I am a 2001 graduate of the American School of Piano Tuning. Although my first several pianos tuned were a nerve-wracking affair, I've since "come-into-my-own" and now tune without after-thought. The ASPT course was exceptional and as a reference has been invaluable, and when I have...
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Fact: 2/3 of all piano tuners learned by home-study course.
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Piano Teacher and Student
Receive their diplomas 46 years apart!
"At the age of 19 I saw an advertisement in a trade magazine that was for the American School of Piano Tuning. An aunt of mine stated that if I would pay for my schooling then she would purchase my first piano tuning machine as a gift for me. I readily accepted her offer and have benefited greatly until today. The correspondence course was easy to understand and affordable. I could make progress at my own rate. I graduated from the School on the date of February 19th, 1969. By choice I decided to let Piano Tuning be a supplement to my teaching.
Over the years I received many benefits. Early on in my piano tuning career I worked for a local music store and this gave me much needed experience. I have become more skilled and adept at my tuning so that now ... on average it takes just a little over an hour to tune a piano and make a net of $85.00. Piano tuning has proved to be a steady supplement.
Although I have shared my enthusiasm for tuning with many over the years, Diana West is the first piano student of mine that seriously wanted me to teach her how to tune. During the training, I furnished her with an old piano that had difficulties and ... let her go at it. She did marvelously! After 8 months she liked it so well her husband was willing to pay for her education through The American School of Piano Tuning. She graduated from this school on the date of April 15, 2015 and the picture I sent shows both of us holding up our diplomas - dated some 46 years apart." - Joseph Kurz
"I have always had a strong passion for music. My interest in tuning began about 6 years ago when I had my own piano tuned. I watched in wonder as the tuner delicately tuned each string and brought my piano out of its dull, clunky, off-key sound and into its full ability to create beautiful music. I remember asking a lot of questions, to the point that he offered to take me on as a student. Unfortunately at that point in my life I was not in a position to change careers, but the fascination with pianos had already set in.
A couple years later I was married to a soldier and facing the career instability challenges that come with being a military spouse. At the time, my sone was taking piano lessons, and the teacher, Joe Kurz, was also a tuner; a graduate of The American School of Piano Tuning. He came to my home to tune up my piano, and again I found myself asking too many questions for him to make good time tuning the piano. Fortunately he is a very patient man. My interest in tuning was growing and the idea of learning the trade was beginning to take hold. About 10 months later, he came back to adjust my piano again, and I asked him to teach me. That began a roughly year long journey of taking apart pianos, watching him tune pianos, helping tune and replace strings.
I decided to supplement my apprenticing with a formal trainging course just to make sure everything I needed to know would be covered. Knowing that Mr. Kurz was a graduate of The American School of Piano Tuning, there was no question for me where I would attend. He had been a successful tuner for over 40 years.
The coursework and year-long apprenticeship that I completed has given me a really comprehensive and hands-on training. At one point, Mr. Kurz brought a 105 year old upright piano over to my house that had been sitting in a storage unit for several years and was in very rough shape. His only instruction - make it work. As I would complete my lessons, I would work on the part of the piano being taught. Many times I would have to refer back to the manual to figure out exactly what I was supposed to do, and a few times even got stuck and needed to consult with Mr. Kurz. I removed rust, reset pins, replaced key tops, flanges, springs, felts and punchings, hammer butts, shanks and hammer heads, voiced hammers, shored the bottom so the pedals would work, and tuned it up. I got the poor old piano into working order and even managed to coax a little music out of it.
My goal in training was to be in a position of being able to begin my career as a tuner by the time my husband got orders to take us somewhere else. After all, nearly anywhere we go there will be pianos, and sooner or later they will need to be tuned! As I write this, we are on our way to our new assignment about 4000 miles away where I hope to put my skills and knowledge to work. The training I received from Mr. Kurz and the coursework I have completed have prepared me for a the career change I was looking for." - Diana West