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#2252436 - 03/26/14 01:46 PM Seeking tech school advice and recommendations  
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 8
eucalypocalypse Offline
Junior Member
eucalypocalypse  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 8
West Sonoma County, CA
Hello,

I've been a part time apprentice to a tuner in the North Bay Area of California for several years. My mentor is approaching retirement and has health issues which prevent him from matching my more recent drive to accelerate the learning process. I'm curious about supplementing my training at a tech school, have some financial support to do so, and am willing to travel anywhere where English is the primary language of instruction. I'm also willing to backtrack a bit, to learn other approaches to temperament, regulation, etc.. The schools in Boston (NBSS) and Chicago (CSPT) look promising. Does anyone have any experience in a formal tech school environment that they'd care to share? Thanks!

-nik


Nik Proctor
tuner's apprentice
post-contemporary composer
sea-monkey royalist
semi-confident lion tamer
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#2252500 - 03/26/14 03:55 PM Re: Seeking tech school advice and recommendations [Re: eucalypocalypse]  
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 1,089
David Boyce Offline
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David Boyce  Offline
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Joined: May 2007
Posts: 1,089
Scotland
The Boston school has a particularly good reputation, it seems. Also to be considered is the course at Wester University on London Ontario:
http://www.pianotech.uwo.ca/

I don't know what the Ontario course costs, but i know the Boston one is expensive!

#2252572 - 03/26/14 05:25 PM Re: Seeking tech school advice and recommendations [Re: eucalypocalypse]  
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 281
adamp88 Offline
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adamp88  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 281
Omaha, NE
I moved from the California Bay Area (Oakland) to attend CSPT 4 years ago. It was an incredibly rewarding and enriching experience, and well prepared me for the field. It is not a daily, Mon-Fri school - classes meet at most twice a week. Students are expected to spend a significant amount of time outside of class practicing skills, so you definitely need to be self-motivated and committed. Personally, I loved the setup and never felt like the instruction or support was lacking. If you do go I'd highly recommend continuing on to the advanced curriculum. You'll get experience either doing a full rebuild or a pinblock/restringing job, plus concentrate on further refining tuning/regulation skills. And Paul Revenko-Jones is a wonderful teacher/mentor, and a joy to work with one-on-one.

At NBSS, you'd definitely have a more familiar school schedule, and access to more resources, as the school is larger and more established, and due to proximity to piano manufacturers and the classical music hub of NY.

Either school would be an excellent choice. Knowing what both schools have to offer, I don't regret my choice at all, though, coming from the natural beauty of the Bay Area, the sprawling flat expanse of Chicago was a bit of a letdown. wink


Adam Schulte-Bukowinski, RPT
ASB Piano Service
Omaha, NE
#2252941 - 03/27/14 10:45 AM Re: Seeking tech school advice and recommendations [Re: eucalypocalypse]  
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 3,087
Mark Cerisano Offline
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Mark Cerisano  Offline
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Montreal, Quebec, Canada
With the advance of technology, do not overlook technicians who offer courses over Skype. You will be able to save money on transportaion and accomodations compared to moving to another city to study.


Mark Cerisano, RPT, B.Sc.(Mech.Eng), Dip.Ed.(Music)
www.howtotunepianos.com
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#2253046 - 03/27/14 01:46 PM Re: Seeking tech school advice and recommendations [Re: eucalypocalypse]  
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 8
eucalypocalypse Offline
Junior Member
eucalypocalypse  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 8
West Sonoma County, CA
Thank you all kindly for your input! It's of great value to me.

I'm additionally open to local work, an internship, a supplemental apprenticeship, if anyone is aware of a technician or shop in the North Bay looking for help. Thanks again!


Nik Proctor
tuner's apprentice
post-contemporary composer
sea-monkey royalist
semi-confident lion tamer
#2253124 - 03/27/14 03:41 PM Re: Seeking tech school advice and recommendations [Re: Mark Cerisano]  
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 281
adamp88 Offline
Full Member
adamp88  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 281
Omaha, NE
Originally Posted by Mark Cerisano, RPT
With the advance of technology, do not overlook technicians who offer courses over Skype. You will be able to save money on transportaion and accomodations compared to moving to another city to study.


Self promotion issues aside, there are huge and very important benefits and advantages that full-time attendance schools have over correspondence or online training. Nik has indicated that he is willing to move to further his education, and I don't consider online correspondence to be an adequate substitute for the kind of in-person, hands on training he would receive at a school.

If money were an issue I'd definitely keep it on the table, but given the choice between attending a school, apprenticing with a local qualified technician or choosing online correspondence courses, and assuming that one would be financially and geographically able to choose any of them, I would rank them in that order, with attending a formal school first, and online correspondence being the least preferred option.


Adam Schulte-Bukowinski, RPT
ASB Piano Service
Omaha, NE
#2253236 - 03/27/14 07:26 PM Re: Seeking tech school advice and recommendations [Re: adamp88]  
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,648
kpembrook Offline
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kpembrook  Offline
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Michigan
Sent you PM.


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Piano Technologist
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Supporting Piano Owners D-I-Y piano tuning and repair
#2253305 - 03/27/14 09:54 PM Re: Seeking tech school advice and recommendations [Re: adamp88]  
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 3,087
Mark Cerisano Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Mark Cerisano  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 3,087
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Originally Posted by adamp88
Originally Posted by Mark Cerisano, RPT
With the advance of technology, do not overlook technicians who offer courses over Skype. You will be able to save money on transportaion and accomodations compared to moving to another city to study.


If money were an issue I'd definitely keep it on the table.


Thanks for the fair assessment.

Don't forget geography. With piano technology becoming more scarce, opportunities to learn it will also be more difficult to find. This may help fill the void.

For sure, the online option requires a strong independant study skill where one supplements the learning with parallel resources like meetings, mentoring, volunteering, conventions, etc.

My concern with formal schooling is that they teach more than the basic tuner needs to start their career, and charge for it too. There are certainly more ways to learn the trade. I mearly wanted to present them all. Being a new technology, I am used to it being criticized, but time will tell what real benefit there is to this method. Of course, the skill of the instructor, at instructing, not just the doing part, makes a difference. "Those who can't teach; can only do."


Mark Cerisano, RPT, B.Sc.(Mech.Eng), Dip.Ed.(Music)
www.howtotunepianos.com
#2253308 - 03/27/14 10:05 PM Re: Seeking tech school advice and recommendations [Re: eucalypocalypse]  
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 3,087
Mark Cerisano Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Mark Cerisano  Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 3,087
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Adam,

I just reread your post. I saw the geography reference. Missed it the first time. Thanks.

But I did want to make two more points.

A local qualified technician may actually have superior instructional skills.

And many instructors at these schools are just that themselves; local qualified technicians.

I wouldn't necessarily put them in that order. Also keep in mind there are elements of an education a student may miss in the sheltered walls of a school. Perhaps not as important, and certainly learnable after the course, but missing, just the same.


Mark Cerisano, RPT, B.Sc.(Mech.Eng), Dip.Ed.(Music)
www.howtotunepianos.com
#2253325 - 03/27/14 10:50 PM Re: Seeking tech school advice and recommendations [Re: eucalypocalypse]  
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 2,045
bkw58 Offline

Silver Supporter until December 19, 2014
bkw58  Offline

Silver Supporter until December 19, 2014


Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 2,045
Conway, AR USA
Self-promotion seems a rather ad hominem remark when accompanied by the promotion of another business by proxy or even via recommendation.

Last edited by bkw58; 03/27/14 10:55 PM. Reason: clarity

Bob W.
Piano Technician (Retired since 2006)
Conway, Arkansas
www.pianotechno.blogspot.com
#2253440 - 03/28/14 10:05 AM Re: Seeking tech school advice and recommendations [Re: eucalypocalypse]  
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 281
adamp88 Offline
Full Member
adamp88  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 281
Omaha, NE
I don't agree - as I don't stand to benefit in any way should Nik choose a school, whereas Mark does stand to benefit directly should Nik follow his advice.


Adam Schulte-Bukowinski, RPT
ASB Piano Service
Omaha, NE
#2253453 - 03/28/14 10:38 AM Re: Seeking tech school advice and recommendations [Re: eucalypocalypse]  
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 4,263
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member
Silverwood Pianos  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 4,263
Vancouver B. C. Canada

Here is another school option.

http://www.pianotech.uwo.ca/index.html


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."
#2253454 - 03/28/14 10:40 AM Re: Seeking tech school advice and recommendations [Re: adamp88]  
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 2,045
bkw58 Offline

Silver Supporter until December 19, 2014
bkw58  Offline

Silver Supporter until December 19, 2014


Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 2,045
Conway, AR USA
Originally Posted by adamp88
I don't agree - as I don't stand to benefit in any way should Nik choose a school, whereas Mark does stand to benefit directly should Nik follow his advice.


Thanks, Adam. You do not benefit, but the school you studied under, and of which you speak, does. But you could be right. It is not a spokesman for the school that is doing the posting. Notwithstanding, this whole "self-promotion" issue - and the criticism of it - is hard to understand. If a tuner-tech talks about his teaching business in this type of thread, it's called "self promotion." On the other hand, if a tech or rebuilder shows his "before and after" shots along with commentary in that particular thread, it's called "wonderful," and "great job." Both seem to promote the tech's expertise/business. Both could be construed as free advertising. Personally, I have no problem with either. It's all educational.

Last edited by bkw58; 03/28/14 10:44 AM. Reason: typo

Bob W.
Piano Technician (Retired since 2006)
Conway, Arkansas
www.pianotechno.blogspot.com
#2253457 - 03/28/14 10:43 AM Re: Seeking tech school advice and recommendations [Re: eucalypocalypse]  
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 4,263
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member
Silverwood Pianos  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 4,263
Vancouver B. C. Canada

Mark would only benefit if Nik chose his online presentations.

There are many other online choices.


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."
#2253794 - 03/29/14 01:48 AM Re: Seeking tech school advice and recommendations [Re: adamp88]  
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 3,087
Mark Cerisano Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Mark Cerisano  Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 3,087
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Originally Posted by adamp88
I don't agree - as I don't stand to benefit in any way should Nik choose a school, whereas Mark does stand to benefit directly should Nik follow his advice.


What?

I'm not the only tech offering this service. And what makes you think he would like my style? The point remains; he may not have thought about it and I brought it up.

By the way, I did not in any way mention that I offer that service. He would have had to go to my site and searched through the lessons, videos, and pages, to find that out. But thanks to you, now he knows.

P.S. I wrote this before reading the other responses to Adam's post. Thank you Dan and. Bob for your objective responses.

Last edited by Mark Cerisano, RPT; 03/29/14 01:56 AM.

Mark Cerisano, RPT, B.Sc.(Mech.Eng), Dip.Ed.(Music)
www.howtotunepianos.com
#2253954 - 03/29/14 03:48 PM Re: Seeking tech school advice and recommendations [Re: eucalypocalypse]  
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 1,089
David Boyce Offline
1000 Post Club Member
David Boyce  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: May 2007
Posts: 1,089
Scotland
Dan, I already posted the UWO link, in the first reply in this thread!

#2253976 - 03/29/14 05:00 PM Re: Seeking tech school advice and recommendations [Re: Mark Cerisano]  
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 402
Piano Guy Offline
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Piano Guy  Offline
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Southern Ontario,Canada
Its in your signature line....


Richard, the"Piano Guy"
Piano Moving Tuning & Repair
From London ON to Fort Erie ON
#2254366 - 03/30/14 05:20 PM Re: Seeking tech school advice and recommendations [Re: Mark Cerisano]  
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 281
adamp88 Offline
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adamp88  Offline
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Posts: 281
Omaha, NE
Originally Posted by Mark Cerisano, RPT

The point remains; he may not have thought about it and I brought it up.


That is certainly fair enough, and I apologize for coming on too strong earlier. Online tutoring is certainly a legitimate option that may be a good fit for some. I probably should have explained in my first post in this thread that I was looking at Nik's educational options with an eye on what option would give him the most comprehensive learning environment that would advance his skills the quickest. I still maintain that a structured, hands-on school environment is the best in this regard.

Quote
By the way, I did not in any way mention that I offer that service. He would have had to go to my site and searched through the lessons, videos, and pages, to find that out. But thanks to you, now he knows.


Well, let's be honest, it wouldn't be that difficult for someone to read your first post, see the www.howtotunepianos.com link in your signature and put two and two together. wink

Last edited by adamp88; 03/30/14 05:20 PM.

Adam Schulte-Bukowinski, RPT
ASB Piano Service
Omaha, NE

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