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MMD > Archives > October 1997 > 1997.10.21 > 09Prev  Next

Piano Techs Work Hard !
By Joyce Brite

There have been several recent postings concerning problems which player
piano techs face, and how their good work is sometimes destroyed by the
piano owners, children, or tuners.  I thought you might enjoy a story
with a happy ending for a change.

Earlier this year, my player piano was needing some repair work and
tuning.  I was able to schedule a time with a friend of my father, who
has rebuilt and restored many players over the past 40 years.  He came to
my house, disassembled the player, showing me everything he was doing,
and explaining things as he went.  He regulated the piano, leveled the
keys, and replaced a broken wire.  He took the action home to his shop to
work on it there.

The piano needed a few minor replacement parts.  I happened to be going
to Wichita in a few days, so I picked them up at Player Piano Company
while I was there.  All of this repair work took place over the course of
a couple of weeks, but that was fine with me.  With each visit, we seized
the opportunity to chat about old times and catch up on recent events.
It was fun listening to his stories and memories.

With all the basic work done, it was time for the piano to be tuned.
There was never any question who the tuner would be.  We both knew who we
wanted from the start--the best tuner in town.  My piano tech/family
friend dropped the tuner off at my house, where he immediately set to work
tuning my piano.  He has tuned several pianos for my family over the
years, although none recently.  He could remember the characteristics,
conditions and locations of each of our pianos.

While he was talking, he recalled tuning a spinet piano that "was in that
room over there," pointing to his right.  I thought for a moment.  There
had not been a piano in that room for about 30 years -- but he remembered
it!  When he finished tuning my piano, it sounded fantastic!  But, fantas-
tic is the norm with him.  I paid the tuner the very same day and drove
him home to his apartment.

Did I mention that the tuner is blind?  His "disability" certainly has
not affected his tuning ability.  People don't hire him because they feel
sorry for a blind man.  They hire him because he does great tuning work.

I must admit though, when it came time to pay the piano technician, we
did have a disagreement about his fee.  I felt that he UNDERcharged me.
I insisted on paying more, and he certainly deserved it, but he wouldn't
hear of it.

End of story:  My player piano is repaired, tuned and working fine, and
everyone was promptly paid the amount they asked for.  Piano repair,
restoration and tuning doesn't need to be a frustrating experience.  It's
possible to satisfy all parties involved.

Does anyone else have positive experiences they would like to share?

Joyce Brite
Kansas State University

Football scores:  Kansas State: 36, Texas A&M: 17.   Go 'Cats!

(Message sent Tue 21 Oct 1997, 20:28:21 GMT, from time zone GMT-0500.)

Key Words in Subject:  Hard, Piano, Techs, Work

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