Creative passion and practical skills
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Creative passion and practical skills

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Dalton Courtney: Musical instrument maker 

Tuned in to training

A career that combines creative passion with practical skills isn’t always easy to find, but hard work has made it possible for three instrument makers at Maton Guitars in Box Hill. Dave Poulter, Zac Eccles and Dalton Courtney made the change from labouring and retail respectively, to crafting guitars that are used by artists the world over.

'To be contributing to musicians and the musical community; it’s great to see an artist play an instrument you have made,” Dave says of his role at Maton. “It’s endlessly rewarding watching the instrument come to life.” Dave always had an interest in music and started out assembling acoustic guitars. He now specialises in the Mini Maton, a smaller guitar with a very big sound. “Magic goes into every instrument, it’s like sword-making; a traditional craft.”

Zac began studying civil engineering but decided he didn’t want to be behind a desk. His love for art and working with his hands led him to study at the Northern College of Arts and Technology (NCAT). Zac had a romantic view of guitar making and looked into becoming a luthier on a forum, and now works at Maton.

Dalton never realised that woodwork could turn into a career. He’s now combined his love of music and passion for working with exotic timbers; formalising his woodworking skills with a qualification to help make the transition from an interest to a career.

Musical instrument making combines modern manufacturing techniques with those of age-old craftsmen, and strong skills take time to develop. The key is a good foundation in training.

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Musical Instrument Maker or Repairer

Builds, repairs and restores musical instruments, and modifies and tunes them to...