An Interview with Skilled Luthier, Dereck Coons

Tell us about your journey! What led you to this point?

My passion is and always has been for making violins and other instruments from the violin family, including violas, cellos, and basses. However, I didn’t always know that that’s what I wanted to do. In fact, coming from a family where no one played music, it never even crossed my mind. 

When I was younger, I thought I wanted to be a doctor, and even went to Indiana University to lay the groundwork to go to medical school. But, when I was told that I couldn’t continue with one of my elective classes, it looked like I’d hit a big enough obstacle to completely derail my chosen path. 

It was a music class, and I was getting knocked back because I didn’t have a high quality guitar. I also didn’t have $4,000 to pay for one. So, I thought it was all over for me, until a friend mentioned that his father taught violin-making at the university’s Jacobs School of Music. All I had wanted to do was make a good enough instrument to get back to my class. Instead, I found my purpose. 

Luana Ribeira

Luana Ribeira is a best selling author, international speaker and host of business Innovators Radio.