The Lutherie Academic Center (LAC) was established in 1982 by the National System of Youth and Children’s Orchestras and Choirs of Venezuela with the aim of preparing professionals with the skills necessary to make, repair and maintain the symphonic and popular musical instruments used by its orchestras and ensembles.
The LAC operates in 10 states across Venezuela, but its scope has extended beyond El Sistema’s núcleos and our country. El Sistema has collaborated with the Corporación Andina de Fomento (Andean Development Corporation) in offering lutherie training in Bolivia, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador and Peru through the Itinerant Lutherie Workshop. And by means of an agreement between the Simón Bolívar Music Foundation and the Fundación Venezolana Pro-Cura de la Parálisis Infantil (Venezuelan Foundation for the Cure of Infantile Paralysis) the LAC teaches the craft of making and repairing musical instruments to people with motor disabilities.
The LAC offers the following courses:
- Luthier assistant. 720 class hours (6 months)
- Luthier technician: 2,160 class hours (18 months)
- Luthier: 3,240 class hours (27 months)
Apart from learning the craft of making and repairing musical instruments, students also attend workshops aimed at the development of their communication skills, self-esteem, and self-confidence.
LAC’s students are taught by renowned experts in the field, in a real work environment; and undertake an internship at the núcleos of the National System of Youth and Children’s Orchestras of Venezuela. Once the students complete their studies, they are employed by the Simón Bolívar Music Foundation in order to meet the needs of El Sistema’s orchestras and ensembles related to making, repairing and maintaining musical instruments.
The courses and materials are free, and students may apply for financial aid for daily living expenses.
These courses are aimed at young people aged 14 – 24 years old interested in making and repairing musical instruments.
Entry to Lutherie Academic Center requires applicants:
- To have passed Grade 9
- To be aged 14 to 24 years old
- To have musical knowledge (desirable)
- To have previous experience of repairing musical instruments(desirable).
- To interview with a counselor and a lutherie professor
Henry Parra, director.
Richard Arellano, plucked instruments coordinator.
Nelson Nobre, bowed instruments coordinator.
General Contact Information
Primary Address: Edificio INCE Caricuao, subida a la UD 5, frente al Polideportivo Luis Aparicio, 2º piso, Caricuao, estación Metro Zoológico. Caracas.
Telephone: (0212) 4337801.