Classes

   
 
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Key:    (E)  Everyone   (B) Basic Level  (I) Intermediate Level  (A) Advanced Level

ACTION REGULATION

(E) Action Centers: The Secret to Consistent Touch
Don Mannino, RPT, Kawai America
NEW
This class is divided into two parts within the one class session. The first focuses on conceptualizing action center operation and service, and the second demonstrates an efficient and highly accurate method for recentering using sized broaches. The discussion will include evaluating the amount of friction needed for any given action part, the effects of pinning on touch and tone, and dealing with the various types of bushing cloths encountered.

(A) Advanced Vertical Regulation
Keith Bowman, RPT & Mike Carraher, RPT, Hailun
This comprehensive, advanced class reviews action diagnostics and regulation theory with various models and at the piano. We’ll demonstrate new tools and procedures for optimal regulation. We’ll also cover damper regulation, diagnostics, felt replacement and trapwork. Conditional issues that require reconditioning or parts replacement will be included, along with new fixtures not previously demonstrated.

(E) The Catcher and the Fly
Dale Probst, RPT, Central Oklahoma Chapter
Explore action regulation beyond the usual steps. Many times only a few adjustments need to be made to make the action perform better but which ones when? By contrasting the use of the back check and jack in vertical and grand actions, we learn how to effectively transfer regulation skills from one action to the other. Efficient and speedy regulation results from knowing what to adjust and when.

(I, A) Grand Damper Regulation
Eric Schandall, RPT, New York City Chapter
Dampers must work in a number of ways, in appearance and in function. When confronted with dampers that do neither, having a systematic approach makes it possible for them to function well. Discover a system that can work for you. We’ll discuss sostenuto regulation, and problem solving for dampers that are difficult to make-work well, along with new damper felt installation.

(E) Grand Damper System Repair and Regulation
Don Mannino, RPT, Kawai America
NEW
Don unravels the mysteries of servicing damper systems in Kawai grand pianos and other similarly designed pianos. View a demonstration of damper tray block replacement and service, regulating the damper lift from the key and from the pedal, regulating the sostenuto, plus much more!  Included is a demonstration of trimming trichord wedges to reduce noise when lifting. If you’ve had difficulties working on grand dampers, don’t miss this class!

(I, A) Grand Regulation Actionpalooza
Rick Baldassin, RPT & Carl Teel, Renner USA
This hands-on class combines the popular Are You Regulationally Challenged? and Are You Still Regulationally Challenged? classes into an all-day experience. Students will first work in small groups to diagnose problems on a series of action models, and then the solutions to the problems will be presented. Each student will then regulate a PTG test model according to a step-by-step procedure, and his or her work will be checked for accuracy. This will be an intense day, but the instructors will make it fun.
Pre-registration required. No fee. Materials and tools will only be provided for 30 participants, but observers are welcome.

(E) I Hate to Level Keys Klass NEW
Mike Reiter, RPT, WisMinnIa Chapter
After 42 years, Mike has finally learned the “joy” of leveling keys. With the right equipment and techniques you too can achieve that one plane look to the keys that we all work on. It leads to better appearance and is surely the basis of great regulation. The class will take you through some improved techniques to help save some time and aggravation and lead you to that truly “pro” look to your key work.

 (E) Relentless Repetition, Relentless Repetition, Relen......
Mike Reiter, RPT, WisMinnIa Chapter
NEW
After this class, you will be able to see an improvement in rapidly repeating notes on grand actions using normal regulation methods. We will take time to explore the ins and outs of some of the finer points of regulation and where the action loses the ability to reset before the key returns to the rest point. There will be some hands-on work as well. Bring your tools please. 

(E) Showroom Preparation of New Grand Pianos
Joe Swenson, Samick
NEW
Focusing on new showroom grand pianos, we’ll cover elements of tuning, regulation, and voicing arranged in a way that will provide an efficient (and economical) plan for enhancing the musical value of any grand piano. Special emphasis is given to diagnosing and correcting regulation issues, with an eye toward consistency of touch.

BUSINESS & NETWORKING

(E) The Business of Concert Work
Kathy Smith, RPT, Los Angeles, CA Chapter
This class is for anyone who ever services a performance piano, whether in a church, recital hall, teaching studio or large venue. The class is half business and half tips-and-tricks. Other great classes cover full concert setup, but this one concentrates on additional details not commonly discussed (such as billing styles, repairs, maintenance) gleaned from 35 years of experience. Many photos and examples are included, especially of tips and unusual problem solving.

(E) Escape the Double Helix Trap and Boost Your Sales. NEW 
Barry Moltz
When business is booming sales and marketing efforts are ignored. Then, business slows down and attention goes back to sales and marketing. Learn how to grow a small business by tossing out the old paradigms and traditional sales techniques through an easy to follow step-by-step guide. 

General Session:
(E) Getting your Small Business Unstuck  NEW
Barry Moltz
You wake every morning feeling like you are on a never-ending hamster wheel. You and your business are literally stuck.  You keep looking for that magic bullet that will be “the tipping point” to take it to the next level. You are not alone. Come find out how to get unstuck.

(E) Gut Taxes? NEW
John Gallen, Connecticut Chapter
So ...you filed your taxes. Did you claim everything to which you were entitled? What can you do to change it? You put a sign on your car. Can you deduct all your mileage? What about health care? Will you ever retire? Let’s find some answers.

(E) How to Outsource to Build Your Business NEW 
Barry Moltz
To build a profitable business, you can't be the only person at your company. This session will show how and when to outsource some of the tasks to increase your profit... And free time. 

(E) The Piano Appraisal: Methods and IRS Forms
Kurt Weissman, RPT,
NEW
Southeastern Pennsylvania Chapter

Take a closer look at appraising pianos and what’s involved in doing it thoroughly. Learn about the necessary IRS forms you’ll need as well as a variety of resources that you’ll find useful. Let’s stop winging it and get some facts. Open discussion at the end.

(E) Pricing Piano Service
Dale Probst, RPT, Central Oklahoma Chapter
Explore a skill that is indispensable in developing a successful piano service business. Unfortunately, this critical segment of our craft continues to be mysterious, misunderstood and even ignored. Learn how to count the costs in your business, determine a fair price for value delivered, and to balance work with life.

(E) Things All Piano Technicians Should Know
John Parham, RPT, Charlotte, NC Chapter
NEW
Are you really listening to what the piano has to say? This interactive visual presentation includes a wide variety of discussion opportunities using images and video.  Come find out if you can figure out “What’s wrong with this picture?” or “What’s causing this sound?”

(E) What Makes You Different
Michael Lipnicki, RPT, Calgary, AB Chapter
With the advent of ETD’s, just doing a good tuning is not enough. Learn what you can do to increase your demand and community profile. These are tried and tested methods that will work for you if you want to increase business and profitability.

(E) Women’s Forum on the Piano Tech Profession
Ricki Klos, RPT, Ft. Worth, TX Chapter

Take advantage of this opportunity to talk with women (newcomers and veterans) in the field of piano technology in a round-table format. Explore opportunities, challenges, resources, and feedback of our experience in this unique profession. Share, learn, give and receive your thoughts and ideas about this business. Men are welcome!

(E) You Need to Be a Little Crazy: The Truth About Starting and Growing Your Own Business NEW 
Barry Moltz
The best way to debunk myths about start-up business is to tell the truth: You have to be crazy to start a business. Entrepreneurs live at the complex intersection of business, financial health, physical well-being, spiritual wholeness and family life.  Tidbits of insight will vaporize isolation, encourage self-reflection and refresh the spirit of anyone running their own business.

 

College & University Technicians (CAUT)

(E) CAUT Forum
David Pritchard, RPT, Roanoke, VA Chapter

The CAUT Forum is a chance to discuss issues pertaining to being a piano technician in a college or university setting. If you currently work in an institutional setting, whether on-staff or under contract, then this is for you! Or, if you don’t currently work on pianos at a college or university, but would like to, please join us!

(E) No Shop, No Worries NEW
Lucy Urlacher, RPT, Columbia, MO Chapter

Take a look at piano maintenance in an institutional setting that doesn’t have a shop, something useful for the non-institutional piano technician as well. We will look at use of space for storage and activities, as well as maintaining a piano at its location. Our discussion will include items that need to be considered for successful piano work “on location” including parts replacement, restringing, key rebushing, repairs, and regulation.

(I, A) Servicing the Celesta NEW
Christian Kamm, Schiedmayer Celesta GmbH

Learn basic regulation and helpful troubleshooting skills advice in this hands-on workshop. We will focus on general action regulation of the celesta, sound-related regulation, intonation tips, pedal (sustain pedal) fixing, potential troubleshooting issues, and useful tools.

DESIGN & HISTORY

(E) The Evolution of the Piano: A Collaboration Across Space and Time NEW
Alan Eder, RPT, Los Angeles, CA Chapter

We start at the beginning of time and make an epic journey that is trans-national, trans-millennial, even trans-species in its scope, examining the parallel development of weapons and musical instruments. Sumptuous visuals, high-fidelity audio and your participation help us place the piano in the context of history’s greatest inventions.

(I, A) Spectral Analysis of Piano Sounds NEW
Del Fandrich, RPT, Puget Sound, WA Chapter & David Koenig, Southern Tier, NY Chapter
Based on the new book “Spectral Analysis of Music Sounds with Emphasis on the Piano,” this class introduces a number of practical techniques that can be used to analyze piano tone. Included are spectral representations of real-world piano sounds. Many of these will be recorded and analyzed in the class.

(E) Woods of the Piano
Shawn Hoar, Connecticut Chapter

At the end of this class you'll have a greater understanding of the specialty woods of piano making. Learn more about wood choices acoustically, structurally and aesthetically. We'll talk about covering rims, piano backs, pinblocks, soundboards, ribs, bridges, keybeds, keyframes, keys to action parts, lids, legs, lyres, desks, rests, and panels. Includes a shop tour of Shawn's tools and technology.

HEALTH

(E) Eyeglasses for Close-up Work NEW
Robert Scott, Twin Cities, MN Chapter


Avoid headaches, neck pain, and eyestrain by using eyeglasses that are best suited for your eyes and your work. We calculate prescriptions to select off-the-shelf reading glasses, or to order custom prescription lenses, both locally and through on-line suppliers.

(E) Lifting Stuff NEW
Kathy Smith, RPT, Los Angeles, CA Chapter
Piano technicians need to lift stuff pretty often. It impresses clients when you can work independently, not needing help lifting actions, corners of pianos for caster and leg repair, and so on. There are many ways to use mechanical advantage - or at least safe body mechanics - to get the tasks accomplished without damage to piano, home, client, or body. Even your own tool cases can cause repetitive injury. We’ll present some common needs and situations with many photos, demonstrations and ideas, plus some class participation for those who desire it.
 

LEADERSHIP & CHAPTER DEVELOPMENT

(E) Chapter Leader Forum
Ricki Klos, RPT, Ft. Worth, TX Chapter

Wanted! Past, present, and future chapter leaders. Join in a dialogue with others about what works and what doesn’t for your chapter. We all have chapter challenges and successes, and this is a forum for bringing ideas to the table, asking for advice, and getting motivated!

MINI TECHNICALS

(B) Mutes - Don’t Take Them for Granted
Michael Lipnicki, RPT, Calgary, AB Chapter
NEW
Mutes are made of different materials and have different functions. Learn how to choose them, and use them to the best advantage and in the right place at the right time.

(I, A) Steam Voicing
Dale Probst, RPT, Central Oklahoma
Changing hammer tone with water and heat can be controversial. Learn and see more about a method that has been successful for two decades. Class participation is welcome.

PLAYERS

(E) More Disklavier for the 21st Century
Bill Brandom, RPT, Yamaha Corp. of America
Yamaha is at the forefront of the sound reproduction industry, and that includes the industry as it relates to pianos. In this class we will show you our latest products, and give you the information you need to service these amazing instruments. We believe that the piano industry has a very bright future indeed, and we are doing all we can to keep this instrument at work in music.

(E) The New Steinway & Sons Spirio NEW
Glen Bingham, Steinway & Sons
Spirio Chief Technician Glen Bingham will demonstrate the system’s playback and custom iPad app, share music library highlights and present a service overview. Don’t miss this exclusive look at Steinway & Sons first NEW product in over 70 years. The new Steinway & Sons SPIRIO is a high-resolution player piano that provides a musical experience indistinguishable from a live performance. Spirio utilizes a proprietary, high-resolution recording system that uniquely measures hammer velocity and proportional pedaling to unlock the Steinway & Sons experience. 

(E) What’s New at PianoDisc
Mark Burgett, PianoDisc
Learn more about the release of the new PianoDisc CPU with wireless MIDI (Bluetooth), new apps and updates for ProRecord and PD iQ player systems.

REBUILDING & SHOP

(I, A) A Cure For Your Bad Back (Action)
Rick Baldassin, RPT, Renner USA
NEW
Explore the evolution of the damper or back action in a Steinway piano by comparing it to other damper actions that have been used over the years. Learn how you can select from the three damper actions now offered by Renner and how to retrofit the new damper action into the piano.

(E) Action Rebuilding, A Collaborative Approach
Melanie Brooks, Allan Day, RPT
& John Gallen, Brooks LTD
NEW
Independent technicians have a portfolio of quality parts and services available on the market to produce a high-end action rebuild, but parts selection can be confusing. How do we determine what is right for us as technicians while meeting the needs of the pianist, the piano and the platform in which it is played?  Join us in a collaborative discussion between technician and supplier that will give you the confidence to determine what to use on your next action rebuild.

(E) All About Hammers
Norbert Abel, Abel Hammer Company
What raw material is used to make good hammer felt? How is hammer felt made? What is the difference between quality felt and standard felt? With the use of live videos and visuals, you’ll learn the process of felt making and take a tour through the Abel Hammer factory in Germany. In addition, Norbert will teach the basics about weight, voicing, elasticity, and hardness in hammers.

(I, A) Approaches to Restoring Early Square Pianos NEW
Thomas Strange, Easley, South Carolina
Discover the unique construction practices generally found in the early piano, primarily square pianos made in the 19th century. You’ll learn how to diagnose the failure mechanisms and scope out the work required, and find resources to draw from in either recommending a professional restorer or attempting to service the instrument yourself. This will include resource individuals to consult about specific problems and required materials.

(E) The Art of Piano Making NEW
Shawn Hoar, Connecticut Chapter

Take a visual tour of Shawn's shop as he shares 35 years of custom tools and technology. We'll cover fitting the soundboard and pinblock with routers, stretcher removal, and rebuilding and replacement. We'll discuss fitting the plate and a unique approach to setting acoustic dowel. Don't miss a chance to see Shawn's custom piano paint room and set up.

(I, A) Bellyman’s Holiday NEW
Ken Eschete, RPT, Puget Sound, WA Chapter


This all day hands-on class for rebuilders covers the three elements of Bellyman work: replacing pin blocks, recapping bridges and making soundboards. Each of the three sections will be covered by a detailed visual presentation, and followed by actual work using models and practice jigs. You should bring bridge notching tools if you have them. Limit 25 participants. You must pre-register for this class. Fee: $99.00

(I) European-style Grand Pinblock Replacement
Christian Bolduc, Pianos Bolduc
Replacing the pinblock in a grand piano can be quite awkward when a solid piece is inlayed in the structure on both sides of the case.  In this class, Christian will show how to handle a Bechstein grand piano pinblock.

(E) New Hammers - Do It Yourself or Outsource
Norbert Abel, Abel Hammer Company
Whether doing all hammer replacement by yourself or outsourcing some jobs, it is important as a technician to use your time efficiently to improve business and optimize your work. Norbert talks about unbored (for self boring), standard bored and custom-made hammers. We’ll also cover refelting existing hammers and making square grand hammers. 30 years of quality hammer making allows the Abel Hammer Company to offer expert advice and full service for all technicians.

(I) Practical Touchweight Analysis (Kiss Your Weight Problems Goodbye)
Melanie Brooks, Allan Day, RPT
& John Gallen, Brooks LTD

Discover a practical approach to touchweight and its use in grand hammer and action parts replacement. This class will provide you with the proper technical knowledge of weight measurements and parts selection and their effects on tone and touch in the grand piano action. We will also discuss using pre-hung hammers

(E) Prince Albert’s Erard: Restorative Conservation of a Royal’s Piano NEW
Ken Eschete, RPT, Puget Sound, WA Chapter
& John Watson, Curator, Colonial Williamsburg    

“Conservation Guidelines for Historic Pianos” was recently published by the PTG Foundation in the Piano Technicians Journal (December, 2014.) This class uses the Smithsonian’s restoration of the Prince Albert Erard to illustrate these guidelines. John Watson, Curator of Instruments at Colonial Williamsburg and the author of the guidelines will co-present the class.

(B) Recapping the Vertical Bass Bridge Without Removing the Plate
Christian Bolduc, Pianos Bolduc
Learn an easy way to replace split bridge caps on uprights without using epoxy or other glues to fix bridge pin problems. Learn how to build a jig over the plate to remove the old cap and glue the new one. This technique can also be applied to grand pianos. A DVD of this class will be available.

(E) The Resurrection of A-2 #106560 NEW
David Hughes, RPT, Baltimore, MD Chapter

Learn how this Steinway parlor grand from 1903 was transformed from a litter box for feral cats into what you’ll see before you. In addition to the ghastly blow-by-blow, we’ll cover plate refinishing, hitch pin and agraffe replacement, the making of master bridge templates, gluing in those pesky soundboard quarter-round moldings, and other fun rebuilding procedures. Hazmat suits are thankfully no longer required for this class.

(I) Virtual Shop Tour NEW
Tim Farley, Madison, WI Chapter

View a virtual workshop tour showing the complete restoration of a Steinway grand. You will see soundboard crowning, bridge notching, pin block installation, down bearing adjustment, touchweight, etc. There are five technicians working under Tim’s direction and you will have a bird’s eye view of each technician’s specialty.

(I, A) Working with Abel Hammers
Joe Swenson, Samick & Norbert Abel, Abel Piano Hammer Company
Learn to judge the tonal differences inherent in distinct types of Abel hammers. Information gained in this class will help you decide which hammers are appropriate for an action rebuilding job, as well as establishing voicing techniques that will help in the service of the many piano brands currently using Abel hammers. We’ll start with a presentation covering the piano hammer manufacturing process and materials used in three separate types of Abel hammers. We’ll then demonstrate a variety of voicing procedures using examples of these various types of hammers, which have all been installed on a section of a single piano. This set-up will help highlight the various tonal characteristics, and voicing requirements, of the different types of hammers. Bring your questions!

(I) WNG Damper Action
Bruce Clark, Wessel, Nickel & Gross
This two-period class covers everything you need to know to install a WNG Damper Action into your piano. You'll learn about  the tools needed to install a WNG Damper Action and find out how to tell if the WNG Damper Action will go into your piano, select the options you need, arrive at a scale stick for the damper action, drill and tap the rails, assemble the damper action and travel the damper action.

SERVICE & REPAIR

(E) Agraffe Repair, Drilling, and Replacement
Chris Purdy, RPT, Nashville, TN Chapter
NEW
We’ll cover methods of broken agraffe removal, new agraffe replacement, and also demonstrate how to drill out difficult-to-remove agraffes to accommodate threaded repair sleeves.

(E) Bending Grand Damper Wires NEW
Rick Butler, RPT, Washington, DC Chapter

Learn how to take a damper head with wire attached, glue on the damper felt, and install the damper into the piano.. A slide/video presentation will cover all the basic bends and you’ll have an opportunity to immediately apply the instructions presented in the video presentation. There will be several instructors to assist you as needed. Each individual will have a one note damper assembly to work with. You must bring your own tools: a pair of needle nose pliers, a small straight screwdriver, and a pair of bending pliers.
No pre-registration required, but models will only be provided for the first 30 students to walk in the door. Observers welcome.

(E) Competency & Proficiency Playground
Bill Davis, RPT; Gabe Granitz, RPT; & Sheffey Gregory, RPT, Atlanta, GA Chapter

Thirteen workstations provide video instruction that allows individuals to understand and practice specific skills in an environment that promotes success. String splicing, making clean and tight coils and beckets, hammer traveling, damper alignment, vertical and grand aftertouch, bushing and repinning and making good measurements are all presented in a step by step manner that students can practice and emulate. All tools and materials provided. The Playground is available all day. Stay five minutes or all day. Chapter leaders are encouraged to learn how to participate.

(E) Dampp-Chaser Care and Feeding
Kelly Hollifield  & Charles Rempel , Dampp-Chaser Corp.
Learn more about the care and maintenance of the Piano Life Saver System for the beginner and advanced technician. We’ll discuss some new and revised components you may not have seen yet. The more you have installed the more you will learn.

(E) The Jansen Artist Bench
Bruce Stevens, RPT, South Bay, CA Chapter
During the first half of the class, you will see a fast-paced, detailed visual presentation on what is involved in the repair and service of this world-renowned artist bench. In the second half of the class, Bruce will present an actual demonstration of these procedures. Each attendee will leave the class equipped with a detailed handout of the service procedures.

(E) Lacquer Finish Repair
Ruth Zeiner, RPT, Allied Piano
View a demonstration of the touch-up of traditional finishes. Discover how to make repairs and de-gunk the finish.  Burn-ins, color matching, pigments vs. dyes and other subjects will be covered.  Bring your questions.

(E) Low Country Piano Technician NEW
Jim Kelly, Palmetto, SC Chapter
In this class we explore the challenges of piano service in coastal South Carolina. Memorable service calls and slides will make the class interesting. Learn about tools, instruments, procedures and techniques used for piano field service to schools, churches, concert venues and residential clients. Takeaway will be a checklist and resource list valuable for any situation.

(E) Make It Shine
Ruth Zeiner, RPT, Allied Piano
Having the skills to cope with scratches, dings and gouges in glossy finishes enhances your value to your customers. Many nicks and scratches are easy to repair with minimal material investment. Repairs, sanding out scratches, and polishing will be demonstrated and discussed.

(E) Service Issues: Bösendorfer Now and Then
Ray Chandler, RPT, & Ferdinand Brau, Bösendorfer
Bösendorfer has a history of piano building dating back to 1828. Some design features have changed over the years and replacement parts for many older models are no longer available. We will identify some of the major changes in construction over the years, and demonstrate service and procedural approaches for these instruments.

(E) Technical News and Updates from Steinway & Sons NEW
Kent Webb, Steinway & Sons
There are always ongoing refinements and changes occurring to pianos that affect the way we service them. Up-to-date knowledge of these changes helps us to perform better service and provide more accurate information to our customers and peers. We’ll discuss recent changes to the Steinway piano (and Boston and Essex) as time allows. There will also be ample time for questions and answers.

(E) The Turn of the Screw NEW
Dan Levitan, New York City Chapter
Compiled with an attention to detail worthy of Henry James, this compendium of dozens of piano-related fastener problems and solutions—ranging from bulletproof field repairs for stripped screw holes to tips for tightening inaccessible spinet hammer flanges—will both alert you to hidden pitfalls, and spark your creativity in seemingly intractable situations.

(E) Working Smarter
David Durben, RPT, Yamaha Corp. of America
Effective efficiency is a great start, but we need to dig a bit deeper. In this class we will show methods and more about how to get a piano into proper shape for just about any use. When we’re done, you will not only know how to do the work, but also how to sell the work.

TUNING

(E) About Aural Tuning NEW
Rick Butler, RPT, Washington, DC Chapter

This two-period class includes a discussion and demonstration of interval relationships used in aural tuning and particularly how we should listen to those intervals. Learn how to use them as analytical tools. View a demonstration of how to establish a foundation for the temperament, then tune a temperament, and expand the interval relationships established within the temperament to the bass and treble of the piano.

(E) Advanced Topics in Tuning Stability NEW
Steve Brady, RPT, Seattle, WA Chapter
Learn techniques and strategies you can apply before, during, and after a tuning to ensure the best stability possible. Considering the challenges presented by the various tuning characteristics of different pianos, we’ll take a look at the usefulness of different techniques within the framework of the “Theory of Reactivity.”

 (E) Aurally Troubleshooting the Midrange: An Organized Strategy
Mitch Kiel, RPT & Mary Kiel, RPT,
Twin Cities, MN Chapter

A temperament sequence is only the first step in creating a good aural tuning. More important and challenging (but unfortunately more neglected) is the next step: refining your tuning by finding and fixing the errors inevitable in every first pass. Focusing on the midrange, we’ll demonstrate a simple five-step troubleshooting process that will help you stay organized and prioritized. Class handouts will include a Connected Interval Visualizer that graphically illustrates the all-important Big Picture – how retuning a single note simultaneously affects the beat speeds of its 3rds, 4ths, 5ths and octaves. Aural tuning is mostly mental, so our goal is to help you learn to think like an experienced aural tuner – and ultimately pass Part 1 of the RPT Tuning Exam, aurally tuning the midrange.

(E) Mock Exams: The Ultimate Tuning Exam Prep Tool
Mitch Kiel, RPT & Mary Kiel, RPT,
Twin Cities, MN Chapter

Aural tuning is in decline because ETDs have become so smart. Ironically, ETDs are also the best aural teaching tool you never knew you had. Mock Exams uses the RPT Tuning Exam scoring program already included in most ETDs to provide you with a free, easy, and accurate way to score your aural practice tunings and track your (increasing!) aural tuning skills. In this class, you’ll learn how to give yourself (or your student!) a Mock Exam, hear the difference between the sound of a tuning that passes or fails the exam, aurally troubleshoot and repair points-off scoring errors, and reverse-engineer your score sheet’s numbers to predict the sound of problem intervals.

(I, A) Music of the Spheres NEW
Daniel Sponenburg, RPT,
Reading-Lancaster, PA Chapter

There is harmony in music, but also in matter, in motion, and within humans. This class explores the mathematics of harmony, ancient concepts of harmony and the aural experience of modern versus ancient harmony.

(E) Passing Part 1 of the Tuning Exam
Bill Bremmer, RPT, Madison, WI Chapter
Get a head start on preparing for the RPT Tuning Exam. Content includes Pitch, the advantages and disadvantages of using a tuning fork or electronic tone, and Temperament and Midrange, avoiding the cumulative errors of a 4th and 5th sequence. You’ll learn how to set an initial chain of Contiguous Major Thirds easily and accurately, along with two alternatives for completing the sequence. Numerous checks are demonstrated.

(E) The Piano Is Talking To You—Learn to Listen To It! NEW
Larry Crabb, RPT, Atlanta, GA Chapter
Learn about Larry’s tuning procedure (as taught to his students) and an accumulation of tuning tests (and how to use them) learned over the past 41 years from the great piano tuners who have taught at PTG conventions. Beginning, intermediate and advanced tuners are all welcome to attend. Maybe you will learn something new and confirm the use of what you are already doing. The piano tells you what it needs, so come learn how to listen to what it wants!

(A) The Sound of Your Tuning NEW
Don Mannino, RPT, Kawai America
An overview of tuning style and sound, with discussion how the piano tone is affected by temperament types, octave stretch, and stability.  The interaction of octave tuning on temperament sound and overall piano tone is demonstrated and discussed in depth.  Octave tuning styles are demonstrated and explained with both aural and electronic verification, along with a practical aural approach to stretching the octaves, fitting the tuning to the piano, and applying your individual style to the piano tuning.

(E) Tuning a Harpsichord NEW
Fred Sturm, RPT, New Mexico Chapter
Discover the basics of harpsichord tuning. View layouts and instrument designs you might encounter. We’ll talk about 4’, 8’ and 16’ registers, how the tuning pins are laid out, how to tune each register in turn, and also discuss the use of electronic devices versus aural tuning, the tools needed for the job, and some of the temperaments you might be asked for. If time permits we’ll take a brief look at replacing a string, and various troubleshooting techniques.

(E) Tuning Exam Trouble Spots NEW
RandyPotter, RPT, Portland, OR Chapter
Many examiners and examinees who fail the aural portion of the Tuning Exam actually passed the Temperament Octave (thirteen notes), but failed the eleven remaining Mid-Range notes. Learn why this happens, and how to tune smooth octaves - not just in the center - but also extending your good temperament into the treble and bass. It can work for you whether you use an ETD or tune strictly aurally.

(E) Tuning Limits of Piano Harmony NEW
Daniel Sponenburg, RPT,
Reading-Lancaster, PA Chapter

Craftsmen must know their material and it’s limitations, be it wood, stone, metal, clay or piano harmony. This class explores the tangible factors of piano harmony, which gives the tuning craftsman a clear understanding of the nature of their material.

(E) Tuning Tutoring
Taylor Mackinnon, RPT, Portland, OR Chapter &
Richard West, RPT, Tucson, AZ Chapter

There’s no better way to improve your tuning than one-on-one tutoring by a master tuner. Private tutoring will benefit you no matter what your skill level. With outstanding tuning tutors, you’ll find a universe of tuning knowledge to explore. This all takes place in a one-on-one format lasting 90 minutes. Limit of 18 slots.  You must pre-register for this class by calling (913) 432-9975.  Fee:  $120.00

(E) Where Are Those Beats?
Ward Guthrie, RPT, Montana Chapter
This class emphasizes aural skills and examines common temperament tests. What are beats? Where do beats come from? How do we use them? What are coincident partials? Why do proofs work? After your temperament is completed, how can you improve it?  You’ll learn a method that will improve an existing temperament.

ELECTRONIC TUNING DEVICES

(All on Thursday or Friday evening from 5:45 - 7 p.m.)

(E) Introduction to the SMARTER Reyburn CyberTuner for iPhone/iPod/iPad
Dean Reyburn, RPT & Carl Lieberman, RPT,
Reyburn CyberTuner, Inc.

In this class we will be using the NEW iRCT for Apple iOS. We quickly cover RCT basics, and then demonstrate how to use RCT’s Smart Partials analyzing a piano’s inharmonicity to create smoother transitions at the breaks. We also explore basics such as quick, accurate pitch raises, and converging the ear’s aural preferences with a machine’s digital decision-making using iRCT’s Custom Equalizer and Pianalyzer tools.

(E) TuneLab for Android and iPhone
Robert Scott, RealTime Specialties
This class covers all the basic features of TuneLab from a beginner’s perspective, including how to use the Phase Display and Spectrum Display, normal tuning procedures, pitch-raise mode, tuning to non-standard pitches, saving tuning files, and ways of customizing the stretch.

(E) Tuning with the Verituner
Dave Carpenter, RPT, Veritune, Inc.
See up close how to take advantage of the unique tuning features of the Verituner product line, including our app for iPhone, iPod and iPad. We will cover pitch raises, fine-tuning, setting standard pitch, temperament, stretch styles, and saving tunings. Learn the best practices for getting a great sounding tuning on any piano with the fewest steps.

(E) Using the Sanderson Accu-Tuner for Fun and Profit
Randy Potter, RPT, Inventronics
See how the Accu-Tuner can be used in daily tuning, in homes and on stage. Demonstrations will include pitch raising, tuning to non-standard pitches, floating the pitch, modifying the tuning “on the fly” to account for scaling changes throughout the piano while tuning, and diagnosing split/separated pin blocks, split bridges and cracked plates.

VOICING & CONCERT PREP

(E) Ear Training for Voicing Effectiveness NEW
Ari Isaac, Toronto, ON & Keith Akins, RPT,
Appleton, WI Chapter

Learn techniques designed not only to be easier and more effective, but that have been shown to provide much longer voicing stability and save a lot of time and effort. Once acquired, these techniques will unlock the secret of voicing any set of hammers to provide the best, most effective tonal result - even from the most resistant hammers. Hear a demonstration of advanced listening techniques essential for effective voicing. This will help you form a mental image of “ideal tone” which will give you a “target” or “point of reference” in voicing each individual piano. In addition, you’ll see a demonstration of advanced voicing techniques. For those interested, we’ll provide a hands-on opportunity to practice what we’ve presented. You’ll hear new details about hammer felt making and its effects on hammers and - consequently - its impact on voicing and piano tone.

(I) Grotrian Factory Tour and Voicing NEW
Michael Lipnicki, RPT & Don Glasgow, Grotrian Pianos
You’ll see a brief visual factory tour of the Braunschweig Grotrian factory followed by a demonstration and discussion of voicing techniques.

(E) How to Make a Piano Sing
David Andersen, South Bay, CA Chapter
When a good piano is brought to its maximum efficiency via regulation, tuning, and voicing, something magnificent happens; it starts to “sing,” to bloom, to sustain. Players start to smile, checks are written, everybody’s happy. If a piano technician can master these skills, success in our business is assured. We’ll be working with one of the finest pianos in the world, the Mason & Hamlin, and we’ll be paying special attention to the revolutionary and spectacular WNG parts, and how the whole M&H system works together, but the information presented applies to all pianos. Special and famous guests will appear.

(I, A) Voicing the Treble in Grand Pianos NEW
Eric Schandall, RPT, New York City Chapter
The treble in grand pianos can be the most difficult area to get right when it comes to the amount and quality of sound that is necessary for the music, the performer, and the technician. We’ll explore many techniques that will help you to develop the best sound possible in the treble of grand pianos.

(E) Voicing Tips and Techniques NEW
David Reed, RPT, Kawai America
Voicing is one aspect of piano work that many technicians fear, but it is essential for good tone. This class includes the basic principles through advanced techniques of voicing with in-depth descriptions and demonstrations of techniques and sounds. You’ll learn a great deal as the instructor draws on his extensive experience as a private technician as well as knowledge gained from working for multiple piano companies. Come hear him share the best way to achieve great results quickly and efficiently.

 (E) Voicing Tutoring
Rick Florence, RPT, Phoenix, AZ Chapter
Choose a) Thursday, Period 4 and Friday, Period 1 or b) Friday, Period 4 and Saturday, Period 1
Experience a hands-on exploration of voicing techniques. As no two pianos are identical, some procedures will be more effective than others with any given situation. This two-session class begins with demonstration of a number of voicing procedures and their possible effects on tone. The next day, a follow-up session will view what changes have occurred since the first session. Participants will then work as a team to troubleshoot a variety of voicing issues using the techniques learned the previous day. Tools will be provided.
Pre-registration required. Limit of 5 per session (10 total). Fee: $99.00

RPT EXAMS

Written

Introduction to the RPT Written Exam
Jack Stebbins, RPT & Robert Guenther, RPT
The Written Exam probes the depth of general knowledge in piano technology.  Using “The Written Exam: a Study Guide”, this class reviews a list of the facets of piano technology tested on the exam, including some sample questions.
For PTG Associate members only.

Take the RPT Written Examination
ETS Committee
This is your opportunity to take the RPT Written Exam. Examinees should come to the room indicated on the schedule. Visually impaired technicians will take their exams in the ETSC office. You must bring your current PTG membership card with you to take the exam. No extra fee required to take the written exam.
For PTG Associate members only.

Tuning

Inside the RPT Tuning Exam
Keith Kopp, RPT
You will be led through the requirements of the RPT Tuning Exam and an overview of exam equipment and procedures. Find out how to prepare for the exam, what tools and supplies you will need to bring to the exam site and what examinees are entitled to before, during and after the examination. Learn how to best utilize your time, improve efficiency and cope with exam anxiety, and other skills and strategies you need to successfully tackle the exam.
For PTG Associate members only.

Technical

Intro to the RPT Technical Exam
Dave Davis, RPT & Ed Sutton, RPT
You will be led through the requirements of the RPT Technical Exam and an overview of exam equipment and procedures. Find out how to prepare for the exam, what tools and supplies you will need to bring to the exam site and what examinees are entitled to before, during and after the examination. Learn how to best utilize your time, improve efficiency and cope with exam anxiety, and other skills and strategies you need to successfully tackle the exam.
For PTG Associate members only.

Examiner Training

Tuning Examiner and Assistant Training
Atsundo Aikawa, RPT
RPT certification is one of the most important things PTG offers to its members. However, it cannot be done without Certified Tuning Examiners (CTE). In this class we’ll discuss procedures for becoming a CTE, tips for passing the qualifications, and tips and pitfalls in administering a Tuning Exam with an emphasis on Aural Verification.
For RPT members only.

TEC - Technical Examiner Training
Dave Davis, RPT
Lead examiners on RPT Technical Exams must be certified as Technical Examiner, Certified (TEC) in order for the exam to be valid. We’ll discuss the certification requirements, demonstrate exam equipment and analyze the skills and attitudes required of a competent examiner, then talk about common exam problems and issues. All RPTs with an interest in Technical testing - veteran certified TECs, TEC trainees and RPTs just thinking about getting involved in testing - are invited to attend. 
For RPT members only.