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Piano Repair Technician  What They Do

Just the Facts

Insider Info

dotPiano repair technicians keep us in tune with the sound of music. Sometimes referred to as the "unseen artists," these musically minded technicians maintain, repair, rebuild and tune pianos. They fix or replace broken keys, strings, action parts and soundboards.

Sometimes it's necessary to bring the piano to the shop, but for the most part the technician will travel to the piano, so a certain amount of travel is required. They spend time in their clients' homes, or wherever else you might find a piano.

The Piano Manufacturers Association International says a new piano should be tuned three times during its first year of use. "If a piano is allowed to stand for long periods of time without service, it will go further and further out of tune," the association warns.

"More time and expense will be required to achieve an accurate tuning."

dotPaul A. Brown, a registered piano technician (RPT), notes that piano technology isn't regulated. "Many hobbyists go out and buy books on tuning and try tuning immediately, without any formal training. There are thousands of these people out there. One must always look for qualifications when hiring a tuner. Usually, if they have documents showing they are members of the Piano Technicians Guild, that is universally acceptable."

dotPiano technicians can work a 40-hour week or a 20-hour week. A lot depends on a technician's clientele and contacts. Since most are self-employed, marketing skills are necessary to build a successful business.

At a Glance

Keep pianos in good condition

  • Pianos should be properly tuned at least three times in the first year of use
  • Most repairers are self-employed
  • You'll need two or three years of study and hands-on experience