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Liverpool luthier Matt Kielecki teaches instrument construction and repair

Matt Kielecki, of North Syracuse, has been the go-to professional for stringed instrument repairs, restorations, appraisals and bluegrass lessons at Family Music Center in Liverpool for two years.

Matt Kielecki, of North Syracuse, has been the go-to professional for stringed instrument repairs, restorations, appraisals and bluegrass lessons at Family Music Center in Liverpool for two years.

— Family Music Center offers the most inexpensive instrument repair service in CNY, says Phil de Anguera who owns the shop with his wife, Gena.

“Whenever my personal stringed instruments are in need of repair, I take ’em to Matt,” de Anguera says. “He’s a wizard! He’s great on neck resets and refinishing work along with injury repair, and when Matt repairs something that’s been damaged — let me tell you — it doesn’t show.”

Recalling how much he learned from craftsmen such as the late Martin Guitar specialist Mike Longworth, Kielecki’s glad to share his expertise with aspiring local luthiers such as Seth Dittler, who constructed the practice fretboard that sits gripped in the vise in Kielecki’s workroom at the Family Music Center.

Tugging the fretboard from the vise, Kielecki shows how he double-checks the height of the frets. If the straightedge bounces along like a teeter-totter, he demonstrates, “the frets aren’t even.” On a superior instrument, he explains, the frets are going to be exactly the same.

Another of his students, Justin Gluck, is a skilled electric-guitar repairman, but now, under Kielecki’s tutelage, he’s learning the fine points of fixing acoustic guitars as well.

Kielecki himself started young. In his early teens, the budding banjo player was already replacing nuts and tuning pegs and messing with fret metal and pick guards. “In my teens, I got serious,” he said. “I’d been exposed to the guitar in our home, but my interest really skyrocketed in my teens.”

“For the past two calendar years, Matt has been the go-to professional for stringed instrument repairs, restorations, appraisals and bluegrass lessons here at Family Music Center,” de Anguera said.

Now Kielecki provides in-store maintenance and plans to teach a class called “Build Your Own Stringed Instrument.” To sign up for the class or to chat with Kielecki about fixing your stringed instruments, call the Family Music Center at 457-7375.

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