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How do you become a piano technician? (Read 6359 times)

Offline faulty_damper

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How do you become a piano technician?
« on: May 22, 2004, 02:19:19 PM »
How does one go about becoming a piano technician?  And how long does it take?

Offline CPS_Pianotek

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Re: How do you become a piano technician?
«Reply #1 on: May 22, 2004, 11:31:42 PM »
Well, the best way to go about it is to apprentice with an accomplished piano technician/rebuilder, join the piano technicians guild, take piano technology seminars and go to PTG conventions, go to piano technology schools, work in piano stores, read everything on tuning and tech work that you can... and basically eat/breathe/sleep/pianos.  

I've been studying piano technology and been working full time in the industry for over 7 years. I paid my dues working on the floor as a top consultant of one of the largest and most prestigious piano houses in the world -ultimately resigning to start my own piano service company earlier this year.

Becoming a good piano technician is a serious undertaking - both from a time standpoint and financially.  As for how long... like learning to play the piano... it never ends.  A good bench mark to shoot for though is R.P.T. (Registered Piano Technician) status in the the PTG. It has taken me 7 years of industry experience and 3 years of constant study and tech work to prepare for my exams (the last of which I will be taking in July).

It isn't a job - it's a way of life. My suggestion if you are interested is to contact your local chapter of the PTG and inquiring about attending a meeting.

R.Cromwell


Offline faulty_damper

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Re: How do you become a piano technician?
«Reply #2 on: May 23, 2004, 01:35:26 PM »
So will becoming a piano technician interfere with practice of the piano?

And how much can one expect to earn from his skills?

Offline CPS_Pianotek

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Re: How do you become a piano technician?
«Reply #3 on: May 24, 2004, 01:52:45 AM »
To be honest... I spend far more time inside of other people's pianos than I do practicing on my own.  But I still play quite a bit.  

As for income potential... let me put it this way, if you are the greatest piano tech in the world but are a poor business man you won't make much.  If you are organized, and you network and advertise, establish a good reputation for high quality work, expand and grow your business's offered services as well as refine your professional skills... you can make quite a "comfortable" living.

-RC

Offline faulty_damper

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Re: How do you become a piano technician?
«Reply #4 on: May 25, 2004, 02:33:42 AM »
Then I'm on my way to owning the New York Yankees! ;D  I'm kidding.

What's the difference between a certified PT and a registered PT?

And if I may ask you, what were the reasons you became a piano technician?

Offline CPS_Pianotek

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Re: How do you become a piano technician?
«Reply #5 on: May 25, 2004, 03:46:27 AM »
A "Certified" technician is a tech that has gone through training and subsequently received a certificate from a piano technology institution or program.

A registered piano technican is a membership classification in the piano technicians guild that has passed three rigorous exams. The first is a written exam covering many different facets of piano technology. Then there is a technical exam, and a tuning exam. You are judged to a high standard when you are an R.P.T.

As for why I became a piano technician.  I have been playing the piano for over 23 years. I grew up at the keyboard and had always marveled at its complex mechanics and craftsmanship. I went on to play in bands in college where I majored in Music Technology and Jazz Studies.  During this time I was also offered a position as a consultant at the exclusive Steinway dealer here in Michigan.  I had an office in their flagship store in one of the wealthiest counties in the world. I started to get involved with tech work because of my background with music technology and recording arts.  I also quickly realized that to sell pianos they need to sound and play at their best, so I worked very closely (and became friends with) the extremely talented technical staff that worked for my firm.  After years of working in the sales department and selling millions of dollars worth of instruments, I decided that I wanted to change gears and dedicate my time fully to pursueing a career in piano service & rebuilding... (best decision I ever made!!!)

R.C.

Offline faulty_damper

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Re: How do you become a piano technician?
«Reply #6 on: May 25, 2004, 04:07:18 AM »
Thanks for answering my questions.  I checked the ptg.org website and there's a local chapter right here in San Francisco.

Are there any books that you recommend that are excellent resources about tuning and maintenance?  I started tuning my own piano not too long ago.  And I hate the heavy action of my Yamaha.  Maybe I'll be able to 'fix' that.