For 30 years, violin-maker Tom Verdot has seen no need to reinvent the wheel in an occupation that has been around for 400 years. But last spring he decided the time was right to have an apprentice. Verdot is teaching the centuries-old practice of building violins in the Amati tradition, a style that originated in Cremona, Italy and set the standard for quality. Vanessa Markley is the second apprentice Verdot has trained. "She's bright, personable and very, very dedicated," said Verdot. She's in the first of an indefinite number of years that are required to become a maker. As he works, Verdot explains violin theory, history and technique that has been passed down through maker to apprentice. "I don’t see much changing much in the next few decades.” What makes a violin great, said Verdot, is a mixture of the procedure, environment, and a little bit of magic.