Different Piano Tuning Pedagogy

You would think that with all the different types of people out there, that there would be a wide variety of teaching methods from which an aspiring piano tuner could choose from. Here is a break down of your choices:

1) Learn from a Mentor.
Real life on-the-job experience.
Hands-on instruction.
Can be inexpensive, maybe even earn a small wage.

It is very difficult to find a technician who is willing to teach you.
Most that are interested, do not have teaching experience or skills.
Many just want to get some free labor.
They will also be hesitant to teach you how to be their competition.
They may prefer to teach you how to do the mundane tasks so they don’t have to, but leave the real meaty stuff out, like the actual tuning!
They have their style which may not fit yours.

If you can find a mentor who is a good teacher, is generous with their time, and will teach you all they know just so you can start your own business being their competition, you have found a very special human being.

2) Correspondence Courses.

You can read and take lessons at your own pace.

It can be very lonely when you run into trouble.
The quality of tools and lessons varies widely, from adequate to down right sloppy.
There is no substitute for hands-on instruction from an expert piano tuner who is also skilled at teaching.

3) Formal School.
The promise of comprehensive instruction.
Forced learning (Con?)

Expensive in money and time.
You have to commit to a year or more to take all the courses.
Most of the time is spent practicing, and you get to pay them for you to do it!
Most technicians eventually find their niche; not all technicians are interested in rebuilding, historical temperaments, harpsichords, etc, but you have to pay to learn how to do it all, even if you are not interested. (As a technician, there is no rule that says you have to know how to do every repair or  tune historical temperaments. A technician who refers work to others because they recognize their limitations, is rare and respected by their customers and other technicians.)

4) Short courses.

Do at your own pace; pick and choose what you want to learn, what you are interested in.
Because instructors go through their course material many times per year, as they teach each group of students, they get to see what works and what doesn’t work. They refine the course material so it is as effective as possible, as opposed to a correspondence course that doesn’t get the same kind of live direct and indirect feedback, or a formal school that has to wait a full year to modify course material.
You get to “try out the waters” so to speak, see if piano technology is something that you would like, without spending too much money. (Short courses are the least expensive and best value for your money if the instructor has a good reputation.

You have to research the instructor’s reputation to make sure they have a high record of success.

Mark Cerisano has been teaching piano tuning and repair in a crash course format since 2007. His courses are now geared especially for musicians who want to learn how to tune pianos.
Mark’s Piano Tuning and Repair Courses

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One Response to “Different Piano Tuning Pedagogy”

  1. Mark says:

    Is anybody reading these? I have no comments.

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