Piano-Tuner Career Description
Apart from tuning pianos, piano tuners must also be able to repair mechanical defects, regulate pianos, repair barrel organs and service accordions.
What am I going to do in this occupation?
Before piano-tuners can tune a piano, it is necessary to determine if the piano needs any mechanical repairing. Piano-tuners may need to do the following repairs: The felt-covered hammers which strike the steel strings can wear out if the piano was used a lot and then they have to be replaced or scoured off again. It also happens that the hammers, which are held in position by brass pins, wear out and due to the vibrations they reproduce bad sound quality. It may then be necessary to replace the hammers with a new set or part of it.
The tuning pins - the pins to which the strings are attached - sometimes have to be replaced with a thicker set of pins. Piano-tuners may also have to replace or scour off the keys, or bleach and treat them with peroxide to regain the original colour. When one of the steel strings of the piano breaks, it has to be replaced by a steel wire of the same measurement.
After piano-tuners have cleaned and repaired the piano, they can start to tune it. The equipment used by piano-tuners to tune a piano are tuning-forks, hammers and felt wedges which are pressed between the strings. For visually handicapped persons their hands and hearing are the most important aids as their hands must direct them through many wires and pins with which a sighted person has little difficulty. These persons will normally count from a specific point to find the pin they are looking for.
What kind of personality do I need? Prospective piano-tuners must have a reasonable musical aptitude although it is not necessary for them to be able to play the piano. The visually handicapped piano-tuners must be attentive and able to concentrate intensely on their work. Each part that they take out of the piano must be marked and put aside in such a way that they can easily find it again. Piano-tuners also have to have a great deal of patience and determination.
Where can I work?
You can work at piano manufacturers, piano repair shops or music dealers.
Can I work for myself in this occupation?
After piano-tuners have gained some experience in this occupation, they can start their own businesses.