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Video:How to Become a Certified Piano Tuner

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Piano tuners are responsible for keeping these instruments in proper condition and making sure they sound perfect. This About.com video will show you how to become a certified piano tuner.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Become a Certified Piano Tuner

Hi, my name is Matt Wynne with About.com and today I'm going to tell you how to become a certified piano tuner and technician.

Aspects of Being a Piano Tuner

There are three aspects to this work in order for one to actually go out and start doing work for people's houses, churches, universities or schools.

  • The first aspect is, of course, tuning and that is the process to make the piano sound really nice.
  • The second process is repairs. Because there are thousands of parts in a piano, that means there are many opportunities for things to break or go wrong.
  • And the third aspect is regulation which is the process of adjusting all of the notes so that they fire properly and uniform with the other notes.

Getting Certified as a Piano Tuner

The only certification available in this field is through the Piano Technicians Guild, which is an international association of piano technicians. Their main goal is to promote excellence in the field. Their certification is called Registered Piano Technician or RPT. In order to become an RPT one must take and pass three exams.

Exams for Certification

  • The first exam is a written exam where the examinee must demonstrate general knowledge in the areas of piano tuning, repairs, regulation and a little bit of history.
  • The second exam is called the bench test. This is where the examinee demonstrates their ability to the proctors as to how to regulate a grand and upright action, as well as perform common repairs.
  • The third exam is called the tuning exam. In the tuning exam, three very experienced piano tuners will tune a piano until they all agree that it cannot be tuned any better. Then they slightly detune it to allow the examinee to tune the piano and the results are compared with the master tuning to see if the tuning will qualify.

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