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#1861650 - 03/14/12 10:54 AM Re: Perception of the PTG from non members [Re: rysowers]  
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Roger Ransom Offline
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So, the title of this thread is asking for non-members perception of the PTG. (emphasis mine)

Several have done that and then it appears that the 2nd, unspoken part of that is that the members then tell us why we're wrong and actually paranoid in some cases.

Looks like a typical adversary discussion to me. Too bad.


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#1861658 - 03/14/12 11:00 AM Re: Perception of the PTG from non members [Re: rysowers]  
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Silverwood Pianos Offline
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I agree. This thread seems to now be somewhat suspicious. First there is the invitation to non-members to offer their perception of the PTG.
The first page of this thread was fine.

Then the accusations begin to fly….. and non-members are instructed as to what their perception should be or they are paranoid, wrong, incorrect or whatever……PTG is not a money grab etc etc…..

A kind of veiled way to get this forum talking about the PTG continuously.

I have always had a lot to speak on with this organization but again it is not the PTG itself

BUT SOME OF THE MEMBERS WHO ARE PROBLEMATIC.

Anyone getting the idea?



Dan Silverwood
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"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."
#1861668 - 03/14/12 11:24 AM Re: Perception of the PTG from non members [Re: rysowers]  
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UnrightTooner Offline
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I would never belong to an organization that would have ME as a member! laugh laugh laugh

But really, Dan, I agree. It is almost like there are two PTGs. The one that the members wish it was like and the one that, well, is what it is.


Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?
#1861680 - 03/14/12 11:46 AM Re: Perception of the PTG from non members [Re: rysowers]  
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Silverwood Pianos Offline
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Any group suffers from members who have their wishes Jeff.

People have to remember that membership is voluntary. If one voluntarily signs up to give their autonomy to another party they can hardly complain about the rules set in place for the group.

The response will always be: the rules are for the betterment of the group.

Roger correctly points out this thread is for non-member perceptions of the PTG. It is not a thread about protecting the virtues of the PTG and offering rebuttal of non-member perceptions.


Dan Silverwood
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"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."
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#1861714 - 03/14/12 12:42 PM Re: Perception of the PTG from non members [Re: rysowers]  
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Jerry Groot RPT Offline
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Yes, you guys are 100 % right. I agree with your perception of what is taking place. That's why I specifically asked for and will do so again that ALL RPT's PLEASE REFRAIN YOURSELVES from defending the PTG. Just sit, be quite and listen. DO NOT defend the PTG's position. This is not what this thread is all about....

Thanks,
Jer


Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.
#1861782 - 03/14/12 02:13 PM Re: Perception of the PTG from non members [Re: rysowers]  
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Thank you Jerry. That's exactly why I stopped posting. I was wondering if someone was going to get around to the original post and who was invited to comment.


Scott Kerns
"That Tuning Guy"
Lincoln, NE
www.thattuningguy.com
#1861785 - 03/14/12 02:16 PM Re: Perception of the PTG from non members [Re: rysowers]  
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Would the RPTs please STOP posting about NOT posting! laugh


Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?
#1861809 - 03/14/12 02:49 PM Re: Perception of the PTG from non members [Re: rysowers]  
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Jerry Groot RPT Offline
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crazy


Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.
#1861927 - 03/14/12 05:05 PM Re: Perception of the PTG from non members [Re: rysowers]  
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rysowers Offline
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Thanks for keeping the thread on track folks!

I'm glad this is not degenerating into a "us vs. them" forum. I agree that it was inappropriate to start accusing people of paranoia and fear in regards to taking exams. That really has nothing to do with this topic, and we shouldn't go there.

My intent in starting this was sincere. I've been thinking a lot about the PTG this past year and am questioning the direction it is currently heading and wondering what direction it will head in the future. Hearing non-members perceptions is really interesting and useful.

Maybe another interesting question to add to the mix is this:

What would your ideal piano technician organization look like?

Thanks for posting!


Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net
#1861991 - 03/14/12 06:46 PM Re: Perception of the PTG from non members [Re: rysowers]  
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"What would your ideal piano technician organization look like?" Ryan Sowers

For me, it would look a lot like this forum. Piano World has done a marvelous job here. The dues are just right, and there are no meetings! Our competence is judged by our clientele. Did I mention no meetings? YAY!!!


David L. Jenson
Tuning - Repairs - Refurbishing
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-----
#1861996 - 03/14/12 06:53 PM Re: Perception of the PTG from non members [Re: rysowers]  
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What David said!


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#1862134 - 03/14/12 10:41 PM Re: Perception of the PTG from non members [Re: Jerry Groot RPT]  
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Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
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Originally Posted by Jerry Groot RPT
Yes, you guys are 100 % right. I agree with your perception of what is taking place. That's why I specifically asked for and will do so again that ALL RPT's PLEASE REFRAIN YOURSELVES from defending the PTG. Just sit, be quite and listen. DO NOT defend the PTG's position. This is not what this thread is all about....

Thanks,
Jer


OK, I will, at least for a while until it simmers down.


Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com
#1862139 - 03/14/12 10:47 PM Re: Perception of the PTG from non members [Re: rysowers]  
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That Guy Offline
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I think for a lot of us (certainly not all) what David just said is the bottom line. We're not into meetings, status, politics or maybe not even very social. We enjoy what we do and want to continue to improve but don't want to be pushed. We like going at our own pace and doing things our way. That's one of the main reasons I'm in this business. Therefore, to be a part of an organization - any organization - is almost counter-productive for us.

Just a side note: There are, of course, other professions that have guilds or associations. My brother has been a dentist for about 30 years and has never joined the ADA. He's just never seen the need.

I guess what I'm saying is, the PTG couldn't change enough to be right for everyone. There are some who wouldn't join no matter what. Not because they're angry or upset, but it just isn't their thing.


Scott Kerns
"That Tuning Guy"
Lincoln, NE
www.thattuningguy.com
#1862199 - 03/15/12 12:21 AM Re: Perception of the PTG from non members [Re: rysowers]  
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I have a tangential question to toss out here for Bill Bremmer and any other RPT who's an experienced examiner: I have had drug-induced tinnitus since 1992, and until four years ago thought I'd never tune another piano as long as I lived. I got to know Ron Koval via these piano forums, and he taught me how to tune by listening for the sweet spot in the fundamental pitch, because I can't listen to partials anymore. I can now tune completely aurally - as a matter of fact, I think can tune better now than before. I tune for a lot of professionals and they are all impressed with my work.

Does my different method of tuning handicap me for taking the RPT exam?


Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
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#1862231 - 03/15/12 01:14 AM Re: Perception of the PTG from non members [Re: rysowers]  
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Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
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I would be glad to answer your question, OperaTenor. I have a touch of tinnitus too that comes and goes but it has no pitch to it, thankfully. Just that "crickets in Summer" kind of sound after I have been exposed to long periods of sound of any kind. Some quiet for a while generally relieves it.

Regardless of that, however, I must say that I have never been one to focus on partials to hear beats. It is what some say they do and what some suggest to those who have trouble perceiving beats. I, however, play an interval of any kind and either hear a beat or not.

The late Virgil Smith, RPT who was widely known and renowned for his ability and as a teacher of piano tuning, discouraged the focusing on partials. He taught that one should listen to the "whole sound".

I hope those comments are helpful to you.


Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com
#1862363 - 03/15/12 07:45 AM Re: Perception of the PTG from non members [Re: rysowers]  
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With all due respect to V.S., countless technicians have been taught to tune by similar exemplary tuners/teachers with beat counting and listening to partials being the very foundation of the learning path. At the school I attended, we had a pair of huge tuning forks outside the tuning rooms which beat out the theoretical F3-A3 beat rate and we would strike them with a mallet before entering the rooms to practice and burn that beat rate into our heads (as a rough guideline). Simply getting in the ball park of what that initial F3-A4 beat rate was counter productive in comparison to the little time spent learning what that beat rate actually was and getting as close as possible to it. It generally gets adjusted a little bit anyways, after we determine the rest of the temperament, but adjusting it as little as possible cuts down a lot of backtracking work.

I honestly think that if a person does not have a reasonably good understanting of what 1 bps is, they have no business talking about anything to do with beat rates period. Can you expect a person to maintain the speed limit with their car if they never seen or understood what a speedometer is?

I have also heard from countless techs, read in articles and hear for myself that once a beat rate approaches 10-11 bps or higher, its distinctive qualities begins to take on the appearance of "souring" rather than any useful comparative beat rate... topping off or including an F3-F4 temperament's CM3's with an F4-A4 M3rd (as often suggested) is a useless waste of time for most people IMHO.

The CM3's are simply another tool we have at our disposal for tuning, if needed. It can help some people, and others who have difficulty with rapid beat rates find out that its just a different hurdle to clear with its own challenges.


Piano Technician
George Brown College /85
Niagara Region
#1862406 - 03/15/12 09:43 AM Re: Perception of the PTG from non members [Re: rysowers]  
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Emmery:

I agree that the F4-A4 M3 is beating awfully fast to be of much use. But by including A4, that gives you the F3-A4 M10, and when compared to the F3-A3 M3 it is very valuable. Well, I find it valuable along with the other, lower M10s in a D3-A4 temperament. It can really separate "the bone from the marrow" on small pianos.

[Edit:] But really we are getting off-track. There is another, ongoing Topic about this.

Last edited by UnrightTooner; 03/15/12 09:59 AM.

Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?
#1862413 - 03/15/12 09:57 AM Re: Perception of the PTG from non members [Re: rysowers]  
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Originally Posted by rysowers
…..

What would your ideal piano technician organization look like?

Thanks for posting!

I got this from the PTG website:

”The mission of the Piano Technicians Guild is to promote the highest possible standards of piano service by providing members with opportunities for professional development, by recognizing technical competence through examinations and by advancing the interests of its members.”

To me the problem is that the focus is on servicing the pianos and serving the members rather than providing service to the customer.

How well are the vast majority of piano customers, which have a middle aged spinet or console or old upright, served by this mission? I would say poorly. Terms like “highest possible standards”, “technical competence through examinations” and “advancing interests of its members” bring visions of concert grands and long tailed coats, not of grade schoolers on a hand-me-down piano that were moved by an uncle in the back of a pick-up (gasp!), or musty rusty old uprights in church basements (you are smarter than a 5th grader if you can spell hantavirus) that are a vital part of people’s worship. The fine folks that are looking to improve such a pianos, so the grade schooler will not be discouraged or the old folks can enjoy their worship, can be turned off by the attitude such a mission statement generates. They will see hard earned money flying out the window for a type of service that they are not interested in and cannot afford.

And from what I see on this Forum, I think the PTG is holding true to its stated mission. Just consider the general attitude toward small, middle-aged or old neglected upright pianos: not worth the time, not worth the money, and by inference neither is the grade schooler or the worshiper!

So my “ideal piano technician organization” would be geared toward serving all CUSTOMERS in the way that THEY need for THEIR benefit. And this would include wonderful things for the members like learning, proving and promoting. But the idea of “the highest possible standards” would be replaced with the “best possible service”.


Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?
#1862417 - 03/15/12 10:07 AM Re: Perception of the PTG from non members [Re: rysowers]  
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Why did the tinnitus question get put in here? Please start another thread.


Scott Kerns
"That Tuning Guy"
Lincoln, NE
www.thattuningguy.com
#1862507 - 03/15/12 01:06 PM Re: Perception of the PTG from non members [Re: UnrightTooner]  
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Quote
So my “ideal piano technician organization” would be geared toward serving all CUSTOMERS in the way that THEY need for THEIR benefit. And this would include wonderful things for the members like learning, proving and promoting. But the idea of “the highest possible standards” would be replaced with the “best possible service”.


Really terrific point, Jeff! The client's needs should always be #1.


Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net
#1862548 - 03/15/12 02:10 PM Re: Perception of the PTG from non members [Re: rysowers]  
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That Guy Offline
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I'm on board with Jeff also. The customer calls you back, not the piano. I've had people over the years tell me about the last tuner that told them everything their piano needed (and they hadn't asked) and they didn't call them back. Now, I'm not saying the piano may not have needed all those things but usually my policy is, if they don't ask for an evaluation of their piano I won't give it. I know this runs counter to what the PTG would say.


Scott Kerns
"That Tuning Guy"
Lincoln, NE
www.thattuningguy.com
#1862821 - 03/15/12 10:33 PM Re: Perception of the PTG from non members [Re: rysowers]  
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RPD Offline
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Originally Posted by rysowers


What would your ideal piano technician organization look like?


Well, for me anyway, the Guild almost embodies it. The problems aren't with the content or conventions (not at all!), nor the character of the individuals who make up the membership...all good there...

The problems are with membership, actual relevance, and marketing.

For example, in MY ideal Guild the following would be true:

1. All members would enjoy full benefits of inclusivity in advertising on the website. Various members could still have different levels, qualifications, et al. A basic RPT would not be expected to know rebuilding in detail, for instance...nor would somebody who mainly rebuilds be ignored on the site simply because s/he isn't RPT. Even the Boy Scouts celebrate ALL of their members, not just the Eagle Scouts. Reserving advertising within the Guild for just RPT members is very conterproductive-at least when viewed from the outside looking in anyway.

2. The organization would change its image from one which attempts to qualify technicians for the job in the eyes of the general public, to a new image where the primary purpose is EDUCATION AND ADVOCACY for the industry AND the public. Once the Guild is seen primarily as an outreach organization where education is uppermost then it would pretty unavoidable for the average technician to avoid joining! (What?!, you aren't part of the educational continuim??")...

3. Following that point, new members would be allowed into the full benefits of membership once they pledge to the code of ethics, and that is that.

4. There would still be ways within the Guild to distinguish one's self...RPT, or CAUT, CE (continuing educational member)plus possibly Craftsman/Rebuilder et al...but in MY Guild everybody would benefit from advertising on the website/Journal and everybody would, in turn, become a walking advertisment FOR the Guild. After all, why not?? If I as a new member of that Guild was able to SEND people to the website without being degraded/ignored/invisible, then I'd be more interested in availing myself of the great organizational supports, and sharing those with my clients.

5. My Guild would grow exponentially due to the immediate welcoming AS TRADE PROFESSIONALS of all of my collegues...

6. In MY imaginary PTG, technicians would evolve beyond competing against NON members, into a more full communion WITH all techs. In real life, we all get along just fine...but the schism between members vs non-members would all but disappear in favor of a full welcome for everybody. Remember, the Guild would be evolving beyond promoting only SOME techs who are seen as qualified into promoting ALL techs AND THE ENTIRE INDUSTRY who are part of the family of continuing education.

7. Finally, in MY Guild the organization would become incredibly relevant in the market because so many more technicians would be part of the organization. Its already a small group industry wide, but if we focused on education and dropped the emphasis on who's qualified/not qualified, it would be a healthier way to promote. I am reminded that nobody benefits in any public endeavor when controversy is part of the package...FULL MEMBER BENEFITS FOR EVERY TECHNICIAN would tend to eliminate all the controversy.

Would any of this work? I think so, yes. But, getting people who worked hard for their RPT status to agree to open full membership/promotioin/publicity/advocacy to ALL members would take some doing. However, when compared with where PTG is today (well respected, but moreless invisible to the general public) I think the changes would be more than valuable.

I close with one thought. No city, with any number of citizens requires a vote of EVERYBODY to enact policy...I'm with whomever suggested the PTG elect a board of directors with the power to make necessary change...to fail to do this is to keep the same structure, with all the same ruts.

Respectfully and Affectionately submitted....

Rick

PS I'm a member of a smaller organization (Master Piano Techs of America) which actually adopts this membership strategy and they're growing...they're particular about new members and it took me a whole YEAR to get approved to join because they do a series of interviews, and the membership votes in new members. Still, it felt welcoming and this year's (small) convention still will be featuring Rick Baldassen, Randy Potter and other industry heavies. My point in mentioning this is that if something works well on a small scall, it will also work on a large scale....FWIW

Last edited by RPD; 03/15/12 10:38 PM.

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#1862832 - 03/15/12 11:02 PM Re: Perception of the PTG from non members [Re: rysowers]  
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rysowers Offline
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Wow! Amazing post, RPD. thumb


Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net
#1862861 - 03/16/12 12:12 AM Re: Perception of the PTG from non members [Re: rysowers]  
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Jerry Groot RPT Offline
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Excellent post Rick!!!! AND I agree too!!! smile


Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.
#1862885 - 03/16/12 01:30 AM Re: Perception of the PTG from non members [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT]  
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Originally Posted by Bill Bremmer RPT
I would be glad to answer your question, OperaTenor. I have a touch of tinnitus too that comes and goes but it has no pitch to it, thankfully. Just that "crickets in Summer" kind of sound after I have been exposed to long periods of sound of any kind. Some quiet for a while generally relieves it.

Regardless of that, however, I must say that I have never been one to focus on partials to hear beats. It is what some say they do and what some suggest to those who have trouble perceiving beats. I, however, play an interval of any kind and either hear a beat or not.

The late Virgil Smith, RPT who was widely known and renowned for his ability and as a teacher of piano tuning, discouraged the focusing on partials. He taught that one should listen to the "whole sound".

I hope those comments are helpful to you.


Thank you, Bill. What I gather from that is, when it come to the RPT exam, the result is what matters more than the methodology?

Last edited by OperaTenor; 03/16/12 01:33 AM.

Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind
#1862888 - 03/16/12 01:32 AM Re: Perception of the PTG from non members [Re: That Guy]  
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Originally Posted by That Guy
Why did the tinnitus question get put in here? Please start another thread.


The tinnitus question got put in here because it pertains to the RPT test, which is relevant to the perception of the PTG from non members. No thank you, I won't start another thread.

Last edited by OperaTenor; 03/16/12 01:32 AM.

Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind
#1862955 - 03/16/12 07:17 AM Re: Perception of the PTG from non members [Re: rysowers]  
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 5,734
UnrightTooner Offline
5000 Post Club Member
UnrightTooner  Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 5,734
Bradford County, PA
After reading rXd’s excellent post, and reconsidering my own, I have something to add. The PTG’s “customers” are the RPTs. And since the PTG is also run by their “customers” that makes it a sort of co-op, or in this case, a guild. So maybe the self-promotion of the guild members is not so out of line as I think. Maybe there is absolutely nothing wrong with the PTG as it stands – they are serving their customers which are the RPTs, not the RPT’s customers which are the piano owners. I guess I am not into self-promotion.

[Edit:] I leave my promotion up to my customers. smile

Last edited by UnrightTooner; 03/16/12 08:46 AM.

Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?
#1862969 - 03/16/12 08:01 AM Re: Perception of the PTG from non members [Re: rysowers]  
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 2,602
Loren D Offline
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Loren D  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 2,602
PA
RPD, the organization you just described sounds like....MPT. laugh


DiGiorgi Piano Service
http://www.digiorgipiano.com
#1862989 - 03/16/12 08:59 AM Re: Perception of the PTG from non members [Re: Loren D]  
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 961
RPD Offline
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RPD  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 961
Kalamazoo Michigan
Originally Posted by Loren D
RPD, the organization you just described sounds like....MPT. laugh


Loren, yes...it does :-)

What I find is that the techs (to the person) within PTG are willing to help EVERYBODY with education...I've learned from Jer Groot and Bill Bremmer very valuable lessons/information...everybody shares liberally of their knowledge and experience already...so, what I propose I guess is just a formalization of that continuing education stance that the great body of PTG already adopts anyway...and just reflect it in the PTG business model.

Humbly submitted, all....

Rick


MPT(Master Piano Technicians of America)
Member AMICA (Automated Musical Instruments Collector's Association)
(Subscriber PTG Journal)
Piano-Tuner-Rebuilder/Musician
www.actionpianoservice.com
DEALER Hailun Pianos
#1863024 - 03/16/12 10:35 AM Re: Perception of the PTG from non members [Re: rysowers]  
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 944
jim ialeggio Offline
500 Post Club Member
jim ialeggio  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 944
shirley, MA
Excellent post RPD.

From an accomplished, totally committed, pushing the envelope rebuilder, who happens to be an Associate, here's what the ideal PTG is for me.

It is the accessibility to select and unbelievably generous mentors from around the country, who I realized from conventions, pianotech(old list), this forum, the journal or personal references, would be the appropriate person to help me gain a specific skill, or come to terms with a particular design issue, is what the ideal PTG is to me. Its about a network of accessible persons and knowledge with a very particular shared interest.

The last few years clearly has seen the marketing aspect, or more specifically,the "credibility to the public through certification" as it affects on perceived RPT marketability, create a wedge which threatens the accessibility of knowledge and experience I mentioned above as the reason I am a member of the PTG. Lets face it, marketing is about gaining market share. Market share is gained through competition. The marketing of the RPT is unavoidably a competitive wedge, and this is at direct odds with the shared camaraderie I mentioned above. With the marketing of the RPT comes exclusivity and false hierarchy, and just plain bull. The attendant ill will which this creates is accumulating, and when addressed, it is done so ineffectively or in a patronizing manner.

To be fair, any network will become a political entity, it's unavoidable...this PTG has a political component as would the "ideal" PTG. Politics brings on the unavoidable emotions of political wrangling. The question in the current PTG, for me, will be, will the exclusivity created by a council of RPTs, sustained by a council where non-RPTs have no representation or suffrage, ie where non-RPTs are effectively treated as children, continue to convince itself that the notion that RPT-hood confers some status and authority far exceeding the reality of the situation. Will a point be reached where the connections I treasure can more effectively be made outside the organization, rendering the PTG superfluous for me. This would be a very sad outcome for me, as much would be lost. I hope the RPT council in its infinite wisdom (ahem) can see this potentially crippling problem.

Jim Ialeggio










Jim Ialeggio
www.grandpianosolutions.com
advanced soundboard and action redesigns
978 425-9026
Shirley Center, MA
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