My Grateful Experiences Tuning Pianos on Prince Edward Island.

This might be an inappropriate post, as it can easily be interpreted as bragging. I can only temper that by explaining the reasons why I’m posting it, hoping that they will help put the post in a more modest light.

Also, I will try to list all the factors that led to this situation, including the ones beyond my control, hopefully reducing any “get rich quick” quality that may be viewed in the post.

First, the facts. In the next three weeks, I will be tuning pianos on Prince Edward Island, a small island province in Canada. Due to events I will explain shortly, I find myself about to tune 8 pianos a day for three weeks, at $150 each. The total revenue generated will be approximately $18,000.

I know some people may scoff in disbelief – I am, just looking at it that number myself.

The reason why I am posting this, is that I am very grateful to find myself in this position and I want to share it with others. Also, some people out there may be interested in making money tuning pianos and I want to qualify how this happened, so that they do not have unrealistic expectations.

There are only two elements that made this happen; opportunity and ability.

Here is how the opportunity presented itself.

About 9 years ago, a lady named Cecelia Bell from PEI contacted me. She found me on the internet and wanted to learn how to tune her own pianos. I couldn’t come all that way for one student, so she suggested she try and find me pianos to tune. She did.

That was the first blessing. Cecelia has been a God send, calling all my customers every spring and fall and booking appointments for me.

The 2nd opportunity presented itself when we tried to sell our farmhouse, the one we bought to stay in, while tuning on the island.

First, the agent couldn’t sell it, so we decided to try and sell it ourselves. I planned to fix it up one spring, but would need time. I told Cecelia that I would have to raise my prices 50% so that I could create some free time. (I was hoping people would choose not to tune their piano with me because of the price increase.)

What happened was that the vast majority of people were fine with the new price.

That was the opportunity. Now I had to deliver. Also, because we did not want to stay long, I had to book all these tunings close together with limited time. So, I had to produce high quality tunings efficiently.

This is where I feel the Go APE method has served me well. With it, I am able to tune a piano within 75 minutes with good results. PEI’s climate is temperate, so regularly tuned pianos are not too demanding. Another blessing.

In addition to the speed of the tunings, the quality has allowed me to keep my customers happy and rebooking.

Finally, the Go APE method uses a low impact technique (NSL analysis) and Double String Unisons to help me develop good stability and unisons, allowing me to tune 8 pianos a day without getting too tired. Some days I may even do 9 or 10 without much more fatigue.

For sure, this situation has fallen into my lap, and for that I am grateful. Even discovering and developing the Go APE method seems, at times, to be a stroke of luck.

I hope other people who have studied the Go APE method with me have had similar experiences.

If so, please share them in the comments section.

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4 Responses to “My Grateful Experiences Tuning Pianos on Prince Edward Island.”

  1. Don says:

    At 75 minutes per tuning and 8 per day we are talking 10 hours without any travel time.

    Lots of good aural tuners can manage repeat clients tunings in well under 75 minutes.

    The physical stress on my body no longer allows me to do more than 3 or 4 tunings per day.

    • Hi Don,

      Thanks for the comment.

      I start at 8am and finish at 8pm. 90 minutes scheduled per tuning. It’s only for three weeks. I couldn’t keep this pace up, but I am grateful that I have the opportunity and ability to do it.

      75 minutes is an average. I don’t like to push it below this; some customers may become annoyed if too little time is spent on their piano, when charging a premium fee.

      I am very sorry for the physical stress that tuning has had on your body. Tuning can be very damaging to our bodies, especially when excessive hammer movements and loud test blows are used constantly.

      Beginners are not aware of this until they start tuning full-time. And then it may be too late; they may have already internalized their method and may find it too difficult to change. That’s one of the reasons I looked into less severe methods. It wasn’t easy, but now I am very happy that I have little to no physical stress from tuning.

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