Institute Classes

 

   
 
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Class Schedule
 
   
 
 KEY:    (E)  EVERYONE   (B) BASIC LEVEL  
(I) INTERMEDIATE LEVEL  (A) ADVANCED LEVEL

 

 

 

 

ACTION REGULATION


(E) Checking Your Regulation

Kevin Suzuki, Yamaha Corporation of America

This class will address several elements of action regulation related to the back-check.  How this component fits into and affects the system of the piano action is often overlooked, misunderstood, or ignored.  We will show a variety of illustrations and demonstrations to illustrate the importance of the back check.

 

(I,A) Express Prep & Voicing

Paul Rea, Vienna International

Want to know how to achieve great and lasting results in the preparation, regulation and voicing of grand pianos?  Find out how to give your client the most bang for the buck while making the most of your time and expanding your income potential.

 

(I,A) Find Your Number - Aftertouch on the Upright Piano

Keith Bowman, RPT & Mike Carraher, RPT Vienna/Hailun

Consistent aftertouch is the best way to achieve a smooth, even touch. Where do we start? Review action geometry - the relationships between moving parts. Apply diagnostic procedures to determine condition and use that information to get the best out of each piano action. Find out what your aftertouch number is! Dampers, make accurate spoon adjustments in and out of the piano, set properly tensioned damper springs, diagnose damper tension from front-of-key, and more!

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(I,A) Fine, Fast, Fastidious Grand Regulation

David Jenkin, New Zealand

Experience a very detailed revisiting of grand regulation in the piano. The goal is to present and assess different methods for each regulation procedure with an emphasis on accuracy. The class outline is based on a Grand service package for a performance piano.

 

(I,A) Ghosting Let-off / Focusing Tone

Dave Conte, RPT, Ft. Worth, TX Chapter

We’ll explore the relationship of the string and hammer while in motion, and how to use it to maximize performance and for troubleshooting. You’ll have a hands-on opportunity if time allows after discussion and demonstration.

 

(E) Grand Action Regulation the Mason & Hamlin Way

Bruce Clark, Mason & Hamlin

A structured, rigorous method of regulating a grand piano is useful for all technicians. While this is the Mason & Hamlin way, the methods and processes will be useful on all grand pianos.

 

(I,A) Grand Regulation Actionpalooza

Rick Baldassin, RPT, Renner USA & Carl Teel, Salt Lake City, UT Chapter

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.

 

(E) Horizons, Lines and Intersections

Mike Reiter, RPT, Eugene, OR Chapter

“Horizons” deals with the many planes found within the piano’s action from making an “aftertouch line” to how the internal adjustments of the wippen and aftertouch work and the coordination of the damper parts. We also deal with those events in the action that happen between the keys at rest and the final moments of key travel.

 

(E) Regulating: A Part of Everyday Service

Ryan Sowers, RPT, Puget Sound, WA Chapter

Often regulating is sold as a line item. It should be part of the ongoing service of everyday pianos. 10-15-hour regulations are often impractical and unnecessary. This class will inspire you to make regulating a part of your service routine as you boost your reputation, your income, and your clients’ piano playing experience.

 

(E) Relentless Repetition, Relentless Repetition, Relent.......

Mike Reiter, RPT, Eugene, OR

This class will aid in the improvement of 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.

 

(E) Servicing Acoustic Piano Actions in Digital Pianos

David Reed, RPT, Kawai

The piano world is changing, folks! There are Acoustic / Digital hybrid piano models being sold now that have standard acoustic piano actions in them, giving the pianist the touch response of an acoustic piano with the benefits a digital piano. This is a new market for us to take advantage of with only minimal learning, and as these hybrid digitals become more common and start to age, they will need us to maintain them. This class will give an overview of Kawai’s hybrid models, and practical advice to make it easier to work with these pianos.

 

(E) You Don't Know Jack

Nathan Mills, RPT, Augusta, GA Chapter

This class will demystify the concept of double escapement and demonstrate a simple method for setting simultaneous double escapement consistently when regulating grand actions. We will finish up with hands-on practice.



BUSINESS & NETWORKING

(E) Cloud-Based Client Management

Terry Miller, RPT, Sacramento, CA Chapter

Learn how to use free Google apps , wherever you are, to control and grow your repeat "best customer" business. Topics covered will include Part 1: The service call - from paper invoice to client and service history detail entries, establishing the next appointment, confirming with a thank you, billing and A/R help, and Part 2: Admin and marketing, using Gmail as a getting-things-done tool, controlling your email. calendar calculus. answering FAQs quickly, sending targeted bulk emails and IRS issues. An "Apps Use Matrix" will be handed out at the end of the class.

 

(E) Dealing with Difficult Customers

Tim Barnes, RPT, Gazelle Network & Torger Baland, Twin Cities, MN Chapter

Develop a playbook for how to turn difficult situations into positive reviews. We will discuss how to diffuse tough situations, handle different personality types. and respond to negative online reviews. 

 

(E) How to Write an Effective Newsletter

Kestrel Curro, RPT, Southeastern Pennsylvania Chapter

We will focus on writing an effective newsletter for your clients. We will cover letter structure and how to keep it engaging. Basic writing style will be addressed and will also cover common issues. I will offer topic ideas and how to find new topics. Most importantly, we will discuss the benefits of an effective newsletter.

 

(E) Selling and/or Buying a Piano Service Business

Wim Blees, RPT, Hawaii Chapter

You’ve spent a lot of time building your tuning business, or maybe you're in the market to buy an existing tuning business. Find out how to figure out how much the business is worth, the tax consequences, and the details involved in making the transaction.

 

(E) Selling Your Service on Amazon

Tim Barnes, RPT, Gazelle Network & Chris LaBarre, Connecticut Chapter

“Hey Alexa, I need to get the piano tuned.” Alexa: “Last time you purchased this item from XYZ Piano Tuning Service. Do you want to purchase that again?” These days you can buy everything on Amazon, including purchasing Local Piano Tuning Services. If you haven't already started receiving calls from ad agencies offering to set up your "Alexa enabled" accounts, you will.

 

(E) Tired? Come Be Inspired

Matt Hirschfelder, Portland, OR Chapter

Piano technicians are not an island. We work consistently with organizations who also desire to inspire musicians to a higher standard. Come learn more than you ever knew about the organizations, memberships, and foundations who interact with us on a regular basis. Hear anecdotes and hardship stories of the people who love piano. You will be pleasantly surprised who has your back!

 

(E) Up Your Income in a Down Industry

Ed Tomlinson, RPT, Los Angeles, CA Chapter

The class is full of ways to increase your income by attracting more customers, selling more accessories, and selling more work. Hear from an industry veteran who has worked in service and sales and has owned a full line music store with pianos and keyboards for the last two decades. If you simply tune the piano and go to the next appointment, then this class is for you.

 

(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) Your Business - A Structural Analysis

John Gallen, Connecticut Chapter

There are various options for your business structure: Sole Proprietorship, LLC, Partnership, S or C Corp, etc. We will discuss the pros and cons, including the tax benefits, of each type. Whether starting out or considering a change, this class is for you.

 

(E) Your Business’ Pulse - Take It

Shelia King, Orange County, CA Chapter

The class begins with a presentation of the new tax laws and their effects. But wait, there's more. Through the use of accounting reports, you will be told a riveting story of a piano tech's financial journey. Implement these reports to check your own business’ pulse.



College & University Technicians (CAUT)


(E) CAUT Forum

Mike Reiter, RPT, Eugene, OR Chapter

The CAUT Forum is open to all who are College and University Technicians and those who might wish to engage in institutional service in the future. As an open forum, subjects include a wide variety of concerns and ideas for the betterment of our work as technicians.

 

(E) Harpsichord Basics for Piano Technicians

Jason Cassel, RPT, Salt Lake City, UT Chapter

This two-period hands-on class covers the basics of harpsichord technology – from hanging jacks to replacing a broken plectrum or string, and more. Videos will be used to demonstrate each repair and participants will have an opportunity to perform these repairs on their own action models.

 

(E) Record Keeping for Institutions

Mike Reiter, RPT, Eugene, OR Chapter & Paul Williams, RPT, Palmetto, SC Chapter

Mike and Paul are no strangers to the institutional environment. Both have extensive experience with not only institutional service work on pianos and harpsichords, but also in administration. Record keeping is often an overlooked and little used resource but has the capacity to be so much more. You’ll see how records can be used in many different ways from just finding the next tuning date to organizing the entire inventory and prioritizing the uses of the pianos. They can even help raise funds for the next piano purchase.



DESIGN & HISTORY


(I) Bridging the Gap Between China and Germany

Rick Overton, Broadmann / Wilh Steinberg

Almost every manufacturer uses China as a resource, including German brands. Several German companies are wholly owned, partners or associates of Chinese companies. How does this work?

 

(I,A) How to Design a Piano

Del Fandrich, RPT, Puget Sound, WA Chapter

This is an introduction to the basics of how pianos are designed. Starting with a concept, we’ll develop a design “cartoon” for a small grand, then describe what is required to make this real. Even the non-designer will benefit by having a better understanding of what makes a good design.

 

(E) Modern Pianos with Historic Features: Steingraeber Sordino and Mozart Rail

Alexander Kerstan, Steingraeber & Söhne KG

Innovation continues to enrich classical piano building. In the 19th century, Sordino used to be a standard feature on grands. Steingraeber’s Sordino allows tone colorations by a very fine piece of felt. Steingraeber’s Mozart Rail reduces key-depth in grand pianos down to 8 mm making softer and faster playing possible.

 


(E) The Period Piano Collection

Bill Shull, RPT, Pomona Valley, CA Chapter

The Period Piano Collection consists of instruments from the 1790s to the early 20th century. It includes pianos with unique or important design elements, pianos ideal for period performance, squares, diagonals, obliquely strung, Viennese, Brown actions, and transposing keyboards. Bill will discuss the designs and the music they represent.

 

(E) Reverse Design

Matt Hirschfelder, Portland, OR Chapter

The discerning piano technician will appreciate the detail and best practices for piano salvaging up-cycling, dismantling, and respecting legacy. Come dive into the design and quirks of the formerly functional piano removed from your customer’s house. Emphasis taken from a book by Campbell and Mason. This is an apprentice-must class.

 

(E) Sébastien Érard, Piano Genius

Fred Sturm, RPT, New Mexico Chapter

Érard was a seminal figure in the development of the piano, responsible for far more than just the agraffe and the repetition action we mostly remember him for. We’ll look at his inventive explorations, his role in establishing organized piano manufacture, and his very interesting career in both France and England. Special attention will be given to his ingenuity, to the details and why they matter.



HEALTH


(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 related nutritional truths and reflect on strategies for rest to get healthy, stay healthy and to shape your preferred future.

(E) Hearing Loss Forum

Dawn Purney, Mesa, AZ

This forum is for techs who want to protect their ears, for tuners losing their hearing, and for dealing with clients who are going deaf. Does everyone mumble? Are you having trouble hearing the top octaves? Come and share your ideas, frustrations, and solutions with fellow technicians.


(E) Rebuild Your Neck & Shoulders: Useful Yoga for Piano Technicians

Jon Loyd, RPT, Nashville, TN Chapter & Cassie O’Sullivan, Certified Yoga Therapist

Learn ways to counter the repetitive strains and stresses on our shoulders, neck and spine. We’ll discuss spinal alignment and use easy to find props and chairs to practice modified yoga postures. Previous yoga experience is not required.

(E) Staying In Tune with Hearing Health: Lessons From A Music Audiologist
Dr. Heather Malyuk, AuD
This class will cover the basics of ear anatomy, music-induced hearing disorders, hearing wellness care, and forms of hearing protection and amplification made for, and used by, music industry professionals. www.soundcheckaudiology.com/about

HEARING SCREENINGS - ON SITE, 30-MINUTES

You'll receive a 30-minute individualized hearing evaluation, including high frequency audiometry, as well as specialized ear impressions. Your appointment includes education regarding prevention of music induced hearing disorders, counseling on existing disorders, and individualized consultation for any devices needed (earplugs, in-ear monitors, etc.).

Cost is $95 per 30-minute appointment. All payments can be made to Soundcheck Audiology via cash, check, credit card, PayPal, or Zelle and are due at time of appointment. For more information, contact Dr. Heather Malyuk, AuD at heather@soundcheckaudiology.com. Make your appointment online at https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1L7gGxlrs54jS7FxOw194dmc2LwttkHa4KQ-SaIM4xKc/edit?usp=sharing.

LEADERSHIP & CHAPTER DEVELOPMENT


(E) Building a 12-Week Apprenticeship Training Program

Tim Barnes, RPT, Gazelle Network

The best piano technicians of the future don't yet know that piano technology is a fulfilling and viable career. Training a new apprentice can and should take far less time than it does today. And, as a community of piano technicians, we need to think differently about how to solve this problem.

 

(E) Chapter Leader Forum

Ricki Klos, RPT, Ft. Worth, TX Chapter

This is a round table discussion with chapter leaders (current or past) who have struggles and successes with running a chapter. Learn more about the recent Chapter Profile results. Bring your ideas and your challenges to share!

Misc. - The Piano

(E) Learn to Play All Major Scales in 90 Minutes

David Nichols Portland, OR Chapter & Ingrid Kraft, RPT, Portland, OR Chapter

Class attendees will learn to play all major scales by building tetrachord patterns of whole steps and half steps with each hand. We will cover whole steps, half steps, major scale patterns, tetrachords and circle of fifths. More experienced players may also learn an accompaniment that will be used as we play through all 12 of the major scales as a group. Limit: 15 spots will be able to participate in the hands-on portion.  Contact David Nichols at evergreenrestoration@Outlook.com to reserve a spot. Observers welcome.

 

(E) Learn to Play Piano in 90 Minutes

David Nichols Portland, OR Chapter & Ingrid Kraft, RPT, Portland, OR Chapter

Attendees will learn to play the piano using the pentatonic scale (with an added blues scale note). We will learn an accompanying bass line and explore basic improv patterns and rhythms. By the end of the class we will be taking turns at our own solos. Students will go home with all they need to develop their technique and style and show off their tunings with new flair. Limit: 15 spots will be able to participate in the hands-on portion.  Contact David Nichols at evergreenrestoration@Outlook.com to reserve a spot. Observers welcome.

 

PLAYERS


(I) 90-Minute Hybrid Service

Ryan Ellison, RPT, Yamaha Corporation of America    

Connect with Yamaha’s Piano Service staff to explore service for Hybrid pianos. Focusing on disassembly procedures and outlining the manufacturer's recommended service advice, this seminar will benefit dealer technicians, CAUT Members, and field service technicians interested in staying up to date on the latest developments in Hybrid piano technology.

 

(I) PianoDisc Prodigy

Mark Burgett, PianoDisc

The next generation of PianoDisc is here. It’s Bluetooth-ready with a new app for the next 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 some hands-on training.

 

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

Lori Clutter & QRS Technician

QRS Music Technologies continues to innovate! Increase your profits with a variety of exciting new products that can be included on your next tuning or service call. QRS goes over some of its newest PNOmation additions and how to install them. It features the latest OT (Over the Top) player system, music and ground-breaking control hardware.

 

(E) Understanding Modern Player Systems

Greg Cheng, RPT, Southeastern Pennsylvania Chapter

In today's piano market, nearly 50% of all pianos sold are player pianos. Greg will cover the ins and outs of understanding how players work and why they aren't so scary to work on. You’ll learn skills to assist with customer issues and how to solve them.



REBUILDING & SHOP


(I) Collaboration in Action Rebuilding

Gary Telleen, RPT, Wichita, KS Chapter, John Gallen, Connecticut Chapter & 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.

 

(E) 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. Christian will show how to handle a Bechstein grand piano pinblock, demonstrating both the removal and installation procedures necessary for a perfect fit.

 

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

Nick Gravange, RPT, Phoenix, AZ Chapter & 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) Grand Action Rebuilding 101

Louis Del Bene, RPT, Boston, MA Chapter

Rebuilding your first action can be a daunting prospect. With increasing availability of quality parts and suppliers who are willing and able to help, this can be done, and it can be done…by you! We’ll be talking about the steps you’ll take from offering the job to completing the installation.

 

(I,A) Grand Balancing Act 2.0 - Action Weigh 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 a 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 greatly speeds up the weigh-off procedure and provides consistent results. Other considerations of fine grand action work such as geometry, action ratio, inertia, pattern key leading, parts selection and hammer preparation will also be covered in the 2nd period of the class. If you have been apprehensive about any of this work, you should gain confidence after attending this class.

 

(I) Grand Rebuilding Teardown

Louis Del Bene, RPT, Boston, MA Chapter

Teardown is one of the first and most important phases in a rebuilding project. A careful study of the instrument gives you an understanding of the scope and direction of a project. This class will cover many of the steps taken during rebuilding pianos at North Bennet Street School. It is a lot to cover in the given time so we’ll scratch the surface and start conversations about how to start a project so you can be confident the work will end…and end well.

 

(E) Installation of the Full-Fitted Pinblock

Christian Bolduc, Pianos Bolduc

Watch as Christian demonstrates from A to Z how to replace a full-fitted grand pinblock. Learn how to take necessary references before removing the plate, the use of the Plate-Puller, removing the pinblock using the Bolduc’s pinblock extractor, fitting the new block to the plate, drilling it, and gluing and dowelling in the case. You’ll hear many tips and tricks to simplify the work.

 

(I,A) Installing the WNG Grand Damper Action

Bruce Stevens, RPT, South Bay, CA Chapter

Replacement of the old grand damper action is too often overlooked, avoided and/or feared, and yet it is a major component of any complete grand restoration.  In this two-period class, Bruce Stevens will share his experience as to why the WNG Damper Action is an excellent choice when it comes to a new back action installation.  Bruce will explain the tool kit WNG created to aid a precise installation, selecting the features of the new system required for the piano you are working on and ordering the right action kit.  He will also cover the layout and assembly process and how the custom installation is easily accomplished.  

 

(E) Keyboard Evaluation and Replacement for the Rebuilder

Dean Reyburn, RPT & Nate Reyburn, RPT, Reyburn Pianoworks

We'll demonstrate practical and objective ways to make sure your action rebuild will be successful by checking the condition of the keyboard and measuring key ratio. Learn about the ramifications of installing a new keyboard and/or action stack. See a virtual tour through Reyburn Pianoworks keyboard manufacturing shop which using the latest CAD and CNC robotics.

 

(A) Keyboard Replacement: An Increasingly Necessary Set of Skills

Chris Palframan & Gabe Granitz, RPT, Roseland Piano/PianoWorks, Inc.

This class will be your guide to replacing old keyboards with new keys cut to fit the original keyframe. We will discuss the skills necessary to fit the original keyframe back into the piano and optimize the pianos performance. In addition, we will discuss the differences between fitting new blank keyframes and the original keyframe with new keys. We will also discuss correct action geometry and the ability to correct geometry with new custom keys. Being both an end user and manufacturer of new keyboards, the Roseland Piano Co./ PianoWorks team will provide highly useful tips to make the job more efficient for rebuilders.

 

(I,A) Practical Scale Design

Del Fandrich, RPT, Puget Sound, WA Chapter

This class is a primer covering the basics of piano rescaling. Starting with measuring, we'll use available software to evaluate existing scale, then consider how to redesign a scale to better match the character of the piano. We will discuss the various compromises that must be made when rescaling a piano.

 

(I,A) Rebuilder's Grab Bag, The Action Edition

David Hughes, RPT, Baltimore, MD Chapter

This class will discuss the merits of installing new keys, new capstans and backchecks, keyboard weigh-off, action stack build-up, hammer weight management, damper system installation tips, trap-work goodies, and more. This will be 90 minutes of fast paced fun. Belly hounds need not apply – this class is where the action is.

(E) Upright Hammer Replacement

John Gallen, Connecticut Chapter

Upright hammer replacement is often needed, but installing the hammers is neither difficult nor easy and it is seldom taught. Using simple jigs, let's discuss the common issues and solutions found when performing this job.

 

(I,A) Vintage Steinway Restoration: Best Practices

Bill Shull, RPT, Pomona Valley, CA Chapter

The restoration of a vintage Steinway piano is discussed from the viewpoint of "Best Practices." The disciplines of conservation, traditional restoration and remanufacturing are brought to bear on the restoration challenges presented by an 1870s Steinway grand. In the first period these resources are reviewed, and the case studies are introduced. In the second period the case studies are examined in detail, through these different lenses.



SERVICE & REPAIR


(I,A) Back Weighting Upright Keys - The Ultimate Improvement

Joe Garrett, RPT, Portland, OR

Once you have taken care of the pinning, regulation and reconditioning of an upright, there is one final process that will greatly improve the repetition and touch. Back weighting the keys will offset the imbalance of the key sticks on an individual basis. Come learn how this is done.

 

(E) Bösendorfer – Then and Now

TBD

This class will focus on the newest developments in Boesendorfer design, including some very important details to help you give the best possible service to these fine instruments.  We'll also offer specific instruction on service to older instruments .

 

(I, A) Bridge Repair

Joe Garrett, RPT, Portland, OR

We'll cover various epoxy techniques including capping and replacement of entire bridges. Emphasis will mostly be on bass bridges. You'll see an actual demonstration of a bridge repair as a part of this nuts and bolts type class.

 

(E) Casters – Who Knew?

Kathy Smith, RPT, Los Angeles, CA Chapter

Who knew so much of a career as a piano technician would be spent dealing with casters? This class will use discussion, photos and examples to show some common problems, some solutions, and preventive care. Casters will include everything from in-home upright casters to the large expensive brass concert casters.

 

(E) Complete Piano Service: Optimizing the Piano, Your Client and Your Career

David Andersen, Los Angeles, CA Chapter & Eric Johnson, RPT, Connecticut Chapter

Two experienced professionals, one West Coast and one East Coast, will share their complementary approaches to the concept of complete piano service. You’ll hear lots of tips and techniques for getting the very best out of pianos and clients, ultimately leading to a rewarding and fulfilling career for you.

 

(I) Comprehensive Piano Appraisals

Mike Ello, RPT, Houston, TX Chapter

As professional piano technicians, we can provide a comprehensive piano appraisal that will meet the requirements necessary for insurance coverage, estate settlement, or the fair market donation value on IRS form 8283. Mike will share how he develops his 3 to 4 part comprehensive appraisal report.

 

(E) Creating and Using Specialty Kits for Different Repairs and Tasks

Isaac Sadigursky, RPT, Los Angeles, CA Chapter

View a visual presentation of many of the tool kits Isaac has created to do specific jobs in the shortest amount of time. Some kits are carried in his van (Isaac’s shop-on-wheels) and some are kept in the shop for specific jobs. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear Isaac share his experiences in performing daily field services more efficiently.

 

(E) Dampers from the Ground Up

Steve Brady, RPT, Seattle, WA Chapter

We’ll cover the important but often-misunderstood topic of damper regulation, including the installation of new damper felts, proper regulation of the damper pedal and the sostenuto pedal, and finally how to troubleshoot and correct damping problems in both grands and verticals

 

(E) Every Piano

William Monroe, RPT, Madison, WI Chapter

Every Piano is a service and repair class premised upon the idea that every piano in existence can be made better – without exception. This class will focus on effectively evaluating pianos for extended service, common service needs, how to utilize a template for breaking large jobs down into manageable segments, and some pitfalls to be aware of.

 

(E) Fantastic Problems and How to Solve Them

Jason Cassel, RPT, Salt Lake City, UT Chapter

“I’ll take sticking keys for 300!” This Jeopardy-style course presents videos of common problems and repairs – from sticking keys to ringing dampers and beyond. Participants will be given a chance to score points by guessing the source of the problem correctly. Once identified, the solution to each problem will be discussed.

 

(E) Fantastic Squeaks and Where to Find Them

Jason Cassel, RPT, Salt Lake City, UT Chapter

“I’ll take pedal squeaks for 200!” This Jeopardy-style class features videos of clicks, buzzes, squeaks and more. Participants will be given the chance to earn points by guessing the source of the sound correctly. When the source has been identified, the solution will be discussed.

 

(I) Fix That Lyre

Debbie Cyr, RPT, Boston, MA Chapter

General grand lyre repairs, featuring proper repairs for unglued lyre posts, all kinds of pedal mechanisms, and a demonstration of just how easy installing a Steinway lyre really is!!

 

(E) Fixing Spinets

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

There are many spinets out there, and many good reasons to know how to service 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. This is an expanded version of last year's class.

 

(E) From the Ground Up

David Brown, RPT, Dallas, TX Chapter

This class covers the intersection of the lyre, pedals, trap work and action. It gives onsite techniques for the home and concert hall. Emphasis is on the NY Steinway lyre, but the concepts will apply to all brands. It is not just about fixing pedals but deals with the system organically. These techniques have been used and proven in the field and university environments for decades.

 

(E) Grand Damper Installation and Regulation

Michael Ryan, RPT, Queensland, Australia

You’ll see a demonstration of tips and tricks for removing grand dampers, replacing damper felts, re-installing dampers, regulation of dampers, and solving problems with ringing dampers etc.

 

(E) Humidity & Wood

Christian Bolduc, Pianos Bolduc & Charles Rempel, Dampp-Chaser Corp.

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.

 

(B,I) Improving Upright Performance, 20 Tips

Starr Taylor, RPT, Southwest Florida Chapter

This beginner/intermediate class is designed to help technicians look at the whole piano 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. A detailed handout is included. Questions are always encouraged!

 

(E) In Home Touch Up Repair

Greg Cheng, RPT, Allied Piano and Finish LLC

In-home lacquer repair for touching up pianos made easy.

 

(E) Installation of Dampp-Chaser’s Piano Life Saver System

Charles Rempel & Kelly Hollifield, Dampp-Chaser Corporation

Charles and Kelly will demonstrate and review System installation in a grand piano. The grand installation will be projected on a screen live for easy viewing by all attendees. They will discuss part placement guidelines and offer tips from other installers. Class discussion will also include player pianos, pianos without beams, dual humidifier Systems, and Undercovers. Class will close with suggestions on customer orientation, and planning for follow-up service and sales.

 

(E) Klunker Klinic

Jim Geiger, RPT, Heart of Texas Chapter

The Klunker Klinic class will take an old neglected piano and try to make it playable. The assessment part of the class will determine and explain the repairs to be done, but other issues will be covered like how to handle the brute, whipping the bass strings and when to say NO!!!


(E) Make it Shine

Greg Cheng, RPT, Allied Piano and Finish LLC

This is an all-day polyester repair class. You’ll learn everything you need to know to fix today's high gloss finishes. It’s a hands on-class where you will work through every step. Both traditional hand polishing methods and machine-assisted methods will be included. Limit 20 students. Pre-registration required. Fee: $95. Materials and tools will only be provided for 20 participants.

 

(E) Piano Detailing for Fun & Profit

Evan Austin, Santa Barbara, CA Chapter

A dirty grand piano invites extra wear and damage, isn't fun to display or play, and isn't healthy to service. But we don't just clean pianos; we detail them! I'll share techniques, tools, and tips for efficiently detailing a grand piano interior to make customers (and their guests) say "Wow!"

 

(E) Piano Moving Basics - A Hands-on Experience.

David Nichols, Portland, OR Chapter & Joseph Childs

Even if you do not move pianos yourself, the information covered in this class will help you when your client asks for advice or recommendations. Attendees will learn the basics of piano moving. We will move both uprights and grands. Among other details, we will practice removing a grand leg to replace the caster and full tear down of a grand to move or store it on a skid. Students will be encouraged to participate.

 

(E) Piano Technicians Playground

Bill Davis, RPT Ed Sutton, RPT Sheffey Gregory, RPT & John Parham, RPT

This day and one-half class allows individuals to watch video instruction in English or Español at multiple workstations then perform specific skills in an environment promoting success. Participants must download or stream videos to their own device from the in-class Wi-Fi. All tasks are presented in a step-by-step manner. Whether you have 30 years under your belt or just beginning, this hands-on class offers a best-practice opportunity to explore, practice, improve and polish core competencies and skills. Tools and materials are provided. Master your craft. Ear buds recommended.

 

(E) Re-attaching the Grand Pedal Lyre with T-nuts and Modifying Pitman Holes

Isaac Sadigursky, RPT, Los Angeles, CA Chapter

This method of modifying Grand Pedal lyre mounting was shown by the late legendary Los Angeles tuner Norman Neblett. Isaac has utilized it in his daily work and rescued many institutional pianos suffering from abuse and neglect. You’ll see a demonstration of this simple repair using Isaac’s kit of tools and drills to perform the task in less than 1/2 hour. The second part of the class will deal with modifying the Pitman Hole by enlarging it, so the Pitman does not make squeaks and other annoying sounds.

  

(E) Repair and Touch Up for Lacquer Pianos

Mike Ello, RPT, Houston, TX Chapter

Learn both simple and complex touch up methods to lacquer finished pianos. We will cover edge repair, shellac burn ins, hard wax melt ins, color matching, graining, gouge repairs, and partial part refinishing. Mike is the author of the book "Master Guide to Piano Finish Touch Up.”

 

(E) Street Pianos - Not Just a Pretty Case

Gina Bonfietti, Connecticut Chapter & Amy Tiernan, RPT, Connecticut Chapter

There is so much more to a street piano than just a pretty case! Learn how to prep the piano, find a location, deal with your municipality and how to promote your piano. We will discuss issues that we had with our street piano and the stories it generated. This class will teach you the why, the how and the must dos for a successful street piano.

 

(B) String Replacement

Jim Geiger, RPT, Heart of Texas Chapter

First, do no harm. This class will show the safe procedures for replacing both treble and bass strings, including tools supplies and suppliers, measurements and formulas, how to and how not to, and how to knot.

 

(E) Taming the 1098

Norman Cantrell, RPT, Central Oklahoma Chapter

The Steinway 1098 or Model 45 is a challenge to many technicians. There are several versions of this piano as design changes have been implemented over the years. Norman has been servicing the pianos at Oklahoma City University since 2006 with 83 of these in their inventory. He’s learned a few things to make them play and perform better without losing his sanity along the way. Come learn a few tested tricks to make servicing this model easier and more rewarding.

 

(E) Upright Damper Replacement Factory Style

David Jenkin, New Zealand

Learn a step by step workshop procedure for replacing upright dampers with new buttons and new damper heads.



TUNING


(E) Aural Tuning Skills in an ETD World

David Jenkin, New Zealand

We’ll re-visit traditional aural and dexterous tuning, and discover some insights and new skills necessary to tune well in the age of the ETD.

 

(B) The Comma of Pythagoras

Emily Townsend, RPT, Boston, MA Chapter

The mathematical foundations of temperament tuning are elegantly simple yet remain an elusive mystery to many in our trade. We'll use simple, elementary-level math to understand partials, interval relationships, why some intervals are tuned wide, and why some intervals are tuned narrow. This will be an upbeat, energetic class including time travel to ancient Greece, a visit from Donald Duck, aural examples from a real piano, and musical recordings comparing unequal temperaments.

 

(E) A Dead Simple Method for Pure 12ths Tuning

David Andersen, Los Angeles, CA Chapter

Pure 12ths tuning has fascinated our craft for the past several years. This class ends the confusion and lack of a workable, simple protocol to achieve a stable, musical, singing Pure 12ths temperament and tuning. Radically improve your ability to make tuning the actual "crown jewel" of your work. Half the class is tuning; the other half is breaking it all down and answering all questions. Clear handouts will explain it all. Be good to yourself; get a lot better after this class.

 

(E) Five Masters

Moderator Matt Hirschfelder will take us on a journey with RPT’s Kathy Smith, RandiSue Potter, Debbie Cyr, Jack Stebbins, and Lucy Urlacher as these five experts reveal their tips for a great tuning and demonstrate their hammer techniques on grand and upright pianos. All gifted instructors, they also share a serious commitment to passing on their knowledge to others. Compare their techniques and learn to improve your own.

 

(E) Fundamentals of Piano Tuning

Don Mannino, RPT, Kawai

This class is a “bottom to top” lecture and demonstration of the many aspects of piano tuning. Discussed are fundamental physics of musical sounds, the harmonic series, the source of the beats we hear, an aural temperament sequence, octave tuning methods and styles, unison tuning, and tuning stability. Although the class is intended for relative newcomers, it has materials useful to all technicians.

 

(I) Making the Transition: Moving from ETD to Tuning Test

Eric Johnson, RPT, Connecticut Chapter

Interested in becoming an RPT? Join us as we explore techniques for using the ETD to prepare for taking the PTG Tuning Exam.

 

(E) The Process of Aural Verification

Rick Butler, RPT, Washington, DC Chapter

This class presents a process for aurally measuring the temper of the basic intervals used in tuning and how they relate to one another. This understanding will provide a practical basis for aurally analyzing your tuning, discovering any errors, and what is necessary to make any needed corrections with confidence.

 

(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.  For the exam, you will be required to set 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 Fundamentals: The Old and The New

RandiSue Potter, RPT, ARPT, Portland, OR Chapter

Techniques — how we sit, stand, manipulate our hammer, use various types of mutes, strike and caress the key — are as important a part of our Tool Kit as are the hammers and mutes themselves. Beginners will learn to use Smart Techniques to be efficient and effective from the start, alleviating stress in their hands and back, while making their tunings more stable. Advanced tuners will say "I wish I had known that 20 (or 30 or 40) years ago.

 

(E) Tuning Pneumatic Players and Basic Troubleshooting

Douglas Laing, RPT, Southwest Florida Chapter

Don't know how to tune a player piano with all that stuff in the way? Find out how to clear a path to the tuning pins. Learn how to earn some extra cash by performing a basic player maintenance (cleaning and lubrication). You will also learn how to be a superhero by fixing the most common problems you will run across.

 

(E) Tuning Tutoring

Taylor Mackinnon, RPT, Portland, OR Chapter & Wim Blees, RPT, Hawaii 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. You must pre-register for this class by calling (913) 432-9975.  

 

(I, A) The Venue, the Artist, and Then the Piano

Ed Tomlinson, RPT, Los Angeles, CA Chapter

Learn how to better work with concert venues as well as how to best serve the concert artist’s needs... and then how to prepare a concert piano with limited time.



ELECTRONIC TUNING DEVICES


(E) The Accu-Tuner Tuning Class

Robert Conrad, RPT, Inventronics

Learn how to use the newest AccuTuner IV "980" features to customize an FAC template. Find out how to alter the tenor partial change location and correct all partial changes. We’ll also talk about how to determine the amount of custom stretch needed, and how to apply those amounts to the midrange, bass, and treble tuning.

 

(E) CyberTuner - Tuning Your Way

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

CyberTuner can be optimized to repeat your tuning style, pitch raise style, and adapt to how you tune pianos. We will be covering iRCT's Smart Pure 12ths tuning style, and how to both tune and pitch raise quickly and accurately in a single pass.

 

(E) Tuning, Unison Building and Voicing with the OnlyPure & Unisono Apps

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

You’ll see a demonstration of unison building and voicing in the tuning and voicing process, with support from the Unisono app which expands your tonal experience by involving the visual and aural sense simultaneously to achieve ultra clean, projecting and long lasting and nicely voiced unisons. The use of OnlyPure tuning software is also demonstrated in this class but can also be used side by side with other ETD´s or even as support with aural tuning.

 

(E) Tuning with the Verituner

Dave Carpenter, RPT, Veritune, Inc.

See up close how to take advantage of the unique tuning features of Verituner for iPhone and Verituner for Android. 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) Tuning with TuneLab

Robert Scott, Real-Time Specialties

Learn to use your smartphone or tablet computer with TuneLab. We demonstrate normal tuning procedures with TuneLab, including measuring inharmonicity, customizing the tuning to the piano, pitch-raise tuning, and the new 3-part tuning for more control over the tuning curve and perfect 12th tuning.



VOICING & CONCERT PREP

(I, A) The Artist & Artisan

Don Mannino, RPT, Kawai & Tatsuya Murakami MPA

New for 2020. The session covers a range of topics related to concert service including: Working with concert halls to schedule regular maintenance; Action preparation and regulation for control, repetition, power and control; Voicing techniques for power, sustain, Full tone, bright and clear tone, or warm tone depending on the concert needs; Tuning for the best concert sound; Working with pianists to get them comfortable with the instrument. Both of the instructors are active concert technicians working with pianists in a variety of circumstances, from recording sessions to solo and concerto concerts and piano competitions.

 

(I, A) Factory Voicing from China

Lvxin (John) Kang, RPT Hailun Piano Company

Mr. Kang, Hailun Customer Service Manager and chief factory technician, is responsible for the voicing of Hailun pianos, and services performance venues for all piano brands across China. His vast factory and field experience gives him a unique to approach to voicing. Using a translator, John will share his techniques to get the best results while working efficiently. Time will be available for Q & A. Join the Hailun team for this special presentation!

 

(I) From Rocks to Creampuffs

Don Mannino, RPT, Kawai

This is a basics of voicing class, in which samples of four different sets of hammers are installed in one Kawai grand piano, and each is voiced during the class for the best tone. The hammer manufacturing process and concepts of how hammers work is discussed. 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.

 

(E) Surviving the Stage

Rick Florence, RPT, Phoenix, AZ Chapter

Hear a presentation of lessons learned, and techniques utilized on the concert stage — some rewarding, others frustrating. Rick says he has come to realize that sometimes what he does/doesn’t do has a positive effect on preparing both piano and pianist.

 

(E) Tuning Tools, Techniques, and Tricks

Charles Faulk, RPT, Faulk Tuning Hammers

Learn more about "rigidity" in tuning hammers. Following this, Charles will cover a list of tuning techniques to help you achieve more accuracy with the least effort. He'll also talk about a fast voicing technique to soften those rock-hard hammers. And, if time permits, he may ask a few brave souls to demonstrate their tuning techniques ... with maybe a little tactful coaching.

 

(E) Voicing: A Part of Everyday Service

Ryan Sowers, RPT, Puget Sound, WA Chapter

Voicing, like unisons, should be learned from the beginning and mastered over a lifetime. This class will help you develop systems to upgrade the tone of everyday pianos using novel tools and techniques. Whether a Steinway B or Wurlitzer spinet, your clients will find new joy in their instruments.



RPT EXAM CLASSES

Written:

(E) Take the RPT Written Examination
Robert Guenther, RPT
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 this exam.
For PTG members only.

 

Tuning:

Understanding the PTG Tuning Exam
Alan Crane, 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 members only

 

Technical:

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 members only.

 

Examiner:

CTE Tuning Examiner Training
Alan Crane, RPT
This class is for both seasoned CTE examiners as well as RPT members who wanting 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’s only.

 

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 only. Must RSVP. If you will be attending, please contact Hannah Beckett by July 15 at hannah.beckett@icloud.com.