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Re: Want to learn to tune a piano [Re: Jerry Groot RPT] #1936138
08/02/12 12:32 AM
08/02/12 12:32 AM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 3,087
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
M
Mark Cerisano Offline
3000 Post Club Member
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M

Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 3,087
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Originally Posted by Jerry Groot RPT
Besides that Mark, is against forum rules for you to be promoting your own business as you are doing. I also completely disagree as will others here, that learning to tune pianos WELL is not nearly as simple as you make it seem. Just because you happe to teach a tuning course.... Better go back and re-read Piano World rules and regulations....


Jerry, I have only recently started posting and thought I was doing something wrong when Jbyron and Marty responded so sarcastically to my post. After apologizing, I read the rules and it appears I have done nothing wrong. I have in no way advertised my school except to put my full disclosure in my signature, which I am supposed to do. And to mention it only in respect to the specific question at hand and to give my opinion more qualification. Also, I don't just "happen" to teach a tuning course. Go to my site and read the reviews. I think you'll get the picture.

Also, I would like to direct attention to some of the quotes I did find in the rules and if someone could identify where I have erred, that would be appreciated:

"If you are or were a piano industry professional, please identify yourself as such so people will know the source of your "expertise".

I think I have done that correctly

"We do not condone members hiding behind a veil of anonymity so they can push their own agenda, promote their own business or products, or create negative posts about their competitors and/or competitive products."

Can you explain how I was hiding? How did I hide to promote my business? Or better yet, how can one answer a question that deals with a subject they are an expert at, without inherently promoting themselves as that very expert. Also, I believe this rules deals specifically with the hiding part, not the promoting part. I've seen more than a few people doing that blatantly without the kind of backlash that I received.

"Stop the Self-Promotion!
It is NOT ACCEPTABLE for you to create posts thinly disguised as an innocent discussion when in fact they are nothing more than a promotion for your business."

Ah, here is the meat, eh? Was my post thinly disguised? Is it nothing more than a promotion for my business (which by the way is 90% piano tuning) or was it

"...a genuine effort to be honest and helpful"

Full quote:"If you make a genuine effort to be honest and helpful, you just may pick up some business because people trust you. That's fine, I have no problem with that."

I offer that my intention was for the latter.

And finally, jByron and Minnesota Marty seemed to have fun at my expense so I thought they should reread this rule:

"Do not be mean-spirited or decidely negative."

Thanks for the opportunity to present my point of view. I hope I have done it coherently. I love teaching and I would like to use my expertise to help others without being attacked.

Last edited by Mark Cerisano, RPT; 08/02/12 07:08 AM. Reason: Spelling

Mark Cerisano, RPT, B.Sc.(Mech.Eng), Dip.Ed.(Music)
www.howtotunepianos.com
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Re: Want to learn to tune a piano [Re: Poisy] #1936146
08/02/12 12:57 AM
08/02/12 12:57 AM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 9,230
France
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Olek Offline
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France
No problem with me, I understand one can be pushed different ways to write about the subjects that are important to him.







Professional of the profession.
Foo Foo specialist
I wish to add some kind and sensitive phrase but nothing comes to mind.!
Re: Want to learn to tune a piano [Re: Poisy] #1936259
08/02/12 09:31 AM
08/02/12 09:31 AM
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 4,016
Madison, WI USA
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Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
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Posts: 4,016
Madison, WI USA
I agree with you, Mark. I have been meaning to say that these other guys should cut you some slack on that. Since I know you personally, I know that you are not here to "advertise" your piano technology teaching any more than any other piano technician is here to promote their services as piano technicians simply because they are in business to do that.

There have been a few people who have done just that. In replying to a person who inquired about how to learn to tune pianos, they disguised themselves as a member of the public but put in a link to their own piano tuning school website! That did cross the line and they were caught doing it.

As far as I am concerned, you are welcome here and this would be a good opportunity for us to discuss the differences in opinion that we have about hammer technique as you have wanted to do. I know that you could make some very valuable contributions to this forum as you are an example of a very highly skilled and experienced piano technician who runs a very successful and multifaceted business.


Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com
Re: Want to learn to tune a piano [Re: Mark Cerisano] #1936282
08/02/12 10:31 AM
08/02/12 10:31 AM
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,828
Grand Rapids Michigan
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Jerry Groot RPT  Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,828
Grand Rapids Michigan
Originally Posted by Mark Cerisano, RPT
Originally Posted by Jerry Groot RPT
Besides that Mark, is against forum rules for you to be promoting your own business as you are doing. I also completely disagree as will others here, that learning to tune pianos WELL is not nearly as simple as you make it seem. Just because you happe to teach a tuning course.... Better go back and re-read Piano World rules and regulations....


Jerry, I have only recently started posting and thought I was doing something wrong when Jbyron and Marty responded so sarcastically to my post. After apologizing, I read the rules and it appears I have done nothing wrong. I have in no way advertised my school except to put my full disclosure in my signature, which I am supposed to do. And to mention it only in respect to the specific question at hand and to give my opinion more qualification. Also, I don't just "happen" to teach a tuning course. Go to my site and read the reviews. I think
you'll get the picture.

Also, I would like to direct attention to some of the quotes I did find in the rules and if someone could identify where I have erred, that would be appreciated:

"If you are or were a piano industry professional, please identify yourself as such so people will know the source of your "expertise".

I think I have done that correctly

"We do not condone members hiding behind a veil of anonymity so they can push their own agenda, promote their own business or products, or create negative posts about their competitors and/or competitive products."

Can you explain how I was hiding? How did I hide to promote my business? Or better yet, how can one answer a question that deals with a subject they are an expert at, without inherently promoting themselves as that very expert. Also, I believe this rules deals specifically with the hiding part, not the promoting part. I've seen more than a few people doing that blatantly without the kind of backlash that I received.

"Stop the Self-Promotion!
It is NOT ACCEPTABLE for you to create posts thinly disguised as an innocent discussion when in fact they are nothing more than a promotion for your business."

Ah, here is the meat, eh? Was my post thinly disguised? Is it nothing more than a promotion for my business (which by the way is 90% piano tuning) or was it

"...a genuine effort to be honest and helpful"

Full quote:"If you make a genuine effort to be honest and helpful, you just may pick up some business because people trust you. That's fine, I have no problem with that."

I offer that my intention was for the latter.

And finally, jByron and Minnesota Marty seemed to have fun at my expense so I thought they should reread this rule:

"Do not be mean-spirited or decidely negative."

Thanks for the opportunity to present my point of view. I hope I have done it coherently. I love teaching and I would like to use my expertise to help others without being attacked.



Hi Mark,

It appeared to me Mark, and others, I'm not the only one here, that you were intentionally looking around for threads that were inquiring about learning to do piano tuning even if they were 4 or more years old and then posting answers to them. Answers that were answered over 4 years ago already. wink

Obviously, your signature line says that is what you do and because of that signature line, it gave it away that you were looking, it seemed to me, to promote yourself in one way or another. If others posted something similar to what I did, Bob is one, then I'm not the only person that thought the same thing...

I'm not attacking you. I was stating what I thought I saw you doing ever so sneakly.... Why not advertise on Piano World instead? smile

Plus, you stated that piano tuning was more or less, easy to learn. It is not. We will continue to disagree on that one. I do not recall meeting you yet so I really do not know your true motives but I do know Bill B.


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

We love to play BF2.
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Re: Want to learn to tune a piano [Re: Mark Cerisano] #1936342
08/02/12 12:41 PM
08/02/12 12:41 PM
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 7,439
Rochester MN
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014
Minnesota Marty  Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Joined: May 2012
Posts: 7,439
Rochester MN
Mark,

What caught my attention was that you suddenly appeared, with a barrage of postings in lots of threads, everywhere you could possibly get your signature line displayed. Did it break any rules? No, it did not.

What I particularily noticed was that you were responding to threads which have been dormant for years. There were short threads, authored by individuals with minimal posting history, who apparently had their question answered years ago, and are no longer active at PW. Others were more extensive. Yet, there are active threads going on now in 2012, not from 2008, on exactly the same topic. This very thread is an example.

It took a determined effort to search out and resurrect those threads. For what purpose? The answer to that question was apparent to more than a few of us.

I did not have fun at your expense. I expressed my annoyance. That is neither mean-spirited nor decidedly negative.

If a hypothetical thread, about how to fix a squeeky pedal, had appeared in 2006 and was answered at the time, would it be logical to dig out that thread and post an answer to someone who, long ago, had the problem fixed? Is that particular pedal still squeeking? Is it worth a reply? Not at all. If the same question were posed today, would it be worth a reply? Most certainly.

Actually, I responded to you in a "dead" thread also, but you didn't reply to me there. You chose an active thread. Why?


Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
Re: Want to learn to tune a piano [Re: Minnesota Marty] #1936380
08/02/12 02:03 PM
08/02/12 02:03 PM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 3,087
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
M
Mark Cerisano Offline
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Mark Cerisano  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 3,087
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Marty and Jerry, I have good answers for all your points but I am here to focus on sharing the knowledge I have gained from my years of teaching. So I will not take the time to answer you. If you, Marty and Jerry, were to give me the benefit of the doubt, you would probably be able to figure out those answers for yourself. Until the moderator tells me otherwise, I will not be changing my behaviour.

BTW, Bill, thank you for your kind words. I look forward to sharing and discussing with you on this forum and elsewhere, this fascinating topic.

Last edited by Mark Cerisano, RPT; 08/02/12 02:05 PM. Reason: Grammar

Mark Cerisano, RPT, B.Sc.(Mech.Eng), Dip.Ed.(Music)
www.howtotunepianos.com
Re: Want to learn to tune a piano [Re: Poisy] #1936432
08/02/12 04:06 PM
08/02/12 04:06 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 824
England
M
MU51C JP Offline
500 Post Club Member
MU51C JP  Offline
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M

Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 824
England
Mark :

Don't be too surprised with the negativity and suspicion ... being a new poster here you tend to be "on trial", until such times as your posts demonstrate competence to the more experienced and accepted members. wink



Concert Tuner & Technician for the past 52 years in the United Kingdom
www.jphillipspianoservices.freeindex.co.uk : E-mail jophillips06@aol.com
Re: Want to learn to tune a piano [Re: MU51C JP] #1936485
08/02/12 06:03 PM
08/02/12 06:03 PM
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,481
Niagara Region, On. Canada
Emmery Offline
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Emmery  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,481
Niagara Region, On. Canada
Originally Posted by Johnkie
Mark :

Don't be too surprised with the negativity and suspicion ... being a new poster here you tend to be "on trial", until such times as your posts demonstrate competence to the more experienced and accepted members. wink



...even then the bar is pretty high. You first need to figure out a way to regulate a spinet to get higher repetition speed than a grand. Then tune an obscure historic temperament that sounds better than ET. After that, you need to be able to post 3 sound clips of your "special" tuning in musical context with a minimum 2 paragraph verbal accolade using no less than 5 positive descriptive adjectives to suggest what listeners ought to be hearing, in case they don't have a mind of their own. This last part must be done with a single mouse click, and redone with a different musical piece, every time the topic moves to page 2.


Piano Technician
George Brown College /85
Niagara Region
Re: Want to learn to tune a piano [Re: Poisy] #1936504
08/02/12 06:36 PM
08/02/12 06:36 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 824
England
M
MU51C JP Offline
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M

Joined: Jun 2011
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England
Love it Emmery ......... sooooo right mate !!!

thumb


Concert Tuner & Technician for the past 52 years in the United Kingdom
www.jphillipspianoservices.freeindex.co.uk : E-mail jophillips06@aol.com
Re: Want to learn to tune a piano [Re: Poisy] #1936539
08/02/12 07:57 PM
08/02/12 07:57 PM
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,828
Grand Rapids Michigan
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Jerry Groot RPT  Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,828
Grand Rapids Michigan
And then, after all of that???? You HAVE TO argue and debate about for 350 pages! smile


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

We love to play BF2.
Re: Want to learn to tune a piano [Re: Jerry Groot RPT] #1936552
08/02/12 08:29 PM
08/02/12 08:29 PM
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 7,439
Rochester MN
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014
Minnesota Marty  Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Joined: May 2012
Posts: 7,439
Rochester MN
Not to mention the initiation fee to join the Elite & Secret Society.

Mere Mortals need not apply or even peek inside.

It's a very, very, closed membership.


Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
Re: Want to learn to tune a piano [Re: Poisy] #1936562
08/02/12 08:36 PM
08/02/12 08:36 PM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 4,263
Vancouver B. C. Canada
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member
Silverwood Pianos  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 4,263
Vancouver B. C. Canada

Originally Posted by Johnkie
Mark :
Don't be too surprised with the negativity and suspicion ... being a new poster here you tend to be "on trial", until such times as your posts demonstrate competence to the more experienced and accepted members. wink


Originally Posted by Emmery

...even then the bar is pretty high. You first need to figure out a way to regulate a spinet to get higher repetition speed than a grand. Then tune an obscure historic temperament that sounds better than ET. After that, you need to be able to post 3 sound clips of your "special" tuning in musical context with a minimum 2 paragraph verbal accolade using no less than 5 positive descriptive adjectives to suggest what listeners ought to be hearing, in case they don't have a mind of their own. This last part must be done with a single mouse click, and redone with a different musical piece, every time the topic moves to page 2.


Love the synopsis of the reality in this place. Beautiful stuff.


Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
http://silverwoodpianos.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/SilverwoodPianosDotCom
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."
Re: Want to learn to tune a piano [Re: Poisy] #1936581
08/02/12 09:10 PM
08/02/12 09:10 PM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 2,626
Philadelphia area
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Dave B Offline
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Joined: Aug 2011
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Philadelphia area
Mark, All that being said, I did find the topic of your first post very interesting and have been viewing string travel differently. I use a tap and pull hybrid technique and am thinking the tapping technique in itself adjusts to the differences of the first portion of the string travel.

I am starting to see a better consistency in the unisons. At this point I'm not sure if it's technique or me maintaining better focus. I'll try to get back to you in a few months.


"Imagine it in all its primatic colorings, its counterpart in our souls - our souls that are great pianos whose strings, of honey and of steel, the divisions of the rainbow set twanging, loosing on the air great novels of adventure!" - William Carlos Williams
Re: Want to learn to tune a piano [Re: Jerry Groot RPT] #1936649
08/02/12 11:03 PM
08/02/12 11:03 PM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 3,087
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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Mark Cerisano Offline
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Mark Cerisano  Offline
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M

Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 3,087
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
LOL and I actually am. Thanks for that Emmery et al. That was HILARIOUS!

Last edited by Mark Cerisano, RPT; 08/02/12 11:07 PM. Reason: added the "et al"

Mark Cerisano, RPT, B.Sc.(Mech.Eng), Dip.Ed.(Music)
www.howtotunepianos.com
Re: Want to learn to tune a piano [Re: Poisy] #1936659
08/02/12 11:19 PM
08/02/12 11:19 PM
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 526
USA
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Jbyron Offline
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USA
The thing is. What Emmery said is quite accurate!
laugh


Tuner-Technician


Re: Want to learn to tune a piano [Re: Mark Cerisano] #1936672
08/02/12 11:58 PM
08/02/12 11:58 PM
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,481
Niagara Region, On. Canada
Emmery Offline
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Emmery  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,481
Niagara Region, On. Canada
Originally Posted by Mark Cerisano, RPT
LOL and I actually am. Thanks for that Emmery et al. That was HILARIOUS!


Welcome to the ward Mark. So do you have any novel teaching methods for tuning you feel makes the process easy for learners?
I've mentored 2 relative beginners over the years in a very light hearted manner and found that one picked things up much easier than the other. Showed them both the same things in the same way. I just have this feeling results are less about the teaching, and more about the capacity to learn, ability to concentrate, and level of devotion from the students.


Piano Technician
George Brown College /85
Niagara Region
Re: Want to learn to tune a piano [Re: Emmery] #1936683
08/03/12 12:27 AM
08/03/12 12:27 AM
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 5,635
Hobart, Australia
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ando Offline
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Hobart, Australia
That was very funny, Emmery. grin

Whilst it's true that there is a slightly frosty reception from some techs on this forum towards ambitious novices, there are also some that are very generous and open with their advice - yourself included. So I'm very grateful for the help I've received on this forum, even if I did feel like I needed a secret handshake at times! I guess what wins over the gruff old techs in the end is persistence and results. That's what I try to do.

Re: Want to learn to tune a piano [Re: Emmery] #1936780
08/03/12 07:33 AM
08/03/12 07:33 AM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 3,087
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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Mark Cerisano Offline
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Mark Cerisano  Offline
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M

Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 3,087
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Originally Posted by Emmery
Originally Posted by Mark Cerisano, RPT
LOL and I actually am. Thanks for that Emmery et al. That was HILARIOUS!


Welcome to the ward Mark. So do you have any novel teaching methods for tuning you feel makes the process easy for learners?
I've mentored 2 relative beginners over the years in a very light hearted manner and found that one picked things up much easier than the other. Showed them both the same things in the same way. I just have this feeling results are less about the teaching, and more about the capacity to learn, ability to concentrate, and level of devotion from the students.


My approach is not so much novel as it is flexible. I try to have many different ways to explain specific topics/challenges and not require students to do things any one specific way. Basically it is a trade off between the challenge of understanding theory, and the benefit of precision and being able to tune different pianos.

So, if you could relate one specific challenge you had with a particular student, I could give you some ideas that may have helped.


Mark Cerisano, RPT, B.Sc.(Mech.Eng), Dip.Ed.(Music)
www.howtotunepianos.com
Re: Want to learn to tune a piano [Re: Mark Cerisano] #1936871
08/03/12 12:46 PM
08/03/12 12:46 PM
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,481
Niagara Region, On. Canada
Emmery Offline
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Emmery  Offline
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Posts: 2,481
Niagara Region, On. Canada
Like I said Mark, I don't charge for the help I give so i don't regard myself a "teacher". I simply try and help refine things they already know and understand or clarify misunderstandings.

One main issue is accuity of sound perception. A student tunes two unisons to what they believe is beatless. I mention that its rolling a bit and straighten it out. They don't pick up on it. I have used an ETD at times to better illustrate what I'm targetting. They will read the note and visually see the slow roll I'm referring to. I deliberately look away as they do this. I will then straighten out the roll aurally, and have them check it with the ETD to confirm that my accuity and theirs differs and the note could benefit from tweaking. Sometimes if there is an anomoly between the two strings, I will further show that a specific target frequency of the ETD won't rectify it and how we compensate by ear to split the difference or use a preferred partial.

Same method used to teach, but there is still great disparity between the speeds at which they pick it up.


Piano Technician
George Brown College /85
Niagara Region
Re: Want to learn to tune a piano [Re: Emmery] #1936963
08/03/12 03:47 PM
08/03/12 03:47 PM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 3,087
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
M
Mark Cerisano Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Mark Cerisano  Offline
3000 Post Club Member
M

Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 3,087
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Originally Posted by Emmery
Like I said Mark, I don't charge for the help I give so i don't regard myself a "teacher". I simply try and help refine things they already know and understand or clarify misunderstandings.


Funny, that's the same approach that Tiger Woods' first golf teacher uses. He was the teacher after his Dad and got him to many international wins. You sound like a teacher to me. And a good one, especially since you are searching how to get better.

Originally Posted by Emmery

One main issue is accuity of sound perception. A student tunes two unisons to what they believe is beatless. I mention that its rolling a bit and straighten it out. They don't pick up on it. I have used an ETD at times to better illustrate what I'm targetting. They will read the note and visually see the slow roll I'm referring to. I deliberately look away as they do this. I will then straighten out the roll aurally, and have them check it with the ETD to confirm that my accuity and theirs differs and the note could benefit from tweaking. Sometimes if there is an anomoly between the two strings, I will further show that a specific target frequency of the ETD won't rectify it and how we compensate by ear to split the difference or use a preferred partial.

Same method used to teach, but there is still great disparity between the speeds at which they pick it up.


The method I like to use with most of my topics is the "improve by comparison" method. Now, what you did was the comparison method as well, but you were asking the students to compare what they had tuned, to what they remembered was a beatless unison. Most students have problems with that for two reasons. One, they don't have a memory of what a good unison sounds like, even though you just played one (it has to be burnt in over a longer period of time)
Second, they are trying to attain a degree of perfection which is a recipe for frustraion.

That's where the Improve comes in.

My method for teaching unisons involves comparing and improving; comparing to something they can hear right away, in the piano, and just trying to improve it. The quality of their tunings get better as their ability to compare and hear differences gets more acute, and they are always happy with their result because they are always improving what the hear as "out" instead of trying to attain some ideal they have no concept of yet.

So, my specific approach for unisons that uses this principle (Compare and Improve) is:

1) Tune a bunch of unisons, relatively fast. (Otherwise they take forever, and never get them very good anyway. Also the concept of speed is important from a successful vocational perspective.)

2) Compare Left to Centre, then Centre to Right.
Does one pair sound worse than the other? If so, try to improve that pair. Then the whole unison sounds better. This way, they "edge" toward a better sounding unison, until they can't hear the difference anymore. With practise and experience, their ability to hear differences in the quality of each pair improves, and because they are producing better and better unisons, their concept of a clean unison improves so they can begin to compare to their memory of a clean unison instead of relying on comparing which of their bad unisons is worse.

BTW, your use of visual aids (ETD) is exceptional and very insightful. But the ETD must be used so we can "see" our tunings (like you did) instead of using it to "make" our tunings.

Great question. Thanks. And I will use your ETD method in my future classes.


Mark Cerisano, RPT, B.Sc.(Mech.Eng), Dip.Ed.(Music)
www.howtotunepianos.com
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