Band Instrument Repair

Translate your love of music into a hands-on career.


Translate your love of music into a rewarding hands-on career in Band Instrument Repair at Minnesota State College - Southeast Technical in Red Wing.

From across the United States and around the world, students come to Red Wing, Minnesota, to study band instrument repair, where you can learn the skills necessary for employment and advancement in this rewarding, viable career option. Our training is rigorous, requiring tenacity and a desire for excellence.

  • In 2 semesters of comprehensive study, the Band Instrument Repair Diploma program will teach you the fundamentals of repairing clarinets, trumpets, flutes, trombones, saxophones, French horns, oboes, bassoons, and large brass. You will also learn how to fabricate tools and instrument parts using lathes, drill presses, grinders, sanders, and bench motors.

  • Incorporating all diploma-level BIR courses, the 2-year Associate of Applied Science in Band Instrument Repair degree adds coursework specific to small business development and marketing; it also includes college-level general education classes such as math, English, and humanities. The A.A.S. was designed primarily for students who want the one-year program, but have sufficient transferable college general education credits to narrow the time frame to complete the A.A.S. degree to one-year.

Up to 48 students enroll yearly in Band Instrument Repair, many coming from either performance or music education backgrounds — men and women looking to channel their interests and talents in a challenging educational setting where hands-on practice is central to success.

You will join graduates who are successfully employed in repair shops associated with music stores, school districts, and independent repair shops. In 2014, 96% of our graduates found work in the field.

Students who graduate with a diploma or A.A.S. degree from the BIR program can continue their studies and earn a 4-year degree by applying all of their credits toward a Bachelor of Arts in Music degree from McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul, MN. The partnership agreement also allows current McNally Smith students to pursue this degree option utilizing the instruction at both colleges.

For additional information, go to To become a student, apply for admission to Southeast Technical.

Major Offerings

Instrument Close Ups

Learn more about the musical instrument repair programs on our Red Wing campus at

Outcomes & Opportunities

Program Learning Outcomes

Program graduates will be able to:

  1. Evaluate, repair and play test a clarinet, flute, sax, oboe and bassoon.
  2. Evaluate, repair and play test a trumpet, trombone, horn, and large brass.
  3. Perform basic fabrication techniques using a lathe, drill press, sander and grinder.
  4. Exhibit attitudes and behaviors commensurate with employer expectations.

Placement & Costs

Program Job Placement: 96%
Estimated Program Costs

Career Opportunities

  • Music Stores
  • Repair Shops
  • School Districts
  • Musical Instrument Manufacturers
  • Entrepreneurial Opportunities (with experience)

Transfer Credits

Expand your opportunities. Learn how your credits can transfer between MnSCU colleges and universities.

College Articulated Transfer Agreements

Highlights & Instructors

Program Highlights

  • All students in the musical instrument repair programs at Southeast Technical pay in-state tuition regardless of state/country of origin. The cost of living in Red Wing is also quite reasonable.
  • Our instructors are active members in the National Association of Professional Band Instrument Repair Technicians (NAPBIRT), presenting clinics, producing videos, and writing articles for TechniCom, NAPBIRT's printed journal. Go to for more information.
  • Frequent guest speakers and clinicians will give you their perspectives on what employment in the craft is like and help you prepare for your career.


  • John Huth has his Bachelor of Music Degree from Bowling Green State University and his Master of Music Degree (Trumpet) from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He was apprentice-trained as a repair technician and joined the teaching faculty of Southeast Technical in 1987. John is a Master Repair Clinician in the National Association of Professional Band Instrument Repair Technicians (NAPBIRT) and has presented numerous clinics throughout the United States.
    Learn more about John Huth. 
  • Greg Beckwith is a graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan. He attended Eastman School of Music in New York and The St. Louis conservatory of Music in Missouri, for horn performance. He has held positions as a horn player in various performance groups including the Air Force Band. Greg is a graduate of the BIR Program at SE Technical in Red Wing. He was a repair technician at Davenport Instrument Repair in Brooklyn Center, MN prior to his present position at the college. He has been teaching courses in the BIR program since 2003. He continues to freelance on horn in the Twin Cities and play extra with the Minnesota Orchestra when possible.
    Learn more about Greg Beckwith. 
  • Lucas Pemberton is a graduate of the Red Wing Repair Program in 1998. Prior to joining the BIR program Lucas was lead repair technician for Ekroth Music Stores in their White Bear Lake, MN location. He has been a substitute and an adjunct instructor in the BIR program since 2000. As an active member of NAPBIRT he has presented clinics at both regional and national conferences. Lucas was also one of three clinicians to present a hands on clinic, the first to be presented in this manner, at the 30th anniversary NAPBIRT National Conference.
    Learn more about Lucas Pemberton. 

MnSCU Logo © 2015 Minnesota State College - Southeast Technical

RED WING CAMPUS | 308 Pioneer Road | Red Wing, MN 55066 | 651-385-6300
WINONA CAMPUS | P.O. Box 409 | 1250 Homer Road | Winona, MN 55987 | 507-453-2700

Southeast Technical is an affirmative action/equal opportunity educator and employer. ADA accessible.
A member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System.

Minnesota State Colleges and Universities is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination in employment and education opportunity. No person shall be discriminated against in the terms and conditions of employment, personnel practices, or access to and participation in, programs, services, and activities with regard to race, sex, color, creed, religion, age, national origin, disability, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, or sexual orientation. In addition, discrimination in employment base on membership or activity in a local commission as defined by law is prohibited.

This document is available in alternative formats to individuals with disabilities by calling (877) 853-TECH (8324) or (507) 453-2700.