Experienced luthier, Strato Anagnostis knew so well the pleasure he got from crafting his high quality, professional guitars. But he also remembered the thrill he experienced when he made his very first guitar back in 1980.
He had a dream of being able share the joy of that first guitar making experience by helping people of all ages, and all walks of life, to each make their own personalized, high quality guitar. He was also aware of the need to help prospective guitar makers find a way that they could fit that guitar making into their, probably already busy, lives and so he designed a guitar making course that allowed students to spend one evening or morning per week, working at their own pace, under the guidance of an expert instructor.
Then, in February 2007, in Toronto, NSW (on the shores of the beautiful Lake Macquarie) he offered the general public a chance to enrol in that course that he had designed. He formed the Australian Guitar Making School, not really knowing just how many people there would be who wanted to make their own professional quality guitar.
He soon discovered that there was a steady flow of budding guitar makers enrolling in the school. He had students who’d never played a single note on a guitar, right through to fully professional musicians, but what they had in common was a desire to make their very own hand crafted guitar.
He had students who had never worked with tools before and he had students who were professional woodwork teachers, and everyone in between.
He had students, aged between 16 and senior citizen, all producing excellent acoustic guitars at the Australian Guitar Making School.
As those original students began to finish their guitars and show them to their friends and colleagues many of those friends and colleagues decided that they too wanted to make a guitar, and before too long the guitar making school had so many prospective students that Strato couldn’t keep up with the demand; so 2014 saw a new chapter open for the school. The school became two schools, the second one being in Mayfield, NSW.
The following short video appeared in January 2014 on NBN News. The guitar being played in the clip was made by the student in the orange shirt who had never used tools before in his life.
“An amazing experience. I can’t believe I had such an amazing once in a lifetime chance. So worth doing.”