Institute Classes


  Class Schedule  






(I, A) Action Regulation from the Pianists Perspective

Stephen Hopp, RPT, Ft. Worth, TX Chapter

Understand how pianists perceive touch. It's in the aftertouch. Come feel the "Goldilocks" aftertouch on a real piano and learn how to create the magic touch in a short time using a simple jig. Finally, clear up just what aftertouch is and when it's "just right".

(E) Finding Jack

Randi Potter, RPT, Randy Potter School of Piano Technology

The Jack is the key to everything in repetition. Jack tells us the thickness of back rail cloth, balance rail height, dimensions for key height and key dip. In grands it also tells us its relationship to the knuckle core, its height in the window and repetition spring tension to guarantee a consistent hammer line.

(B) Grand Damper Regulation in Everyday Service

Jim Busby, RPT, Utah Valley Chapter

Learn how to develop "a damper man's eye", and the basic "moves" to quickly and easily address most damper problems. This class is packed with information, in Jim's usual whirlwind approach, but it will also focus on three tools, with hands-on opportunities.

(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 after which 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. Limit 24 students. Pre-registration required. Fee: $60. Materials and tools will only be provided for 24 participants, but observers are welcome.

(I) Have Heat Gun, Will Travel

Wim Blees, RPT, Hawaii Chapter

Experience an in-depth discussion and demonstration on aligning, spacing, traveling, and burning grand and upright hammers and wippens.

(E) Mason & Hamlin Factory Grand Regulation with WNG Action Parts from the University Tech Perspective

Bruce Clark, Mason & Hamlin and Wessell, Nickel and Gross & Marvin Rus, RPT, Rochester, NY Chapter

This class will cover Mason & Hamlin factory procedures of action regulation. It will demonstrate proper tools, techniques and special jigs unique to the Mason & Hamlin Piano. This method gives the pianist a very uniform feel across the keyboard. Includes discussions of the composite actions with Marvin Rus.

(E) Upright Regulation: Max Results, Minimum Time

Don Mannino, RPT, Kawai America

We'll focus on the goals of regulation and how to fulfill them in the least amount of time. Covered will be how to make the piano work best within normal specifications, which tools to buy and which procedures to follow to insure the best results. This is an excellent opportunity for those who want to get a better handle on making vertical piano actions perform at their optimum while being as efficient and profitable as possible.


(E) Facebook Marketing for the Piano Technician

Torger Baland, RPT, Twin Cities, MN Chapter

Explore how to utilize Facebook marketing — from business page posts to creating ads that strike a chord with your intended audience to setting up campaigns, audience selection and targeting.

(A) Facebook Marketing for the Piano Technician - Advanced

Torger Baland, RPT, Twin Cities, MN Chapter

Confused by the choices that are out there? We will cover a variety of advanced topics including ad manager, campaign selection, post duplication, targeting, retargeting, content creation posts, marketing tactics and more.

(E) Gazelle - Save Time & Wow Your Customers

Timothy Barnes, RPT & Luke Ehresman, Gazelle

If you are trying to make a living as a piano technician in the 21st century, you need Gazelle, a comprehensive software that enables you to manage your business on the go. Learn how it will enable you to spend your time servicing pianos and caring for people rather than playing phone tag and doing office work.

(E) Gut Taxes

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? If you put a sign on your car, can you deduct all the mileage? What about health care? Will you ever retire? Let's find some answers.

(E) I Am Not a Geek, I Just Want to Use My Phone and Computer with Ease

Ron Berry, RPT, Indianapolis Chapter & Julie Berry

Your phone and computer can be powerful assistants if they are set up to meet your individual needs. In this class, learn how to get what you want out of your mobile phone and computer. Find out how to tame your screens and reduce your frustration. If you want just a few choices on your main screen, you can do that. We can help you figure out what you want these tools to do for you with checklists and discussion.

(E) Jumpstart your Business

Tim Barnes, RPT, Gazelle

Geared towards young businesses and new piano technicians, this class will teach you how to build your piano service business, avoid mistakes, and turn your ideas into a growing business.

(E) New Ways to Streamline Your Business with Technology

Ron Berry, RPT, Indianapolis, IN Chapter

We have a wide variety of technologies to help us manage our businesses. Ron keeps up to date on what you can use to keep your business efficient and secure. This is an overview of apps for customer records, invoicing, reminders, credit cards, mileage, banking, password management, and expenses. Wouldn't it be nice to have all your record keeping done by the time you leave your customer's home? How can you harness your computer to be more useful? Can technology help you communicate in another language with a customer who doesn't speak English? Come see what is possible.

(E) Piano Technician Project Manager

Matt Hirschfelder, Portland, OR Chapter

If you want a repair box of client jobs to do...this class is for you! Technicians will enhance their scope of organization from little to enormous projects. We will dive into sub-contracting for restoration companies, working with vendors and insurance companies, all while protecting your client’s valuable piano.

(E) RU Socially Secure?

John Gallen, Connecticut Chapter

Are you retired or thinking about retirement? When can you retire? How much will you get? Is there a limit on what you can earn? What if you keep working in retirement? These questions and more will be covered.

(E) Start Paying Yourself a Salary

Morgan Cowell, RPT, Nebraska Chapter

You've just been paid for your work. Now what? Finances keeping you up at night? Ever look at your bank account in horror wondering where all the money went? This class will discuss money management, paying yourself a consistent salary, cost analysis, and will take an in-depth look at several case studies.

(B) Who's Who in the Piano Industry

Ashley Turner, RPT, Washington, DC Chapter

Confused about who does what and what is built where? This class will help newcomers and others sort through the major players associated within the piano industry. Connect the dots between manufacturers, brands, and places of origin. Find out who are the parts and services suppliers most commonly used in the U.S.

(E) Women's Forum on Piano Technology

Ricki Klos, RPT, Ft. Worth, TX Chapter

Women working in the field of piano technology are invited to come share and support one another through discussion of our common profession and experiences. We have challenges and we have advantages, and it's great to discuss both with veterans and newcomers alike in a round-table format.

(E) The Young Shall Inherit the Earth

Morgan Cowell, RPT, Nebraska Chapter

This class is geared towards younger technicians or anyone in the early stages of their career. We'll discuss getting into the market, developing relationships, tool acquisition, marketing, vehicles, dress, money management, and much more! Learn how to present yourself with confidence, even if the competition is twice your age

College & University Technicians (CAUT)

(E) College and University Technicians (CAUT) Forum

Michael D. Reiter, RPT & the CAUT Committee

The CAUT Forum will devote itself to the triumphs and challenges of working in a college or university setting. Whether you currently work as a staff member of an institution, are under contract, or are new to this field and curious about a new and exciting discipline, this is for you. Following a brief report from the CAUT Committee members, we will devote our time to several subjects including introductions of those present, job leads, inventory management, communication and the role of the CAUT Committee within PTG. We will also take time to further discuss the role of early keyboards in our instrument collections.

(I,A) Harpsichords - Voicing for Power

Ken Eschete, RPT, Inland Northwest, WA Chapter & Paul Irvin, Portland, OR

There are ways to improve the projection and loudness of harpsichords in your care. We will cover everything from re-stringing using the new Birkett wire to changing the bridge pins to voicing plectra for a more vertical release.

(E) Maintenance for the Fortepiano

Paul McNulty, Czech Republic

We’ll do a maintenance survey particular to the Viennese design. The class will also feature advice and demonstration on tuning, temperaments, voicing, strings, leather, felt, repairs, etc.

(E) Shop Help: A Guide to Effective Selection, Training and Management of Piano Shop Assistants

Alan Eder, RPT, Los Angeles, CA Chapter

Learn how to make the most—and avoid the pitfalls—of shop help. RPT Alan Eder is an expert in this field and has the scars-of-experience to prove it. This class has broad application to anyone considering expanding their piano servicing operation to include hired assistants and/or apprentices. Come help further the conversation!


(E) All About Hammers

Frank Abel, Abel Hammer Company

Take a video trip through the process of felt making in order to make piano hammers. You will get a brief introduction to the physical structure of the wool and see how the Abel Hammer Company makes a set of piano hammers.

(E) Baldwin History and Service

Bill Shull, RPT, Pomona Valley, CA Chapter

The Baldwin Piano Company played an important role in modern piano building in America. This class reviews the early history, surveys the designs and models, and reduces the confusion of serial numbers.

(E) Comparison of Replicas from 1805 and 1812

Paul McNulty, Viviana Sofronitsky & Charles Metz, Czech Republic

This class explores the instrument and its use, with an emphasis on how piano development between 1805 and 1812 mirrors compositional style and texture over the same period. Our second class will demonstrate soup to nuts set up and regulation of the Viennese mechanism.

(E) Erard History and Service

Bill Shull, RPT, Pomona Valley, CA Chapter & David Rubenstein, Los Angeles, CA Chapter

The leading piano builder in Europe for several decades in the 19th century was Erard. After languishing in relative obscurity for much of the 20th century it has returned as an important period instrument, since it was the instrument most often used by Chopin, Mendelssohn, Liszt, Ravel and Debussy. This class will survey the models, and highlight the design elements and service challenges of this remarkable instrument. A flat-strung Erard will be on hand.

(E) Favorite Pianos of Great Composers

Paul McNulty & Viviana Sofronitsky, Czech Republic

You will hear a description and concert-demonstration of two different fortepianos illustrating the music appropriate to each and performed by Viviana Sofronitsky. The effects these instruments can produce were familiar to the composers who wrote for them but have been absent from any piano made after 1850.

(E) French Piano Making in the Mid 19th Century

Fred Sturm, RPT, New Mexico Chapter

Paris was the world center for the piano in the middle of the 19th century. All the best pianists (think Chopin and Liszt) lived and performed there, and the most important manufacturers were there as well. In this class, we’ll look at some of those manufacturers - especially Érard, Pleyel, and Pape - and trace some of their important and interesting innovations and experiments. Many led to the modern piano (felt hammer coverings, agraffes, and double escapement action for instance), but many more were fascinating ideas that didn’t survive.

(E) Hammers - A Historical View

Frank Abel, Abel Hammer Co.

See the development of the piano hammer during the time from Cristofori to the modern hammer. View how Abel Hammer Company duplicates a set of square hammers (video). We'll take a video trip to learn more about felt manufacturing.

(E) A History of the Piano in North America

Anne Acker, Savannah-Charleston Chapter

A quick trip through the history and design of pianos in North America from the colonies of the 18th century, through the increase in makers, the spread across the country and the variety of design and manufacturing innovations through the 19th and into the early 20th century. This class will help you identify and better understand older instruments you may encounter.

(E) The Inventions of Claude Montal (1800-1865)

Fred Sturm, RPT, New Mexico Chapter

Montal was totally blind from early childhood, but this did not prevent him from teaching himself to tune and repair pianos, writing a very detailed book about that subject, and then proceeding to become a successful piano manufacturer. As a manufacturer, he developed a number of innovative ideas, many of which he patented. Among these were several action designs (including double escapement for uprights), a transposing keyboard system, a system of adjustable iron rods behind the back posts (under tension) as an alternative to iron bars within the string plane (under compression), and others. We will look at some of these in the context of the history of the time.

(E) Modern Straight Strung Piano Design

Arno Patin, Hillsboro, OR

From the initial concept of what the concert size piano should be, through scale design, plate calculation, modeling, and complete manufacturing process, we will review all possible elements leading to the existence of a new instrument created from scratch. Recordings and three-dimensional drawings will be provided, as well as a series of visuals demonstrating the major dramatic moments of this great adventure.

(E) Seiler Piano-Unique Patents & Features

Ludwig Vasicek, Samick Music Corp

Seiler has long led the industry in pioneering patents over its long history. All developed and executed by Seiler's highly qualified engineers, these patents are explored as relative to the piano technician. These include the magnetic repetition action, as well as the newest innovation - the leadless keyboard!

(E) Soundboards - Past and Future

Del Fandrich, RPT, Puget Sound, WA Chapter

The evolution of the piano slowly moves along. This continues discussion from Del's previous classes on piano soundboard theory, traditional construction, modern laminated systems, and the future of composites both with and without ribs. This year there is a greater emphasis on the acoustics of composites suitable for soundboards, bridges, and other components.

(E) Steinway History and Service

Bill Shull, RPT, Pomona Valley, CA Chapter

After looking at the pianos built by Steinway from its beginnings, we will look at the significant design elements and special service challenges of pianos built from 1853 to 1930.

(I,A) The Table of Touch Design Elements

David Stanwood, RPT, Stanwood Piano Innovations

We know that playing quality in a well balanced piano action is a function of Inertia produced by Ratio, Hammer Weights, Key Lead Weights, and the resulting Balance Weights. These relationships are clearly seen and understood when organized into rows and columns in a form not unlike chemistry's Periodic Table of Elements. Attend A New World Model for Key Balancing as a follow-up to this class.

(E) Viennese Piano History and Service

Bill Shull, RPT, Pomona Valley, CA Chapter

The Viennese piano played an important role in the past; extant Viennese pianos are generally ignored by piano technicians today. After a brief look at the history and a survey of the different periods and models, this class will address the service challenges most commonly faced in the field.

(I, A) Why Do We Re-scale Pianos?

Arno Patin, Hillsboro, OR

Piano manufacturers generally use scales designed over a century ago and know one type of piano wire. The recent research and development in wire metallurgy offers various possibilities which allow substantial improvement of the tonal quality and acoustic output of any piano. The major issues in transition - string breakage, dis-balance and definition - may now be corrected, leading to a new dimension of musical pleasure. The optimization method will be shown, using a simple software called ABACUS, developed by Arno Patin in 1990.


(E) Career-Saving Self Care

Kendall Hafermehl, RPT, Calgary, AB Chapter & Lynn Hafermehl, Health and Wellness Coach

What if your back or shoulder suddenly prevented you from working? Repetitive strain injuries may be your most dangerous adversary. But muscle and joint pain don’t have to stall your career. Prepare to be stretched and strengthened, discover nutritional truths and reflect on strategies for rest to get healthy and stay healthy!


(E) Chapter Leadership Forum

Ricki Klos, RPT, Ft. Worth, TX Chapter

Chapter leaders, past and present, are invited to meet and discuss leadership topics. This will be a round-table discussion centered around providing support and encouragement. Ask questions, present ideas, and share problems and successes with other chapter leaders. Come and get recharged.

(E) Roberts Rules Made Easy

Barbara Cassaday, Piano Technicians Guild

In this class you will learn not only how to participate in a meeting using Robert’s Rules of Order but how to chair it as well. You'll be introduced to the 13 most used motions and practice with the top 3 most used – and misused – motions. Learn how to handle different scenarios as the chair. In the end you should not only be comfortable participating in a meeting but have the knowledge to chair a basic business meeting as well. Handouts available. Win prizes.


(E) Disklavier Networking

Bill Brandom, RPT & Ryan Ellison, RPT, Yamaha

Engage with Yamaha Staff in a total Disklavier experience class where we explore network solutions for piano control, accessing streaming services and demonstrate piano integration with home entertainment systems. Gain a touch of the customer's experience and promote yourself from piano technician to product ambassador.

(I) PianoDisc Prodigy

Mark Burgett, PianoDisc

The next generation of PianoDisc is here. Bluetooth ready and a new app for a new generation, and cloud storage. Incredible expandability, all in one invisible package. Meet the challenge with this class, download the app and learn all the setup features. Includes hands-on training.

(E) QRS Music Technologies: Discover the Legend - Discover the Profit

Lori Clutter, QRS

QRS Music Technologies has done it again.  Increase your profits with a variety of exciting new products that can be included on your next service call. Come see how easy it is to boost your income. 

(I) Re-covering Player Accessories--R U Nuts!

Matt Hirschfelder, Portland, OR Chapter

Participants will engage in re-covering a simple player accessory pneumatic. Our goal is to measure and identify various types of accessory pneumatics. Then move on to rebuilding one by scraping, sanding, and gluing a pneumatic back together. Extra time will be spent on gluing up a hinge as well.


(I) Collaboration in Action Rebuilding

Gary Telleen, RPT, Craftsman Piano Service, John Gallen & Melanie Brooks, Brooks LTD

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.

(I, A) Grand Action Rebuilding - Making the Right Choices

Nick Gravange, RPT, Phoenix, AZ Chapter & and Rick Baldassin, RPT, Salt Lake City, UT Chapter

In this all-day class, Nick and Rick’s three Stations of Application will guide the action rebuilder in making the right choices for a successful, no-surprises job. Beginning with Station 1, the “Drawing Board”, measurements and geometry kick things off. In Station 2, “Mock-up”, critical choices are tried out before committing wholesale. Station 3, “Workbench” focuses mainly on efficient key weigh-off (no guessing!).

(I,A) Grand Balancing Act - Action Weigh-Off Simplified

Bruce Stevens, RPT, South Bay, CA Chapter & David Vanderlip, RPT, Orange County, CA Chapter

How many technicians approach the weigh-off of a grand action with fear and trepidation because there is not clear definition of proper down-weight vs. up-weight? Join Bruce and David as they demystify this subject with an innovative, quick and easy method using Balance Weight protocols that speeds up the weight-off procedure and provides consistent results. Other considerations of fine grand action work such as geometry, action ratio, inertia, parts selection and hammer preparation will also be covered. You'll have a hands-on opportunity to experience this innovative method, going beyond just ‘facts and figures'. If you have been apprehensive about any of this work, you should gain confidence after attending this 2-period class.

(E) Grand Rebuilding Teardown

Debbie Cyr, RPT, Boston, MA Chapter

Before you take everything apart, make sure you are organized so you can remember how to put everything back correctly. This class is a step by step procedure for disassembling the piano before starting the rebuilding process. We will discuss a variety of ways to organize measurements, materials and thoughts in the teardown process and share a teardown sheet for recording measurements and notations for the process of reassembly.

(E) Hammers & More

Dale Erwin, RPT & Jacob Erwin, Erwin's Piano Restoration Inc

Join us as we cover how hammers are made and work, hammer choices for piano, client and room acoustics, hammer sampling, finding an action ratio in 5 minutes, choosing correct parts for the action geometry and hammer weights, boring and weight prep, hammer hanging, and using the Erwin hammer sander.

(B) Installation of the Grand Pre-Crowned Soundboard

Christian Bolduc, Pianos Bolduc

So you’re ready to install your first pre-crowned soundboard. Step by step, learn how to take the proper measurements and references before removing the original soundboard and ordering your new board. Learn how to create a clever, inexpensive hot box to dry and prepare the new pre-crowned soundboard before installation.

(E) Key Making

David Rubenstein, Los Angeles, CA Chapter

Hear David describe how he designs and manufactures piano keyboards. The class will include a slide show demonstration of the entire process, from design to finished product. Rubenstein pianos is a manufacturer of replacement key-sets for existing as well as new pianos.

(I,A) Options for Keeping the Old Soundboard

John Pope, RPT, Bluegrass, KY Chapter

You can rebuild a piano with its old soundboard and still make it sing beautifully! We will talk about how to get acceptable downbearing, the Wapin bridge system, and a method for recrowning the board in the piano.

(E) Sharpening Your Tools

Joe Garrett, RPT, Portland, OR Chapter

A dull tool is dangerous. A sharp tool will enable you to do a sharp job, safely. Bring any dull tools you have if you want to sharpen them in class.

(I, A) Understanding and Manipulating Action Spread

Jim Ialeggio, Boston, MA Chapter

Grands…How does one know what Spread is appropriate for a given set of action parts? Hands-on…visual…using a pencil, compass, poster board, shank and whip…this class will give you the tools to determine what spread and wippen action center locations will work optimally for any set of parts you have in hand.


(E) Acrylikey Key Repair

Larry Messerly, RPT, WisMinnIa Chapter

Learn how you can use Acrylikey to repair chipped ivory or plastic keys.

(E) Action Centers

Randy Woltz, RPT, Orange County, CA Chapter

Problem notes in pianos (dead, sluggish, not repeating, etc.) are almost always due to action centers. In 90 minutes, we’ll cover action cloth, pins, repinning, using chemicals/heat treatments, getting rid of verdigris, Teflon, brass rail repairs, and more! Plus, you’ll see close up photography of center pins and flanges. After this class you will be able to diagnose and fix anything.

(E) Dialogue with David Andersen & Friends

David Andersen, South Bay, CA Chapter

Attend an in-depth discussion of the way we are when we do this work, and how we can help each other to pay more attention to, and get more gifts from, the work we do on pianos nearly every day. This class was extremely powerful in Lancaster…ask Carl Lieberman, Ed McMorrow, or Kent Swafford.

(E) First Do No Harm

Steve Brady, RPT, Seattle, WA Chapter & Carl Lieberman, RPT, South Bay, CA Chapter

We’ll take a look at the ways in which piano technicians tend to damage the pianos they work on, and how they sometimes hurt their own bodies. Includes suggestions for reversing or preventing the damage.

(E) Fixing Spinets

Bruce Dornfeld, RPT & Alice Alviani, North Shore, IL Chapter

There are many spinets out there, and many good reasons why you need to feel capable of fully servicing them. Spinets generally are more unfamiliar than unfixable. Let's remove the mystery with many practical "how-to's" to cover a common topic that is rarely addressed.

(E) Glue: Getting Into a Sticky Situation

Duane McGuire, RPT, Salt Lake City, UT Chapter

In repair and rebuilding, many choices of glues are available. This class will discuss the attributes of glues available and their application in piano work. We'll also have a bit of fun with some destructive testing, but without destroying an actual piano.

(E) Going the Extra Mile: My Five Favorite Ways to Add Extra Income

Steve Brady, RPT, Seattle, WA Chapter

Interested in adding more income from your existing clientele? Interested in making more money while tuning less? Here are five simple services you can provide that your customers will love you for.

(B) Humidity and Wood

Christian Bolduc, Piano Bolduc & Charles Rempel, Dampp-Chaser

Join in this discussion-style class in which we analyze the relationship between relative humidity and wood. Our goal is to equip technicians with a better understanding of exactly what fluctuating humidity does to wood in general and pianos specifically. We'll also discuss what steps are taken to counteract improper humidity levels and fluctuations in the Bolduc factory and what can be done to help pianos wherever they are.

(I) Improving Upright Performance, 20 Tips

Starr Taylor, RPT, Southwest, FL Chapter

This beginner/intermediate class is designed to help technicians look at the piano as a whole system. If you know what to look for, you'll be seen as a professional. The tips in this class will help you quickly diagnose problems and fix them. Topics include tuning instability, bedding actions, ironing key bushings, fixing damper rod problems and addressing pedal issues. Questions are always encouraged!

(E) It's Your Caul

Jacob Erwin & Trix Erwin, Erwin's Piano Restoration, Inc.

Using the Spurlock Two-Caul Method, we’ll show you how to make keybushing replacement fun, fast and accurate. The class includes a step-by-step slide/video presentation and a hands-on portion.

(I, A) Making Obsolete Parts

Joe Garrett, RPT, Portland, OR Chapter

As a specialist in Square Grands, Over-damper Uprights and other oddities, Joe has learned how to make parts for these obsolete beasts. Find out how you can do it, too, if the need arises.

(E) New Grand Piano Prep: Making a Difference Dealers will Pay For!

David Reed, RPT, Kawai America

This session provides practical guidelines and demonstration for preparing new grand pianos in the dealer showroom. With a goal of spending 4 to 6 hours maximum on the piano, David will cover evaluation of the piano, prioritizing what work can be done in the time allowed, and making sure you give the dealer the most bang for the buck. In addition to technical aspects of dealer work, David will discuss working with dealers so that they will learn to value the results of the preparation.

(I,A) A New World Model for Key Balancing

David Stanwood, RPT, Stanwood Piano Innovations

David Stanwood, RPT, Stanwood Piano Innovations
Very even and predictable feeling touch is produced by presetting key-leads once and for all to a perfect scale in shop or factory. Hammer weights are then scaled evenly to produce the desired level of Down and Up Weight. A computer free alternative to the unreliable down weight method. Attend The Table of Touch Design Elements as an introduction to this class.

(E) Piano Cleaning for Performance Enhancement

Ashley Turner, RPT, Washington, DC Chapter

Learn the benefits of internal piano cleaning (action, keybed, soundboard, plate, and strings) as well as methods and products. We’ll discuss the strategies for scheduling this much needed service and compare notes on health and safety when dealing with dust and contaminants. There will not be a significant emphasis on the cabinet.

(E) The Piano Life Saver System - No Question Left Unanswered

Kelly Hollifield & Charles Rempel, Dampp-Chaser Corp.

Whether you have installed hundreds of PLS Systems or never done one, bring your questions. Why does it do this when the RH is that? What's the best way to install this? Anything goes!

(E) Piano Moving 101

Gary Telleen, RPT, Wichita, KS

See a demonstration of the basic skills, techniques and proper equipment necessary for safely moving both grand and vertical pianos. Techniques useful to in-home technicians such as dolly installations will also be addressed.

(E) Piano Technicians Playground

Bill Davis, RPT, Atlanta, GA Chapter, Ed Sutton, RPT, Research Triangle Park Chapter, Sheffey Gregory, RPT, Atlanta, GA Chapter and John Parham, RPT, Charlotte Chapter 

The ever-evolving Playground has multiple workstations where individuals watch video instruction and then perform specific skills in an environment promoting success without time constraints. All tasks are presented in a step-by-step manner. Whether a 30-year technician or just beginning, this hands-on class where tools and materials are provided offers a best-practice opportunity to explore, discover, practice, improve and polish core competencies and skills. If possible, participants should download or stream videos on their own tablet or laptop from the PTG Online Academy or the in-class Wi-Fi (Please bring a web-capable device and earbuds). Master your craft.

And new this year – an added bonus to the Piano Technicians Playground
Same time. Same room.
See It! Try It!
This year make sure to stop in the room where the Piano Technicians Playground is to try your hand at practicing a new skill in an advanced manned station that will change every class period. For the first period John Gallen will show you how to measure hammer angles and then bore a hammer using those specs. During the second period one of the most asked questions asked online will be answered. Debbie Cyr, RPT will walk you through replacing a Yamaha style hammer flange cord.  And finally, you won't want to miss the opportunity to have Trix Erwin walk you through how to install a string when restringing a piano.
No pre-registration required for either session.

(I, A) Practical Knowledge for Tuning and Maintenance of 19th Century Pianos

Anne Acker, Savannah-Charleston Chapter

This class will offer practical tips for tuning and maintaining 19th century pianos to help technicians in the field and shop leave fear behind when encountering non-modern standard designs. Topics will include but not be limited to: tuning square pianos, square piano actions, issues in tuning 18th and 19th century pianos, Viennese actions and their over-damper systems, Erard actions, how various types of damper systems and actions can fail and what you can do, and more depending upon time and interest. Attendees are highly encouraged to bring questions and examples of problems and instruments encountered.

(I) Premium Service for Regular Pianos

Cy Shuster, RPT, New Mexico Chapter

Any job worth doing is worth doing poorly... rather than not at all. An average upright can benefit greatly from a quick look at regulation and friction. You’ll learn how to pick the worst problems and make a big improvement with minimal tools and time.

(E) Repairing Grand Lyres

Debbie Cyr, RPT, Boston, MA Chapter

We'll cover all kinds of grand lyre repairs, featuring proper repairs for unglued lyre posts, a whirlwind pedal box tour, all kinds of pedal mechanisms, and a demonstration of just how easy installing a Steinway lyre really is!!

(E) Restoring the Jansen Artist Bench In 1 Hour

Gerry Cousins, RPT, Philadelphia, PA Chapter

This new class covers the care, maintenance, repairs and restoration of the fabled Paul Jansen & Son artist bench. You'll learn tips and tricks that demonstrate the steps necessary for restoration of the most common problems with the aging benches. In less than one hour go from the rocky, wibbly wobbly to the original solid foundation that all artists appreciate.

(E) The Upright Action Center

Keith Bowman, RPT & Mike Carraher, RPT, The Upright Action Center

Every moving part in the action rotates from a fixed point and is attached to a rail with a felt bushed flange. The condition of the flange determines both friction and alignment and must be satisfied before regulation can begin. This class covers: when to re-pin and when to re-bush; reaming felt; sizing the center pin; fitting and modifying the bird’s eye; swing test and friction measurements; new factory procedure for testing bird’s eye friction; bushing cloth selection, flange replacement and more!


(I) Aural Mastery of the Midrange

Dan Levitan, RPT, New York City Chapter

Both the successful execution of a temperament sequence and effective aural troubleshooting depend on an understanding of the networks of intervals through which the pitches of midrange notes push and pull on each other. In this class, we’ll explore that web of relationships with the help of a novel take-home jig. If you’re an ETD tuner who’s had trouble passing the aural portion of the tuning exam, this is the class for you!

(I) Aural Refinement for ETD Users

Eric Johnson, RPT, Connecticut Chapter

This class will focus on helping Electronic Tuning Device (ETD) users develop their aural skills to augment and refine their tunings. The emphasis will be on practical tips to quickly "clean up" your tunings more quickly than going over the whole piano with the ETD again.

(E) Basic Tuning Theory

Jim Geiger, RPT, Heart of Texas Chapter

This session covers the vibrating string, overtones, partials, coincident partials, (more than you may know) intervals, the musical scale, temperament, inharmonicity and more. There will be some simple math and a lot of listening.

(E) High Speed Pitch Raising

Isaac Sadigursky, RPT Los Angeles, CA Chapter

Hear more from the ever popular Isaac Sadigursky as he shares his experiences as a high volume tuner in a warehouse and rebuilding shop where guide clipping and pitch raises were required. Accuracy was not a goal at this stage. You'll see three different methods that can help you achieve that goal.

(E) Montal’s Art of Tuning

Fred Sturm, RPT, New Mexico Chapter

Learn about the first sophisticated aural tuning method for equal temperament, developed by Claude Montal over 180 years ago. He began by training the ear to hear just (beatless) intervals and chords, then taught how to create and recognize correctly tempered intervals (major thirds and fifths), having them sound "equally out of tune but tolerable” rather than counting beats. These tempered intervals are assembled into chords, listened to in all inversions as a whole sound. Finally, this ear training is applied to a temperament sequence, with many checks along the way, and with a reverse sequence in case things didn’t quite work out perfectly.

(E) Pure 12th Equal Temperament

Bernhard Stopper, Germany & Kent Swafford, RPT, Kansas City, MO Chapter

Learn details about Pure 12th equal temperament from the originator Bernhard Stopper and Kent Swafford, a longtime proponent of it. We discuss the interesting inherent beat patterns, the general fit with various inharmonicity profiles and setting pure 12th temperament aurally.

(E) Techniques for Passing Part 1 of the PTG Tuning Exam

Bill Bremmer, RPT, Madison, WI Chapter

The focus will be exclusively on the techniques required to pass Part 1 of the PTG Tuning Exam: Pitch from either a tuning fork or an aural electronic source. The benefits and perils of each will be explored. There will be four temperament tuning sequences demonstrated: a traditional fourths and fifths sequence and three sequences which begin with a chain of contiguous major thirds.

(E) Tuning Instability: Sources and Solutions

Dan Levitan, RPT, New York City Chapter

Whenever a piano string goes out of tune, it’s always for a reason—often, for several at once! In this class, we’ll examine all the various sources of tuning instability, consider their relative importance in different contexts, and look at ways to minimize their effects.

(E) Tuning Mechanics and Its Application

Baoli Liu, RPT, Madison, WI Chapter & Fengsheng Chen, RPT, Atlanta, GA Chapter

The first part of this class is a brief report of tuning mechanics research. This research introduces a few conclusions regarding tuning mechanics. Homemade models are used to demonstrate the mechanism and conclusions. The second part of this class is a discussion/demonstration of a variety of tuning hammers and their techniques related to the application of this research. Tuning stability will be one of the major topics.

(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. Fee: $120.00. You must pre-register for this class by calling (913) 432-9975.


(I,A) A Combination of Aural & Accu-Tuning

Robert Conrad, RPT, Inventronics

The new Accu-Tuner IV “980” will be introduced. We'll explore partial changes found in electronic tunings, as well as a few FAC tweaks you may want to consider adding to your repertoire. And then, we'll address what an excellent width for the piano's Prime octave (A3/A4) is, and how one can be found using the AccuTuner, the "980" templates, and a combination of aural and direct interval Accu-Tuning skills.

(A) CyberTuner: Raising the Bar, Setting the Standard

Dean Reyburn, RPT & Carl Lieberman, RPT, Reyburn CyberTuner, Inc.

From enhanced resolution for unisons, to better and faster pitch display, personal customization and more accurate pitch raises, and multiple language support, iRCT is continually improving to meet the needs of the professional piano technician. We’ll show you exactly how to use those features to make your tunings faster and more efficient, so your business makes more money.

(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) Unison Building with Unisono

Bernhard Stopper, Germany & Kent Swafford, RPT, Kansas City, MO Chapter

In this class Bernhard Stopper and Kent Swafford demonstrate unison building in the tuning process, with support from the Unisono app, which provides a fascinating visual feedback to get the unison ultra clean, projecting and long sustaining. Unisono is used along with OnlyPure in this class but can also be used side by side with other ETD´s or even as support with aural tuning.

(B) Tuning with TuneLab

Robert Scott, Real-Time Specialties

Learn to use your Android or iPhone device as a high-quality tuning aid. We demonstrate normal tuning procedures with TuneLab, such as measuring inharmonicity to customize the tuning to the piano. We cover pitch-raise tuning and how to do rough tuning without mutes.


(E) Angel Shot Voicing

Zhiwei Huang, RPT, San Francisco, CA Chapter

Have a hard time with needling and do the results not last long? You’ll learn a technique that will help. This is a simple and easy solution for voicing piano hammers, and a low-cost service that will leave customers happy.

From Rocks to Creampuffs: Voicing Difficult Hammers

Don Mannino, RPT, Kawai America

This is a basics of voicing class, in which samples of 4 different sets of hammers are installed in one Kawai grand piano, and each is voiced during the class for the best tone. We’ll discuss the hammer manufacturing process and concepts of how hammers work. The goal of the class is to show how to work up soft hammers, how to bring down hard hammers, and most importantly to take the fear out of the voicing process.

(I, A) How to Think About Voicing

Eric Johnson, RPT, Connecticut Chapter

Voicing is often seen as a combination of tools and techniques, both of which will be discussed in this class. We will also explore other important but less visible issues, including differing concepts of what good piano tone is, and what is considered a "good result" in different situations.

(E) It’s a "Feel Thing"…Using your Body as the Ultimate Regulation and Voicing Tool”

David Andersen, Los Angeles, CA Chapter

Become sensitive to the elegance of trusting your body to do master-level work: high-end regulation and voicing by sound and feel…

(E) Premium Piano Experience

David Durben, RPT and Kevin Suzuki, Yamaha

In 2008, Yamaha purchased the Bösendorfer Piano company. As the two companies continue their independent R&D efforts, each has introduced advances in design and production, aimed at the “Premium Piano” market. In this class we examine both instruments and share how the approach to each should be similar, and different.

(E) Voicing: It's Not Rocket Science

Jim Busby, RPT, Utah Valley Chapter

Proper piano service consists mostly of three things: Tuning – Regulation - Voicing. Just as one should avoid leaving a piano poorly regulated, the voice of the piano should not be neglected. This class is especially for technicians who avoid, or are downright afraid, of voicing. You probably know more than you think.

(E) Voicing With B-72

Ken Eschete, RPT, Inland Northwest, WA Chapter

Acryloid B-72 is a great hammer hardener that everyone should know about. It gets great results without the long drying time of lacquer, or the strident zings that may occur with key-top / acetone solutions. You will learn everything from mix ratios to application methods and hear the results in a live demonstration.

(E) Working with Abel Hammers

Joe Swenson, Samick Music Corp. & Frank Abel, Abel Hammer Co.

Following a presentation, given by Frank Abel, of the details of hammer manufacturing, Joe Swenson will demonstrate a variety of voicing procedures, using examples of Abel hammers manufactured with material from different felt suppliers and to different manufacturing specifications. Hammers from four different sets will be installed on a section of a single piano, highlighting the different tonal characteristics, and voicing requirements, of these various hammers.



(E) Take the RPT Written Examination

Robert Guenther, RPT

The Written Exam will be offered Wednesday, July 10 during 1st period. 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. A Written Examination Study Guide is available online on the Certification Page at For PTG Associate members only.


(E) Understanding the PTG Tuning Exam

Keith Kopp, RPT

Exam candidates will gain an insight of what they will be expected to know, how the exams will be administered and scored, what exam preparation materials are available and where they can be found. They will then know what they will need to do to be prepared to take the exams. For PTG Associate members only.


(E) Understanding the PTG Technical Exam

Hannah Beckett, RPT

We will walk through the Technical Exam and its requirements. There will be examples of exam equipment, models, and jigs such as one would find on the test, including a preview of the new 3-note grand model which will be implemented in the near future. Come 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 ways to best utilize your time, improve efficiency, and cope with exam anxiety and other strategies to help you successfully tackle the exam and become a part of your daily field work. There will be plenty of time for Q&A. For PTG Associate members only.


CTE Tuning Examiner Training

Alan Crane, RPT & Keith Kopp, RPT

This class is for both seasoned CTE examiners as well as RPT members who want to find out how to become a Certified Tuning Examiner. We’ll discuss tips for giving a good exam and possible pitfalls. Any and all CTE examiners who are attending the convention should attend and learn from each other on how to improve their testing skills. For RPT members only.

(I) Technical Examiner Training

Hannah Beckett, RPT

The supervising examiner on a Technical Exam must be certified as a Technical Examiner, Certified (TEC) in order for the exam to be valid. We’ll discuss the certification requirements, demonstrate exam equipment, analyze the skills and attitudes required of a competent examiner, and talk about common exam problems and issues. All RPTs with an interest in Technical testing, TECs with questions, TEC trainees and RPTs just thinking about getting involved in testing are invited to attend. For RPT members only. Please RSVP to Hannah Beckett by July 1 if you will be attending. Hannah: