Steve McLeish

In my second year at South Thames College I was awarded work experience at Philip Brown Violins and £350 towards tools. I am currently working on a group of violins based on the 1709 'Viotti ex-Bruce' by Stradivari. The big advantage of choosing this model is the fact that it is on display in the Museum of the Royal Academy of Music, allowing me the opportunity to take my work along to the museum and compare its progress against the benchmark of the original. I used the money I received from the RAB Trust to buy a bending iron and thicknessing calipers and this has made a huge difference to the amount of work I am now able to complete at home.  


I was very excited to have the chance to do work experience at Philip Brown Violins in Newbury.  During my week there I carried out set-up work on a range of instruments, including bridge fitting, soundposts and top nut reshaping.  As I ultimately want  to specialise in repair work, this placement gave me invaluable experience of life in a busy and thriving violin shop. I would like to thank Kathrin and Philip for providing advice and support during my week and to the RAB Trust for organising this fantastic opportunity.