Milestones to RPT

Suggested Milestones to RPT

A piano tuning business requires reasonable competence in dozens of tasks. The Registered Piano Technician exams test a cross-section of these competencies. Unfortunately, they test only nine basic tasks. Preparing for the RPT exams, you will perform better if you learn many more skills than what is minimally required. 

The timeline below outlines one of many roadmaps to becoming an RPT in two years. If your goal is four years, double the times; and if three years, triple it, etc. 





Day One

- Acquire basic tools and study materials

- Find a piano or model to practice on

- Begin studying basic vocabulary and concepts

- Become familiar with the kinds of repairs you will need to learn

- Be thinking of your business name

- Collect business cards to get ideas

Six Months

- Have more tools than you had day 1

-Set A4 within 3 cents

- Demonstrate aural checks for 4:2 and 6:3 octaves, 4ths and 5ths

- Tune temperament in 1 hour

- Have basic tools

- Know how to adjust: Blow distance, Key height, Letoff, Checking, Aftertouch as well as in Grands, Drop, Rep lever, & Rep spring

- Have basic tools

- Begin studying ways to track income and expenses

- Request a chapter technical on standard business practices 

- Order business cards

One Year

- Set A4 within 3 cents

- Tune entire piano aurally in 3 hours

- Aurally tune 10 pianos

- Explain inharmonicity

- Regulate 3-key upright model in 90 minutes, with help

- Regulate grand model in 90 minutes, with help

- Perform all 7 technical exam tasks using 2x time limits allowed

- Decide on a bookkeeping method

- Register with Dept. of Revenue for quarterly sales and use tax payments and quarterly estimated tax payments

One Year & Six Months

- Tune entire piano aurally in 2 hours and have an RPT check your work

- Set A4 within 1 cent

- Teach class on aural tuning basics at your chapter meeting

- Aurally tune 20 pianos

- Regulate 3 uprights and 3 grands

- Begin exploring consequences of pushing regulation limits

- Perform all 7 technical exam tasks within 25% of time limits

- Become fairly proficient at 10 tasks not on the exam

- Find a tax accountant

- Schedule and track appointments well

Take the Written Exam! 

Two Years

- Set A4 within .5 cents

- Tune a piano aurally in 1-1/2 hours and have an RPT check your work

- Aurally tune 30 pianos

- Regulate 3-key upright model in 60 minutes with no help

- Regulate grand model in 60 minutes, with no help

- Perform all 7 technical exam tasks 10% faster than time limits. Have an RPT verify the quality of your work

- Become fairly proficient at 20 tasks not on the exam

- Create a 5-year business plan

Take the Technical & Tuning Exams!