furniture maker about twenty-five years ago. His deep love of music and desire to refine his hand skills led him to seek out training in violin making. He entered into a formal apprenticeship with Francis Morris after spending a summer as a student at the UNH Violin Craftsmanship Institute. Michael has also had the opportunity to study with Paul Wiessmeyer, a Boston based violin maker and teacher at UNH, and Hans Nebel, of the world-renowned Wurlitzer shop in New York City. 

    Michael is currently the shop foreman for Francis Morris Violins in Great Barrington, Mass. He has also assisted Francis Morris since 2012 in his Basic Violin Set-Up course.  

    Most recently, Michael was awarded a Certificate of Merit for Ton for a violin by the Violin Society of America at the 2018 international violin making competition. 

  • MorganEve Swain

    MorganEve can't remember a time when the violin wasn't a central part of her life. Making her meager living performing since 2002, in 2015 she began working part time at McCarten Violins in Providence, RI. Her roles at the shop quickly evolved from customer service to instrument technician and for several summers she attended the Violin Craftsmanship Institute to study with Francess Morris, Michael Daddona, Lynn Hannings, Amanda Kapouzous and Paul Weismeyer. She continues to perform with several touring bands and now enjoys off-road time handling bow rehairs for McCarten Violins and working independently on violins, violas and bows from her home-shop in Bethel CT.

09:00am - 05:00pm
Durham Campus - Putnam Hall
Francis Morris
1099.00 PDT - Violin Institute