Classes

Ricki Klos, RPT, CTE, & Michael Travis, RPT, CTE

Preparing for a Master Tuning

The SERC is offering a never-presented-before class called "Preparing for a Master Tuning”. This will be a hands-on class for RPTs only who want to know what it is like to prepare a piano for the Tuning Exam. The class will be limited to 5 RPTs.  While there is no additional fee required, participants will be screened by Ricki and Michael. Please email at ricki.klos1926@gmail.com if you want to be considered for this class. It will only be offered Saturday afternoon at 1 PM in the exam room.  It helps if you are interested in becoming a CTE.

 This class will only be offered once on Saturday afternoon

from 1 - 5 in the exam room.

 

Luke Ehresman 

Grow With Gazelle:

An overview class that covers running a business with Gazelle, setting up automated SMS & Email reminders, integrating with Stripe to process payments through Gazelle, and integrating with QuickBooks to simplify your accounting / bookkeeping. 

Creating Estimates That Sell:

A class on creating estimates designed to make it easy for customers to choose to invest in their piano. Over the past 12 months Gazelle's estimates have created over $1 Million of new revenue for piano technicians businesses around the globe and on average each Gazelle estimate brings in over $1,000 of extra work / repairs / regulation / voicing per piano. 

 

Dean and Nate Reyburn, RPTs

 

Keyboard and Action Evaluation for the Rebuilder:

We'll demonstrate practical and objective ways to ensure your action rebuild will be successful by checking the condition of the keyboard and stack and simple ways to check action geometry. We'll show common pitfalls techs often miss. Ramifications of installing a new keyboard and/or action stack. A virtual tour through Reyburn Pianoworks keyboard manufacturing shop which uses the latest CAD and CNC robotics.

CyberTuner - Tuning with the new AI Mode:

We’ll cover iRCT’s new AI mode which optimizes every tuning to match the piano's idiosyncrasies. CyberTuner can be optimized to repeat your pitch raise & tuning style, and adapt to how you tune pianos. We will be covering iRCT's Smart Pure 12ths tuning style, and how to both tune and pitch raise quickly and accurately in a single pass.

Tune Jitsu: Ergonomic Tuning:

Before the way of the hand comes the way of the mind. Come learn the secrets of the impact tuning hammer. We'll focus on how the body functions, how to use it effectively with various tools, and how not to use it when tuning.

 

Dave Conte, RPT, CTE, TEC

Are You Aligned?:

It is something we all struggle with. To those of us with more experience, it causes a more obvious thorn. Over the years, I have had to contend with parts from all suppliers that varied dimensionally to greater or lesser degrees. This makes it hard to achieve precise and consistent results, especially with regulation. Each small error is amplified along the chain of regulation. Knowing how to deal with these will simply make your work better. 

Did You Remember To... :

Learn important step-by-step protocols for piano tear-down. Whether in preparation for restringing, action replacement or complete piano rebuilding, this will be beneficial in any situation.

 

Starr Taylor, RPT

 

Improving Grand Piano Performance, 20 Tips:

This intermediate/advanced class is designed to help piano technicians look at the piano from the inside out. The tips in this class will address unusual problems when servicing grand pianos as well as improving old tried and true methods for adjusting pedals and actions. Topics include: adjusting nosebolts for tuning stability, addressing string deflection with temperament strips, seating strings on bridges, eliminating grand pedal noise, addressing friction in the piano action, adjusting repetition springs and properly bushing the pitman pin hole in keybeds. A detail handout is included. Questions are always encouraged.

 

Li Yeoh

 

Rebuilding - A Grand Adventure:

Helpful steps and hints on grand piano rebuilding, including measuring preparation for complete disassembly, removing plate, strings and pins, sorting hardware, removing dampers, case and plate refinish plans, replace strings and tuning pins, action rebuild choices, regulation, reassembly, tuning and voicing.

 

Melanie Brooks

 

Business Savvy:

Defining practical strategies to make savvy business decisions will help you realize your goals.  Focusing on technical skills, we often lose sight of the costs of doing business. Join in a group discussion as we define what your time is really worth and build a roadmap to a successful business plan.

 

Tom Servinsky, RPT

 

Aural Tuning:

With the advent of Electronic Tuning devices being used by the majority of piano techs, understanding the limits of these devices becomes even more crucial. Likewise, it’s never been more important for techs to keep developing their aural skills to maximize the full potential of a piano.  This class places a huge emphasis on gaining more understanding through the aural process. Without using good aural skills, you’ll never know when the ETD leads you astray, which can happen.

The class dives deeply ( from an aural perspective) into hearing and understanding the power of the piano.  New checks, new ways of determining inharmonicity, and new ways of determining proper voicing.   Because tuning and voicing affect each other, much will be presented on voicing techniques to improve the tuning. Any great tuning is not complete without good voicing. And any great voicing is not complete without good tuning. Finding the proper match is key in making a piano sing.

 
 

Kelly Hollifield

 

Introduction to the Piano Lifesaver:

Struggling with tuning stability related to humidity fluctuations? We have a solution! The Piano Life Saver is a complete climate control system to help minimize tuning stability issues due to changes in humidity. We will provide a broad overview of product function, system selection, basic installation and service. This is a great course to check out whether you are new to the Piano Life Saver system, or just looking to brush up your skills and knowledge.

 

Bill McKaig, RPT

 

Rebuilding the Steinway Upright Action:

Early Steinway upright actions are one of the more challenging actions to rebuild. In this class  I’ll show a step-by-step procedure that makes rebuilding these pianos much more straight  forward. From the initial measuring to the final voicing, each step will be explained in detail.

Leo Holder

Appraisals:

Appraising pianos can be a daunting task if you don't know what you're doing. This class will discuss what methods the Uniform Standard of Professional Appraisal Practice, (USPAP), uses to determine the value of a piano. Included in the class will be the responsibilities within USPAP and the various appraisal definitions. And most importantly, we will discuss the IRS requirements for appraising pianos, and how that also effect insurance appraisals.  

 

Wim Blees, RPT

PITCH RAISING, Myths and Facts:

A round table discussion on pitch raising, what works, what won’t, and some of the untruths about massive pitch changes. Included will be a discussion of pitch raising techniques. 

 

Chris and Wim Blees, RPT

Selling/Buying Your Piano Tuning Business:

you’ve spent a lot of time building your tuning business, or maybe you're in the market to buy an existing tuning business. find out how to figure out how much the business is worth, the tax consequences, and the details involved in making the transaction. 

 

Chris Blees

Business Choice of Entity:

How should you structure your business for tax purposes; Sole Proprietor, LLC, C-Corporation, S-Corporation? This course will discuss the pros and cons of various entity choices and how to select and operate your business in the ideal structure to minimize your tax burden.

 

Mike Travis, RPT

Checking the Midrange: How and Why:

The aural midrange requirement, (Pitch. Temperament and Midrange, Part 1 of the RPT Tuning Exam), is the downfall of many if not most examinees who do not succeed on their first attempt, even though in theory the practice of checking your midrange tuning is simple.  This class will show where some of the most useful aural midrange tuning tests  come from, and demonstrate how you can use them to raise your score, with an additional brief discussion of overall test-taking strategies.

 

Keith Bowman, RPT & Mike Carraher, RPT

Upright Regulation - Action Meets Dampers:

We have just completed the perfect action regulation. What possibly can go wrong? Meet the damper system. It can be your friend, or your worst nightmare. Learn how the action drive train and the damper drive train work, and how they interact. See time saving regulation procedures. Learn how to make proper wire bends for damper alignment; how to set damper spring tension accurately; damper timing by sight; spoon adjustment out of the piano, diagnostic damper readings at front of key and much more, using unique tools and fixtures that provide accuracy and better posture.

 
 

Chris Palframan

Fully Fit Pinblock Installation:

In this class, you will learn how to properly remove a pinblock avoiding damage to the stretcher, case, and rim. You will gain tips and tricks on proper duplication, and finally you will learn how to reinstall a fully fit pinblock to the stretcher and rim. There will be a detailed discussion on material choices and tools required for the job.  

Josi Davis

Upright Hammer Hanging:

Learn expert techniques for hanging upright hammers both in and out of the piano from the team at Brooks LTD.  Know what parts are available on the market and opportunities you have to improve aesthetics, maintenance and performance during the replacement process. Let the voice of experience help you to avoid common pitfalls, build a better tool bag and increase your skill set – and ultimately, your business.