I Need Help from my Peeps!

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As many of you may know, I am a Registered Piano Technician with the Piano Technicians Guild. I have been a member since 2000 and an RPT since 2005.

Of the many benefits of membership, attending the yearly regional or national conventions for a reduced price is one of them.

Each convention has a wide variety of presenters who talk about many topics from tuning to rebuilding, and at many levels from novice to Advanced.

Next year the convention is in Denver, Colorado, and I have been accepted to submit class ideas as a speaker to do a 90 minute class. I can submit as many ideas as I want, but they will only choose one (as far as I know) if they choose one of my ideas at all.

So what I need from you is ideas. You know what topics I’ve created videos on, you know what methods and teaching styles I use, and if you read my posts on Pianoworld, you know some of the other topics I’ve posted and commented on.

So let’s have it. What topics do you think would be a good fit for me to teach to a class of piano technicians. Feel free to suggest topics on which I have not made any videos yet, or written articles or posts.

I’ve given thousands of hours of instruction to hundreds of students, but this class means a lot to me and I want it to be memorable.

Thank you in advance for all for your submissions.

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3 Responses to “I Need Help from my Peeps!”

  1. Francisco says:

    Hello Mark,

    Here are some ideas for you:
    – Historical temperaments. In the past I had clients that preferred their piano to be tuned in an historical temperament rather than equal temperament.

    – Inharmonicity and how to deal with it. Small pianos are much harder in this respect, but it is always a trial and error process. Do you have like a recipy. How do you tune octaves in the low and high sections in pianos with high degree of inharmonicity.

    – False beats. It is a pain in the… to tune a piano with false beats.
    Can they be fixed? How to fix them? How to tune despite of the presence of false beats.

    – You can talk about health and tuning. How to avoid hearing loss, tinitus, back pain. Talk about the right posture. Explain your soft pull technique.

    – An interesting topic for piano tunners would be the Marketing side of it.
    How do you sell your services?, How do you advertise yourself?, What value you provide that other piano technitians don’t? Do you pay for advertising? etc.

    – How does the sell-buy piano business work? Buy, fix, resell, etc. Explain the process. Is it lucrative? There are even pianos that are given away for free. Is it worth it to fix and sell them?

    – Differences between tuning by ear vs tuning with an electronic device. Advantages, disadvantages. Which one is better. How to use electronic devices to prepare for PTG examinations.

    – Talk about the future of the piano market.

    These are some ideas. I hope it helps.



  2. Cesar Martinez says:

    Well Mark I haven’t heard your other training sessions but as for beginners I think the most important thing will be temperament and Understand what it takes to have equal temperament and to be able to know the different approaches of tuning.

    As for a more advance material I think “Stability” will be next. The variations that will affected and the different techniques to approach it the best.

    By the way in class I was not able to mention due to time and material to assimilate but there is a book I really enjoying and the title is “My life with the Great Pianist” by Franz Mohr. He was a tuner and he explains his tuning method. I hope you are able to secure a copy and learn also his approach. He was the personal tuner to Horowitz and tuned also for Rubinstein, Gilels and Cliburn.

    Hope this helps

    Cesar Martinez

  3. Roger Turney says:

    Hi Mark,

    A 90 minute session is a long time. One thought I had was to create an amalgam of what you teach in ‘ how to tune pianos’.

    In this way you would/could be offering something for everyone – inexperienced to experienced as well as show casing your pedagogical methodology and highlighting the use of technology.

    Eg tuning stability, use of audacity, ‘tuning by windows temperament, treble’. Bass tuning. Low impact tuning etc, even demonstrate ‘long distance tuning education’ via skype?

    However I know conferences like single focus topics so I think anyone of the above would be ideal in an interactive forum.


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