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Trumpet Discussion Discuss Anybody familiar with the Badger State Repair School? in the General forums; I would really like to go to a brass and woodwind repair school in the near future. I've been asking ...
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    Pianissimo User Melodious Thunk's Avatar
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    Anybody familiar with the Badger State Repair School?



    I would really like to go to a brass and woodwind repair school in the near future. I've been asking around, and was told that Red Wing is the place to go. I've more recently been told that Badger State Repair School is even better. Does anyone have any opinions or heard anything about Badger? Badger has an advantage to me, as it's only an hour away from where I live, but has the disadvantage of not being accredited, making me not able to get a government loan.

    Also, does anyone have any info on getting loans for non-accredited schools [I have bad credit ], or any grants or such available for those wanting to get into a repair school?
    1958 Holton B-47

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    Re: Anybody familiar with the Badger State Repair School?

    Western Iowa Tech Community College is another fine repair school. It's in Sioux City, Iowa.

    Badger State is essentially the old Allied Repair School. Fast Eddie Strege left Allied and started Badger State Repair. Then when the Getzen family which owned Allied bought back the Getzen line of instruments, they closed the repair school but maintained their repair supply business.

    Who told you that Badger State is better than Red Wing? Red Wing is excellent. And accredited, as is Western Iowa Tech.

    Check WITCC at Band Instrument Repair -- It's the school I graduated from 33 years ago, and even though the teachers are different, the program has grown and improved from when I attended, and I've been a professional repair technician ever since I graduated from there, owning my own repair shop for the past 24 years.

    I don't know anything about Badger State, but I did tour Allied when I was a student at WIT, and to be honest I felt at the time that I was definitely attending the better school. At the time, Allied was not only a school and a repair parts and supplies distributor, but it was also a huge repair facility, and the students worked on the instruments that Allied was billing clients for. So the students were paying the company for the privilege of working on instruments for which the company was being paid. Great for the company -- get paid by the instrument owners and get paid by the people doing the repair work.

    I am not trying to suggest that Badger State is doing the same thing, but you should look carefully at why it's not accredited, and don't just call the office and ask because they'll tell you something like "We didn't want to pay the membership fee to belong to the accrediting organization nor did we want to pay the fees necessary for the accreditation process, preferring to keep our fees to our students lower instead." But look at how the business is run, and ask for the names of recent graduates and call them and ask them pertinent questions.

    I know that when I attended WIT, they accepted high school graduates and weren't looking for the highest grades, just that a student had graduated. Some of us had graduated from college and some had just barely gotten out of high school.

    So just because a school is accredited doesn't mean that with poor grades they won't accept you.

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    Pianissimo User Melodious Thunk's Avatar
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    Re: Anybody familiar with the Badger State Repair School?

    So the students were paying the company for the privilege of working on instruments for which the company was being paid. Great for the company -- get paid by the instrument owners and get paid by the people doing the repair work.
    I am not trying to suggest that Badger State is doing the same thing
    I think that they are doing the same thing. When I spoke with them, I was told it would be more like an apprenticeship and you'd be working on a bunch of different horns to learn the craft.

    I know that when I attended WIT, they accepted high school graduates and weren't looking for the highest grades, just that a student had graduated.
    I'm not worried about grades, maybe be you are talking about how I said I didn't have good credit, meaning loan wise?

    I am not trying to suggest that Badger State is doing the same thing, but you should look carefully at why it's not accredited, and don't just call the office and ask because they'll tell you something like "We didn't want to pay the membership fee to belong to the accrediting organization nor did we want to pay the fees necessary for the accreditation process, preferring to keep our fees to our students lower instead." But look at how the business is run, and ask for the names of recent graduates and call them and ask them pertinent questions.
    Thanks for this! For some reason, I never thought to even ask "why" they didn't have accreditation. I know that they are licensed by the Wisconsin Educational Board, but I don't really even know what that means?
    1958 Holton B-47

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    Re: Anybody familiar with the Badger State Repair School?

    Quote Originally Posted by Melodious Thunk View Post
    I'm not worried about grades, maybe be you are talking about how I said I didn't have good credit, meaning loan wise?

    Thanks for this! For some reason, I never thought to even ask "why" they didn't have accreditation. I know that they are licensed by the Wisconsin Educational Board, but I don't really even know what that means?
    I did misinterpret your statement about bad credit as bad grades -- I'm sorry, that was my mistake.

    You might check out just what the "Wisconsin Educational Board" is -- I just did a web search and there is a Wisconson Educational Approval Board which seems to be a sort of consumer protection agency for profit-making schools in the state, and essentially seems to make sure the school is financially solvent and handles any student complaints about the school. The web page I read said that approval lends credibility to a school, and it clearly differentiates between that approval and accreditation.

    So if Badger State has their approval, at least you know you're not going to get ripped off. The lack of accreditation would worry me more because that deals with the level of education you will receive.

    Since it sounds like it is just like Allied, I'd urge you to look at either Red Wing or Western Iowa Tech, either of which will provide a stronger education with more background than a simple apprenticeship program is likely to offer.

    Having said that, of course, what any student gets out of any educational situation depends more on the student than on the teacher(s) and you might end up as a super-duper repair technician if you attend Badger State.

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    Pianissimo User Melodious Thunk's Avatar
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    Re: Anybody familiar with the Badger State Repair School?

    After doing a little more poking around, it does seem to me that Badger is basically the old Allied School. Plus the person I spoke with was named Ed Strege! While poking around, I also found (via the NAPBIRT site) that a few of the instrument techs I admire the most (personalty & quality of work), went to allied. So I guess I'll try to get in contact with them and pick their brains! I also just found out that my uncle had gone Western Iowa for some repair classes. As far as it being an apprenticeship type environment, I think I'd excel. I basically had a string instrument apprenticeship out of high school and learned quite a bit that way. I still want to dig deeper and get some more info and opinions first tho. I'd hate to spend all that time and money and come away with a education that is lacking.
    1958 Holton B-47

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    Re: Anybody familiar with the Badger State Repair School?

    Ed Strege is one of the best in the business, so if that's what you select, I'm sure you'll learn a lot. When did your uncle attend WIT? I was there 1975-1976.

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    Pianissimo User Melodious Thunk's Avatar
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    Re: Anybody familiar with the Badger State Repair School?

    When did your uncle attend WIT? I was there 1975-1976.
    I don't really know? I'll have to ask the next time I talk to him.
    1958 Holton B-47

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    Re: Anybody familiar with the Badger State Repair School?

    We went to WIT in 89-90. In the end, a school will only teach you the basics. You learn your craft in the years after school. Both WIT and Redwing are starter schools to get the basics down. Ed Strege is really good, especially with brass. I would go there for advanced training in a specialized area such as plating or valve rebuilding. I would not recommend starting out there.

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