Made in Arizona: Local school teaches people how to build and repair guitars

PHOENIX (FOX 10) -- It's one thing to take guitar lessons, but did you know there's a school in the Valley that can teach you how to build and repair guitars?

"I had the dream of making my own guitars when I was in high school and playing in bands," said Bart Applewhite. "I saw an article in the newspaper about the school, and I didn't even know there was a place you could learn something like this."

Applewhite start at Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery in 1993 as a student. He loved it so much that he turned it into a job, helping other students chase their guitar-making dreams.

"They do their own finish work, learn how to do spray work and finishing, and then they end up with a beautiful guitar," said Applewhite.

The school started in the late 60s, becoming a licenced trade school in the 70s. It doesn't matter if you have no experience. If you have the passion, you're good to go, and that goes for all ages.

"We have a lot of students in their 20s. We have some in their 50s and 60s who are at the end of their career, and want to do something new, want to start a new chapter, new career," said Applewhite.

The school has two classes per year, each five months long, five days a week, and about 9 hours a day. By the end, each student will have made two whole guitars, electric and acoustic, made from scratch.

"The reality is here, students learn more than how to make guitars," said Applewhite. "They learn to manage their time, how to multitask. They learn a lot about themselves."

Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery