Sunday, October 18, 2009

Anders Echeverriia- France

Anders was a student here at Summit for six months in 2008.......

BONJOUR!!!this is ander from france,how are you?it's been a long time!how is every one?I got this new email adress..
I'm at a repair school in france (Le Mans) called ITEMM,and going to be working at two guitar shops during the course.
Next year i'll be travelling a lot;India ,try to find out how to make sitars,then south florida,john dell'sola is over there and invited me to build some guitars at his shop,and i hope to come back at your Great school and build an arch top with sigmund!Say hello to him ,Mike and the others!good luck for every thing!

Cory Newman - Canada

When I moved to Vancouver Island I had no idea that I would discover a new career. Attending Summit School of Guitar Building & Repair turned out to be the best thing I‘ve ever done for myself. I found the structure of their Master Course unintimidating and thorough. Beginning with the basics of repair I gradually fine-tuned my building skills, learning exponentially every month. Looking back I can’t believe how much I’ve learned over the last year, and I‘m thrilled with the quality of the guitars I’ve built during the course! I’d like to thank all the staff at Summit School for all their education and support; Mike, Lorraine, Sigmund, Deborah and Arlen. I’m very proud to say where I learned it all when I show impressed potential customers my work. Thank you Summit School!

Lynn Constantineau - Canada

Attended Summit School 9 years ago
shop # 905-385-6500

Lee Raymond - North Carolina

High Strung Violins & Guitars, LLC
1116 Broad Street
Durham, NC 27705
(919) 286-3801

Paddy Dane - England

All is good here in the UK, I keep getting busier and busier and have
just bought a 3000 sq ft shop to rattle around in!

I am supplying tonewoods, parts and inlays to quite a number of the
UKs top luthiers now, and have made guitars for Amy Winehouse, Neil
Diamond, Newton Faulkner, and others! so I guess you could say things
are going great.

Paddy Dane

Atsushi Takano - Japan

I had built 7 guitars in summit. I had much experience in the school not only about guitar building and repair but also cultural experience. I had good time in the student's house, and of course in the bar in Qualicum.

Discussing about new ideas of guitar building with friends, playing songs with friends, all memories in the school are pleasure in my life. Spending time in Summit would be good experience in your life and it will make your life better.

I still miss the school and people in the Island.

After I left the school, I tried to have my own shop, and my parents really helped me to have my nice shop.

I have been doing repair work in my shop for a vintage guitar shop named Accogi-kichi (It could be the biggest individual guitar shop in Japan) for about 4 years.

I have started building guitars for my customers since 2006, and I have built acoustic guitars, classical guitars, Selmer style guitars, and electric guitars.

I have build an acoustic guitar for Japanese very famous musician too.

David Fuller - South Africa

Summit School is a place where one can relax in a convivial environment and devote one's energy to learn about and build guitars. It was well worth the trip from the other side of the planet ( South Africa).

Thank you Summit for helping me realize a long held dream.

Michael Dekkers - Canada

Contact me at

I recently completed the six month course at Summit School of Guitar Building and Repair. As a "mature" student of 44, I was concerned whether or not I would fit in at the school. However, the relaxed, personal style of instruction suited me very well.

The course was tailored to my particular goal which was to establish a business in my community as a luthier.

Instructor Mike Jarvis was able to draw on his experience as a guitar repairman to give me practical advice on the business side of lutherie, which was as valuable to me as the actual repair and building instruction.

Whether your goal is to simply build your own guitar or to become a full-time luthier I think that Summit School can help you attain that goal.

Karl Neumann - USA

Contact me at:

Visit my site at

I'm doing fine at Fender. Night shift is cool. We have fun as well as getting some work done. I got the repair job in Florida and am planning on a long drive. The adventure continues. Hope the old Toyota makes it.

Summit School has provided me with the necessary skills to succeed in the guitar industry. I was able to find employment quite soon after leaving school. Since then, I have received other job offers as well.

In addition to the training, Vancouver Island was quite beautiful. So I received a vacation as well as an education.

I highly recommend Summit School to anybody that is interested in pursuing a career or just building for pleasure.

Denny Kopp - USA

Contact me at:
Ph: 419-618-1445
Denny's website: JustFrets.Com

My time spent at Summit School was without a doubt the best investment that I ever made, both in terms of business and in life.

In the time I was there, I learned all of the basic guitar construction that has led to my 100% self - employment in the trade.

In all, I would have to say that the greatest part of going to the school was the people involved and those I met. The business connections that are a direct result of being on Vancouver Island (lumber, cases) are largely responsible for the quality of the instruments that I make.
Update 2009:
Hello and Happy Kopptoberfest!!!I find it hard to believe that 10 years has gone by since I first landed on that island! 50+ guitars and still going strong. I thank you soooo much for the experience at Summit. And you more so, Sig, for talkin' me into staying on for that last month to build an archtop. Really changed the direction of my life. Not sure if you know about it or not, but Kopp String Instruments will belisted in the 2009 Vintage Guitar Magazine Price Guide. My little company...listed in the blue! Anyway....Thanks again.And I'll be talkin' to you again soon.

Brian Lessard

Contact me at:

Being up there was an experience of a lifetime and i can't thank you guys enough for making me feel like I'm at home with family and friends.

And to Sigmund and Mike: thanks for everything you guys did. I could not have done this without you guys and I can't wait too come up there in September. Again, you guys are the best thing that could of happened to me. Can't thank you enough.

P.S. You guys throw a hell of a party. Thanks again.

Brian Bondietti - USA

Email me at:

I attended Summit School for eight weeks in April and May of 2003 and can honestly say it was one of the best experiences in my life.

Before I attended the school, I was very worried about my total lack of experience in woodworking and the use of basic tools. I was even afraid to do any repair work on my own personal guitars, let alone anyone else's. After completing an eight-week course I feel very confident in my abilities.

My first two guitars are something I am very proud of. Mike and Sigmund are great teachers. Because they approach luthiery from two different mindsets, you will end up with a very well rounded education at the completion of your course.

I must say that the new addition of teacher Adam Johnston to your staff was a wise choice. Adam was a great help to me throughout the duration of my course.

I have recently purchased all of the tools necessary to start up a luthiery business in Montana and am looking forward to making a career of it!

Not only is Summit School one of the best choices you could make for yourself business-wise, but spending time in Qualicum Beach for any amount of time will be a great experience in itself. The sights on Vancouver Island are some of the most beautiful in the world.

Make sure to meet some people in the area as well, I've made some great friends in the community and plan on
visiting time and again.

Maurice "Mo" Adams - USA

Visit my website at:

I attended Summit School as a 4 week student learning strictly repairs in March of 2003. I had some basic repair experience previously but little woodworking experience. I feel that my time at Summit School was time well spent and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I learned quite a bit about repair in that short period of time, learned some basic wood working skills, and even picked up guitar building tips from the other students as they worked on longer programs. It was a great atmosphere for learning and a wonderful place to enjoy things outside of school, such as hiking, hearing live music, and meeting friendly people.

UPDATE: (June 2005) I am now running a successful part time repair business in Pasadena, CA a suburb of Los Angeles. My shop is in the garage behind my house, and is now a fully functional repair facility. I am doing repair work for some of the local music stores and also direct by appointment. The bulk of the work I do is setups, fret dressing, refrets, acoustic bridges and saddles, and lots of electronics. With the power tools I now have in the shop I have also gotten into woodworking more heavily, and recently built my first speaker cabinet for my guitar rig. I have been doing some repair work for the pop enterrtainer Chris Isaak. I also teach guitar and play regular gigs in the LA area.
Update:(October 2009)
Since attending Summit School for training on guitar repair I worked directly at a local music store in their guitar department for 2 years doing all of their repairs, and started my own repair shop. After two years I left that store and concentrated on running my repair shop, getting business directly and also freelancing at many of the music stores in the Pasaden/San Gabriel Valley area. I also have concentrated on working with guitar teachers in the area to give them someone to refer their students to for reasonably priced repair work. I have also taken on personal side projects outside of guitar repair including building a classical guitar, and tube guitar amp and speaker cabinet building.

Raymond Soh

I have learned a lot during this 6 months in Summit School. Though I wasn't technically gifted, the course helped to give me a new perspective into what I thought I already knew during my 6 years as a sales specialist in Yamaha Music Asia.

Thanks to Mike, Sigmund, Adam and RJ for their continuing patience with me. If you want to know more about Guitar Building, this is the place to be. Everything is catered according to your pace.

And Qualicum Beach is really a beautiful place to be.

Sean Thompson

Sean Thompson - Sean Thompson Guitarworks
Phone: 613-698-8832 or email

Deciding to attend summit, in retrospect, was the best choice I ever made.

After college I was privileged enough to attend the Summit School of Guitar Building and Repair. I learned how to build every type of fretted instrument from start to finish. They had me build 3 electric guitars, 1 acoustic and 1 arch-top acoustic. They taught me cost effective ways to go beyond what the guitar manufacturers are producing.

I worked for the Godin Guitar Company who manufactures six guitar brands: Seagull, Simon & Patrick, Norman, LaPatrie, Art & Lutherie, and Godin. I was their repairman at their head office in Montreal for two years.

I am trained and experienced in all aspects of guitar repair, restoration, construction, set-up and maintenance, I am also a Buzz Feiten Tuning System authorized retrofitter for electric and acoustic guitar.

Sean Thompson
613 698 8832

Alex Cohen

I spent July and August of 2004 at the Summit School. And it was probably the best two months of my life.

I learned so much in a short time, and can't wait to go back. With the skills I learned during my time in B.C. I've started doing repairs on the side while I'm still attending school back home.

In short, the two months I spent on Vancouver Island was one of the most influential, memorable, and exciting experiences of my life. I'd like to thank a bunch of people in no particular order for making Summit such a great experience; Mike, Lorraine, Sigmund, Debbie, Len, Robin, Adam, Phil and all the students at Summit as well as the many other wonderful people I met on Vancouver Island.