The postings about piano disasters reminds me of something we did in
Piano Tuning & Repair school:
Probably the most frustrating thing I ever tried to learn was how to
tune a piano. It is SO easy to be off a bit early on, and not notice
it until you've spent a lot of time tuning in error. I was not the
only student at the school who found learning to tune frustrating.
Evidently several former students also experienced frustration, as the
practice room walls had lots of little holes punched in them by tuning
At any rate, several of us were having a particularly bad time of it,
and a sort of mob sensibility took over. After obtaining permission,
we pushed about 4 or 5 junked pianos off a loading dock! These were
pianos that were beyond even an attempt at repair, so the loss was
insignificant to the school, but it sure made several student tuners
feel a lot better!
Something I enjoy asking older tuners is "What is the most interesting
thing you've found in a piano? My favorite answer comes from one of my
teachers: a complete set of toy china. The lady had them as a little
girl, and she decided the piano would be her dishwasher. 30 years
later, the "dishwasher" was opened up and she got back her toy china
-- and they weren't even clean!
Bryan S. Cather