The Luthier Program at the Martin Guitar Foundation Luthier Lab at Northampton Community College (NCC) combines old-world craftsmanship with modern manufacturing to guide participants through the fine art of building a stringed instrument that is both rich in sound and beauty. The course curriculum is comprehensive yet challenging. It encompasses all aspects of guitar building from basic woodworking skills to custom designed bodies. The program is designed to ensure you master the skills and knowledge needed to be a successful Luthier. Participants are encouraged to dream, innovate and create using the lab's comprehensive tools and the guidance of master Luthiers.
The program has a methodical course line up that is essential for successful instrument building. While the program is developed to ensure your success as a Luthier, Northampton Community College also offers several other courses that will enhance your skillset, set you apart from other Luthiers and enrich your builds.
The Luthier Certification Program is a 16-week (800 hour) certification designed to provide top of the line education to enhance your guitar building skills and business development.
Located at the Martin Guitar Foundation Luthier Lab at NCC’s Southside Bethlehem Campus located at 511 E. 3rd Street, Bethlehem, Pa 18015. Housing at the NCC Residence Hall is available for out-of-state students. The program includes seven (7) stringed instrument builds:
- Martin Style Parlor
- Martin Style OM
- Tenor Ukulele
- Flat-Top Electric
- Carved Top Electric
- Custom Acoustic designed by student (Capstone Final Project)
Our all-encompassing program includes additional classes that will not only strengthen your skillset as a Luthier, but will help you stand out among employers and/or clients. Some of the hands-on workshops students will experience include:
- Art of Inlay from former Martin Guitar Custom Shop Artist, Sean Brandle.
- Decorative heel carving from National Award Winner Dave Dion
- 3D Modeling custom guitar body/neck
- Comprehensive guitar finishing
- All at no additional charge!
Unique to our program is the Small Business Management & Entrepreneurship Certificate and OSHA 10-Hour General Industry Training, included in your tuition. The OSHA 10-Hour Training, will be an in-person course during your semester at NCC. Participants will receive an OSHA-10 completion card for attending and completing the program. The OSHA topics included in the training are as follows:
- Introduction to OSHA
- Walking and Working Surfaces
- Exit Routes, Emergency Action Plans, Fire Prevention Plans, and Fire Protection
- Personal Protective Equipment
- Hazard Communication
- Hazardous Materials
- Machine Guarding
- Safety and Health Program
The 14-week Small Business Management & Entrepreneurship Certificate program is a virtual format that follows the Luthier Program semester. It focuses on how to successfully own and manage a small business and is divided into the following four components: product development, customer discovery, business financing, and smart recruitment & retention. This will jump-start your career as a Luthier Entrepreneur!
Click here to view the complete Luthier Course Curriculum.
Click here to view the Small Business Certificate Curriculum.
Click here to view the Payment Plan Due Dates
Click here to view the Fall 2023 Refund Policy
Click here to view FAQs
Not sure if you want to become a Luthier? Try building a guitar during our One-Week Intensive Guitar Building Class! Students choose either an OM or 000 Martin Style acoustic guitar. Click here for more information.
The Fall 2023 Semester starts on August 28. Enroll today!
Questions? Call (610) 332-8665 or email us
About Martin Guitar
C. F. Martin & Co.® has been Inspiring Musicians Worldwide® for nearly two centuries with their superior guitar and string products. Martin guitars and strings remain the choice for musicians around the world for their unrivaled quality, craftsmanship, and tone. Throughout the company's long history, Martin products can be seen and heard across all genres of music and in all segments of pop culture, from concert and theater stages to television and movies. With an unwavering commitment to environmental sustainability and responsible manufacturing practices, Martin continually drives the acoustic guitar market forward, introducing innovative features that have become standards across the industry. These groundbreaking innovations include the introduction of X-bracing, the 14-fret guitar, and the "Dreadnought" size guitar.