How Do I Become a Piano Tuner?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

Piano tuners are professionals who help to keep pianos in proper working order, including adjusting the workings of the piano so that the proper notes are generated when the corresponding keys are played. Becoming a piano tuner means entering into a process that requires a good ear for music and the ability to develop the skills needed to accomplish the task. There are several ways to become a piano tuner, including becoming an apprentice to an accomplished piano tuner, taking a course at a local trade or vocational school, or even learning the basic process by means of some type of online or correspondence course.

Pianos must be tuned twice yearly.
Pianos must be tuned twice yearly.

The most recommended path to pursue if you want to become a piano tuner is to apprentice with an established professional. This approach makes it possible to gain practical experience even while learning the nuances of this type of work. During the apprenticeship, the student is able to become more familiar with different types of pianos, learn the differences between tuning each type, and in general get a feel for how to trouble shoot when there appears to be some specific issue that is affecting the proper tuning of an instrument.

A piano tuner must have a good ear for music.
A piano tuner must have a good ear for music.

When securing an apprenticeship is not possible or practical, an alternative method to become a piano tuner is to take courses that have to do with piano tuning. Many vocational and trade schools offer coursework that is relevant to this type of work. While there are often opportunities to tune several different types of pianos as part of the assignments included in the course, the experience is not likely to be quite as comprehensive as the apprenticeship. This may mean that the new piano tuner will still need to gain more experience once the coursework is successfully completed.

If local institutions do not offer a course in piano tuning, there is always the opportunity to become a piano tuner with the aid of distance learning. Today, it is possible to find online courses that focus on how to tune a piano properly, as well as correspondence courses that can be completed via postal mail. While helpful in some cases, these courses require significantly more effort on the part of the student, because the work must be completed without direct oversight by an instructor or mentor, a situation that can complicate the learning process. This indirect method of learning how to be a piano tuner may be a viable option for someone who has easy access to a piano that can be used to complete assignments and who has the discipline to complete tasks without a great deal of supervision.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including wiseGEEK, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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