Epoch in education
Information for students, teachers and parents

All Epoch musical instruments are AMEB approved and are suitable for school, institution and home use.

A school music program featuring Epoch instruments will save money, time and frustration and will encourage more students to adopt music for its fun and recreational values.

Epoch Musical Instruments are the direct result of a challenge to produce an affordable quality instrument which looks good, sounds good and can withstand the pressures and abuse of a modern school environment.

The music rooms in schools around Australia are littered with broken violins, or instruments that, quite simply, were cheap learning instruments in the first place and are uneconomical to repair.

Long term sustainability of music programs in schools demands solutions to instrument management problems, the greatest of which are: a) instrument down-time because of repair issues and b) poor sound quality because low cost instruments, basically maintained, do not deliver fine music.

Epoch instruments can resolve all of these issues, without a price penalty.

Consider these comparisons between an Epoch instrument and a conventional stringed instrument:

  • longer life for instrument

  • minimum down time
  • easier and on-site maintenance and repairs by students and teachers
  • no instrument wastage since all parts are interchangeable
  • greater response by students to the tonal range and colours of the Epoch
  • a much greater and enthusiastic commitment to music by students who would otherwise drift away through lack of interest, motivation and because of the time it takes to produce a decent sound
  • big money savings

Epoch needs no expert help

Epoch instruments can be maintained in service by the students themselves or by teachers, without the need for expert assistance.

Components standardised

All the component parts - bodies, neck-finger board assemblies, bridges, bridge spiders and sound posts are standard and easily replaced with off-the shelf ease.

No special fitting or gluing is required

Assembly is very simple and parts from one Epoch instrument, or from spares stock, will fit any other equivalent Epoch model, without modification.

Bridge sizes and profiles

Bridges come in three standard sizes (high, medium and low) and two profiles (Classic and Contemporary) to suit individual requirements and string types.

No weaknesses

One of the weak points on a conventional string instrument is the neck joint where the neck is fastened to the body. This joint and the joints fixing the front and back plates are fastened with animal glue so that they can be separated with minimum damage for re-setting the neck or carrying out internal repairs.

Epoch is assembled using modern industrial glues and because of the modular construction, there is no need to pull instruments apart just to fix the neck.

The Australian climate does not suit animal glues, so Epoch doesn't use them

A highly trained professional is required for any work on a standard violin family instrument. This is costly and usually results in considerable delay before the instrument is again available for use.

In moist semi-tropical and tropical conditions animal glue breaks down and results in partial or complete failure of the structure of the instrument. The neck joint is particularly exposed to structural failure if roughly handled or simply by dropping the instrument.

Epoch eliminates the neck joint

The Epoch avoids neck joint failures by eliminating the neck joint altogether.

The correct alignment of the neck and fingerboard is maintained by a strong lightweight tubular spar which extends the full length of the instrument and is integral with the neck assembly.

This assembly fits into a shaped socket in the body and is retained by two short dowels and the tension of the strings.

Bodies of conventional violins are fragile but the Epoch is robust

The body of the conventional violin is formed from solid carved wood. In a good instrument the belly is of spruce and the back of maple.

The shaping of these components and the quality and seasoning of the timber used is critical. The sides are very thin and are made of maple.

Suitable good quality materials are becoming very scarce and expensive. The body assembly is very fragile.

Cracks are common due again to rough handling, dropping, impact on the tailpiece or bridge and simply by the stresses of ordinary use. These cracks have to be repaired, again a job for the expert with resulting cost and loss of service.

Epoch bodies are extremely strong

The body plates and sides of the EPOCH are laminar in construction using multiple plys of selected veneers.

This material is produced under close control using standard modern production methods. It is extremely strong - much stronger than the single layer plates used for the belly, back and sides of the conventional violin.

It is virtually impossible for cracks to form. In fact the body is strong enough to withstand the weight of an average adult - not that this is recommended.

Conventional instrument finishes are hard to maintain - the Epoch can be resprayed by conventional means

The finish of the conventional instrument is usually a spirit varnish, the better instruments using oil varnish.

The professional violin repairer can do something to reduce the effect of scratches in both cases but the oil varnish requires a quite difficult treatment using French polish techniques and lots of care.

The Epoch can be resprayed or retouched by conventional means.

Setting up a conventional string instrument is an expert's job

The design of the Epoch completely eliminates the complex setup of a conventional instrument. The complete assembly of an Epoch can be carried out by anyone with normal ability. No options are offered or decisions required.

Tuning is easier

Tuning an Epoch instrument is exactly the same as tuning a conventional instrument.

It is made easier on the Epoch as the tail piece has built-in string adjusters as standard.

Epoch tuning stable in all conditions

Changes in temperature, changes in humidity and strong stage lighting all affect the tuning of a conventional instrument.

This problem is largely eliminated on the Epoch because the string tension is carried by the strong metal spar which is relatively unaffected by changes in humidity. This feature alone will reduce time lost to tuition and encourage student confidence at all levels.

Epoch offers acoustic and electric options - no other instruments in this price range can do that

Many students will want to become involved in the popular music scene, including the current wave of Celtic and Country music. The Epoch can be supplied already fitted for amplification so that it can be played as a normal acoustic violin, or by simply plugging a standard amplifier lead into the back of the instrument it becomes an electric violin, excellent for stage and band work.

Epoch meets performance targets

The Epoch is a purpose built instrument specifically for the student and music school environment.
Its toughness and ease of maintenance notwithstanding, it still meets its target of a very musical and playable instrument, reasonably priced and with greatly enhanced appeal to the young and adventurous.

So, to sum up

Why wouldn't every school give their students the best possible chance of developing a life long interest in music?

Why would schools provide cheap, imported instruments which, in the long term, will not only cost time, money and be frustrating to maintain, but be difficult to play and even more difficult to produce clear, confident notes?

Epoch is the educational solution every school has been waiting for.

Epoch has introduced the first major technological change to the violin in 400 years.

Epoch has introduced a fun element into playing music - and it works great with children.

The Epoch range of instruments is totally 100% approved and accepted in ALL Australian Music Examination Board Exams.

All teachers will agree that inferior quality instruments do not produce an acceptable tone in performance.

All teachers strive for their students to create a confident tone but are limited to the quality of the instrument the students play. The amazing Epoch’s playability unleashes the truest potential of any student, with a brilliance of tone unmatched by any current mass-produced string instrument.


Listen to Epoch managing director Mark Mitchell explain the Epoch philosophy