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Re: Denver PTG Convention Review [Re: Mark Cerisano] #2446191
07/31/15 09:17 AM
07/31/15 09:17 AM
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 4,016
Madison, WI USA
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Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
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Madison, WI USA
Aural tuning skills are much like learning to ride a bicycle or use roller skates. It is difficult at first but once they are learned, one never forgets. One of my students is age 72 and has tuned with a strobe tuner all of his adult life. He couldn't learn to use any of the other more advanced tuning platforms either. Aural tuning skills have been long and slow for him but now, he is getting it and he has been thrilled by the new sounds that he can create by himself.

When I first got the Sanderson Accu-Tuner, it took me two years before it was of any use to me. I was used to hearing and adjusting intervals, not controlling the pattern on the ETD. It must be the same for people who have always used an ETD. Playing and controlling intervals is completely foreign to them.

The longer one has tuned in whichever manner, the more difficult it may be to adopt a new practice. I found the Accu-Tuner to be so frustrating at first that I put it on a shelf and left it there for months at a time. Many years ago, I got one of those PDA's long before there were smart phones. I put the trial version of Tunelab on it and had the same experience. I couldn't use it.

In fact, I still only use the Accu-Tuner because it is the only device I know how to operate and it is the only one I can ever use. It must be a lot like that for people who have tried and failed to learn any aural tuning skills. If it were required of me as an examiner to know how to use all of the currently approved devices, I would have to resign. I would not want to spend the time, energy and money to learn and acquire skills that I would virtually never use.

So, I can see Chuck's perspective. He is not the only one. I have worked with many. Some gave up but among those who went on to succeed, they have all been so glad that they now have aural tuning skills and judgment.


Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com
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Re: Denver PTG Convention Review [Re: Mark Cerisano] #2446199
07/31/15 09:37 AM
07/31/15 09:37 AM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 3,087
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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Mark Cerisano Offline OP
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Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 3,087
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
How often do you hear discrepancies between what the ETD says is a good note, and what your ear says? How would you describe the difference in quality of the intervals tuned with the ETD and the intervals tuned by ear, in those cases?

That would seem to be the essence of the arguement; is there ever a difference? When? And how noticeable is that difference? If the answer is no, or yes/rarely/not noticeable, then the writing is on the wall.


Mark Cerisano, RPT, B.Sc.(Mech.Eng), Dip.Ed.(Music)
www.howtotunepianos.com
Re: Denver PTG Convention Review [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT] #2446201
07/31/15 09:54 AM
07/31/15 09:54 AM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 849
Boone, Iowa, USA
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Chuck Behm, CPT-E Offline
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Joined: Jan 2010
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Boone, Iowa, USA

Quote
"So, I can see Chuck's perspective." - Bill Bremmer, RPT


Thank you, Bill. Let's just leave it at that, and call it a day. Best wishes. Chuck


Tuner/Technician/Rebuilder/Technical Writer
www.pianopromoproductions.com
515-212-9220

"The act of destruction is infinitely easier than the act of creation" - Arthur C. Clarke
Re: Denver PTG Convention Review [Re: Mark Cerisano] #2446250
07/31/15 01:33 PM
07/31/15 01:33 PM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 3,087
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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Mark Cerisano Offline OP
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Mark Cerisano  Offline OP
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Joined: Jan 2010
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Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Over 3000 views in 11 days. 270+ views a day. This is a serious and popular topic.

You can't quit Chuck. Think about it. If we can think of a way to include disenfranchised members, it will have a positive affect on the influence and validity of the PTG. It is my position that technicians need somewhere to belong. I saw so many happy faces in Denver. Faces of people who felt they belonged. PTG can be there for everyone, but it won't change without people like you. You are a multiple published PTG author. You have clout. You have built up influence. If you quit, advocates of change will lose power.

I'm not saying make the test easier. I'm actually saying make it harder. Make the eRPT part demanding. As demanding for aural tuners as the aural part is for ETD tuners. That's just fair isn't it?

Things are changing Chuck. People like you are going to have your day. I don't want you to miss it.

Last edited by Mark Cerisano, RPT; 07/31/15 01:36 PM.

Mark Cerisano, RPT, B.Sc.(Mech.Eng), Dip.Ed.(Music)
www.howtotunepianos.com
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Re: Denver PTG Convention Review [Re: Mark Cerisano] #2446251
07/31/15 01:35 PM
07/31/15 01:35 PM
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 504
Brooklyn, NY
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Zeno Wood Offline
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Zeno Wood  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 504
Brooklyn, NY
Hi Chuck,
I've always enjoyed your articles and other publications. I would be sorry to see you leave the PTG, and hope that perhaps you will reconsider that decision before the end of the year.
Best regards,
Zeno

Last edited by Zeno Wood; 07/31/15 01:35 PM.

Zeno Wood, Piano Technician
Brooklyn College
Re: Denver PTG Convention Review [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT] #2446260
07/31/15 02:02 PM
07/31/15 02:02 PM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 3,087
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
M
Mark Cerisano Offline OP
3000 Post Club Member
Mark Cerisano  Offline OP
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Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 3,087
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Originally Posted by Ed McMorrow, RPT
Mark,
My proposal to evaluate the rebuilders skills would be to have the committee examine several examples of their work. The criteria would be written out and well defined.


Think of how valuable that criteria would be for some people. I, for example, have little rebuilding experience. Really, I don't like the thought of fudging my way through a rebuild and hoping things work out. With a thorough and complete criteria of just what a fine rebuild needs to include, I would be inspired to attempt a few and see if I could get the rRPT.

How many try for the RPT simply as a way to test themselves and see how good they are?

That, in my opinion, is a really important service of the PTG. They've got the aural tuning part covered, but what about rebuilders, and ETD tuners? Some of them would welcome evaluation and peer review as well.

And how come we don't have tuning competitions like firefighters do? They compete in areas of strength and speed which supposedly makes them better firefighters.

How about a Tunolympics? How fast can you tune a temperament? How about only changing a pitch once (accuracy)? How about not using any intervals at all? (Melodic memory) How about tuning a temperament to a standard ET using a much higher standard than the current test provides? The results would be bragging rights and a lot of tuners striving to improve their ear. ETD tuners could also get in on the game. If aural tuning is so much better than ETD tuning, a well thought out competition like this should set things straight. Especially if we are using poorly scaled pianos where ETD approximations may be farther off. There would be a lot of work to develop a coherent and objective series of competions, but it could be fun, and add a really exciting component to meetings and conventions. (Of course, we may have to take out extra insurance. ;-)


Mark Cerisano, RPT, B.Sc.(Mech.Eng), Dip.Ed.(Music)
www.howtotunepianos.com
Re: Denver PTG Convention Review [Re: Mark Cerisano] #2446329
07/31/15 06:16 PM
07/31/15 06:16 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 3,219
Olympia, WA
rysowers Offline
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rysowers  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 3,219
Olympia, WA
Ed, the RPT test does not create the standard of what is in tune. The tolerances are 2 wide. Do you really think the definition of "in tune" means all unisons are out of tune by as much as .9 cents? That's what the PTG's definition of "in tune" is.

We know what the definition of in tune is and its not that complicated: clean octaves, clean unisons, 5ths that are barely narrow and fourths that are barely wide with 3rds, 10ths, and 17th, progressing smoothly. If a tech can achieve that with a machine or by ear the customer is served either way.

But this is really beside the point. Allowing associate members to act as representatives for their chapters and serve on national committees would not hurt the organization like some will argue. It hasn't hurt the MTNA and they are a much more vibrant and active organization than PTG is.


Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net
Re: Denver PTG Convention Review [Re: Mark Cerisano] #2446364
07/31/15 10:05 PM
07/31/15 10:05 PM
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 5,072
Seattle, WA USA
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Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
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Joined: Dec 2012
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Seattle, WA USA
It is good Chuck made some money writing all the articles.

I have never thought there is any requirement for status or membership to get an article published, it just has to be germane to the Journals readers.

Chuck I have endured many an insult from fellow PTGers. In the 1970's I was attacked by the Journal Editor for my findings about capo bars needing to be V-shaped and softer than the string. History has vindicated my position.

In the 1980's I published my LightHammer Tone Regulation protocols and endured many attacks by PTG members and industry people. Recently I was told by a Chicago PTG member that "I didn't have any role in establishing the importance of controlling hammer weight."

My brother Gerald developed the first generation of digital computer controlled ETD in the late 1970's and I wrote a cents differential program that is very good at teasing out the best way to balance the beat rates amongst the intervals and octaves.

We were attacked by Al Sanderson who claimed that Period Average could not be used for measuring vibrations of a piano string. It most certainly can if the filtering for the partials is properly done. This is how I met Jim Ellis, as he knew Al and he contacted me to say he had taken Al to task for lying.

I have had fellow PTG chapter members slander my methods and collude with industry players to take away prominent clients.

In spite of this,I still belong to PTG. Maybe that makes me a fool and/or a masochist. But all I know is I work very hard to solve problems and have had quite a lot of success. All I have to do is sit down at one of my pianos and I can experience what is real and ignore the "nattering nabobs of negativism."

I do fight back when opportune.

I think you should stick around Chuck and see how things go. Taking the money and running seems a little trite.


In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible.
According to NASA, 93% of the earth like planets possible in the known universe have yet to be formed.
Contact: Ed@LightHammerpiano.com
Re: Denver PTG Convention Review [Re: rysowers] #2446367
07/31/15 10:12 PM
07/31/15 10:12 PM
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 5,072
Seattle, WA USA
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Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
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Seattle, WA USA
Ryan,
The PTG tuning test does establish what an in-tune state is via the master tuning. Do you really think the master tuning is that sloppy? Do you think that a master tuning is just set the ETD up and go over the thing and record that as the master?

Then there is the aural evaluation of points.

Then there is the definition of professionalism. PTG must stand for that or it becomes a piano club and the piano is just some "toy" that we play with instead of being an instrument of artistic expression with a long and glorious canon of art created just for it.


In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible.
According to NASA, 93% of the earth like planets possible in the known universe have yet to be formed.
Contact: Ed@LightHammerpiano.com
Re: Denver PTG Convention Review [Re: Mark Cerisano] #2446388
08/01/15 12:17 AM
08/01/15 12:17 AM
Joined: Jun 2015
Posts: 437
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Musicdude Offline
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Joined: Jun 2015
Posts: 437
Bottom line is, neither Chuck nor me needs
3 extra letters by our names. And neither do
the teeming masses of piano tuners and techs
who don't have the RPT title. Our work speaks
for itself.

And Chuck could school ANY of you RPTs when it comes
to rebuilding and restoring pianos!



Piano Player
Part-time Professional Piano Tuner/Technician
Piano Voicer In-Training
Re: Denver PTG Convention Review [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT] #2446406
08/01/15 02:42 AM
08/01/15 02:42 AM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 3,219
Olympia, WA
rysowers Offline
3000 Post Club Member
rysowers  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 3,219
Olympia, WA
PTG stands for professionalism? I know a number of PTG members, RPT's in fact, who have demonstrated a blatent lack of professionalism. One in particular, was a former president of PTG and all the local techs will testify on some of the schlock that came through his shop. Others have been caught trying to sell work where there was no evidence that the work was needed. In the case of Joel and Priscilla Rappaport, who have one of the top rebuilding shops in the country, they endured slander and backstabbing from PTG members and in one clearly documented case, they cleaned up a very questionable rebuild of a Steinway D by a prominent PTG rebuilder in Texas who refused to make things right. A piano teacher I know refuses to use the RPT member in her area because she has seen that he stores pianos outside. (this is no lie).

PTG is not an effective vanguard of standards and those that think it is are suffering from illusions of grandeur. What it is, is an awesome clearinghouse of information and network of knowledgeable people who benefit the entire industry by continuing the quest for high piano performance and sharing that information with their colleagues.

In the big scheme of things, tuning is just not as important as some like to think it is. If I had my choice between a well-voiced, well regulated piano, with a so-so tuning, or a perfectly tuned piano with so-so voicing and regulating, I'll take the well voiced/regulated piano every time. Get a decent temperament, tune some clean octaves and sock in some solid unisons, that's what needs to be done.

Some seem to fear the idea of Associates being "full members". Like somehow if a few piano dealers, industry professionals, hobbiests and the like become more involved, that we are doomed. This is silly, paranoid, and short sighted. We benefit as an industry when we all work together. The more isolated and self-centered we get, the less relevant we become.


Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net
Re: Denver PTG Convention Review [Re: Mark Cerisano] #2446417
08/01/15 04:20 AM
08/01/15 04:20 AM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 9,230
France
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Olek Offline
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France
We had a time where the president of association was more the guy with the Golden hands because he knows how to sell anything that looks like piano, than because of his high quality work.

But things have changed finally and the ones in charge are conscious of their role in education and protection of standards of work.

But there is a diploma, (even a high grade one today), apprenticeship, and a musical instrument repair and making school, linked with the association.

Privatizing education does not seem to give the best results, I hope we will escape to that for some time yet.





Professional of the profession.
Foo Foo specialist
I wish to add some kind and sensitive phrase but nothing comes to mind.!
Re: Denver PTG Convention Review [Re: Mark Cerisano] #2446449
08/01/15 07:29 AM
08/01/15 07:29 AM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 3,087
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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Mark Cerisano Offline OP
3000 Post Club Member
Mark Cerisano  Offline OP
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Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 3,087
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
The bottom line is the PTG needs Chuck more than Chuck needs the PTG.


Mark Cerisano, RPT, B.Sc.(Mech.Eng), Dip.Ed.(Music)
www.howtotunepianos.com
Re: Denver PTG Convention Review [Re: rysowers] #2446475
08/01/15 09:25 AM
08/01/15 09:25 AM
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 944
shirley, MA
jim ialeggio Offline
500 Post Club Member
jim ialeggio  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 944
shirley, MA
Originally Posted by rysowers
PTG is not an effective vanguard of standards and those that think it is are suffering from illusions of grandeur. What it is, is an awesome clearinghouse of information and network of knowledgeable people who benefit the entire industry by continuing the quest for high piano performance and sharing that information with their colleagues.

thumb Well said Ryan! I second your entire post.

As one who has spent a lifetime observing, from a distance, the mindless-ness and mediocrity of creeping credentialism, I really have no interest in any and all certifications the organization may or may not promote.

For me, the organization offers a place where ideas can be floated amongst a group of others thinking about similar things...period. Its difficult to create that clearing house without a physical entity such as a professional organization, because communication tutti-sole is personality based. "Personality based" means when a personality goes away, for whatever reason, death, sickness, boredom, their information has no way to be continued for others.

I don't even consider myself "belonging to" PTG, but rather I pay my dues to maintain that information stream, and physical clearing house. I pay my dues to maintain a physical space where I can continue friendships which I find broaden my thinking. In that community, I also occasionally find a soul who I really like hanging with. I accept that being an organization of persons, there is always lots of noise, much of which I don't give two shakes of a rat's ass about. But I ignore that stuff, as it means nothing to me. I do pay attention to the info that moves my thinking along, and the folks I like that I look forward to chatting with.

But all the noise and kerfuffle regarding certification has, for me, all the import of a fart in a wind tunnel...not why I pay my dues.

If the certification thing hangs you up, don't hold your breath. The branding of the RPT not only comes from exec, but from council. Council, being all RPT's, has a mandate which creates an institutionally constructed lack of significant dissent. Don't expect to see a dissenting voice gain any traction...non-democracies don't work this way. Democracies only work when there is dissent allowed. RPT's perceive, rightly or not, that they have a vested interest in excluding other versions of credibility. Without the mechanism of institutional dissent this particular issue is not going to move.

The way I see it is, find another reason to pay your dues, other than credential-ism, or bag the organization.


Last edited by jim ialeggio; 08/01/15 09:30 AM.

Jim Ialeggio
www.grandpianosolutions.com
advanced soundboard and action redesigns
978 425-9026
Shirley Center, MA
Re: Denver PTG Convention Review [Re: Mark Cerisano] #2446481
08/01/15 09:47 AM
08/01/15 09:47 AM
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 2,265
Pretoria, South Africa
Mark R. Offline
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Mark R.  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 2,265
Pretoria, South Africa
Ed,

At the risk of belaboring the point, I'd like to re-ask my question. If the master tuning that you refer to is done aurally, in fact by more than one RPT/CTE, and the candidate must approach this master tuning as closely as possible, why should it matter what tools he uses to achieve the goal? The standard according to which he fails or passes, is still an aural master tuning set by the CTEs.


Autodidact interested in piano technology.
LinkedIn profile
1922 49" Zimmermann, project piano.
1970 44" Ibach, daily music maker.
Re: Denver PTG Convention Review [Re: Mark Cerisano] #2446494
08/01/15 10:43 AM
08/01/15 10:43 AM
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 218
Janesville WI
Lucas Brookins RPT Offline
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Lucas Brookins RPT  Offline
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Posts: 218
Janesville WI
I think you should know how to tune by ear. How do you know that your ETD is correct? If you can't check intervals and stuff, then you don't know if it is correct or not. I have had to fix stuff by ear a few times because where the ETD put it wasn't the best for the piano.


Lucas Brookins, RPT
Re: Denver PTG Convention Review [Re: Mark R.] #2446515
08/01/15 12:12 PM
08/01/15 12:12 PM
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 5,072
Seattle, WA USA
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Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
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Seattle, WA USA
Very simple Mark, members who pass the tuning test with scores of 90% or more by ear can go on to be trained as Certified Examiners, (CE). In come sense the CE is the complete tuning professional, but all who serve as CE's agree to not use the title for advertising purposes. That is where the tuning standard is established.

(Postscript added) If in the future all members only passed the tuning test with ETD's alone-the aural skills to be CE would be eliminated from the "gene" pool.

Last edited by Ed McMorrow, RPT; 08/01/15 12:40 PM. Reason: completed thought added

In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible.
According to NASA, 93% of the earth like planets possible in the known universe have yet to be formed.
Contact: Ed@LightHammerpiano.com
Re: Denver PTG Convention Review [Re: Mark Cerisano] #2446529
08/01/15 12:52 PM
08/01/15 12:52 PM
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 5,072
Seattle, WA USA
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Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
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Posts: 5,072
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On the subject of professionalism-I have long advocated for PTG to set some preferred technical specifications for certain design features of pianos and distribute this material to prospective piano purchasers with the suggestion that purchasing a piano with the preferred feature would reduce certain specific service problems.

I have been told by some members that "manufacturers who do not meet the specs will sue us for product defamation." I reply; Make My Day! PTG would counter-sue under US trade law with a restraint of trade law case that allows for triple damages to be assessed against the party restraining competition.

Also any suit against PTG and our responding counter-suit would probably bring much media attention and PTG would be seen as standing up for the pianist's interests against the myopic, backward piano manufacturers. This would do more for the PTG brand than any amount of tinkering at the edges with membership categories.


In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible.
According to NASA, 93% of the earth like planets possible in the known universe have yet to be formed.
Contact: Ed@LightHammerpiano.com
Re: Denver PTG Convention Review [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT] #2446546
08/01/15 01:51 PM
08/01/15 01:51 PM
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Posts: 27,120
Oakland
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BDB Offline
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Oakland
So how much do you expect to make from getting the Piano Technicians Guild to endorse your patents?


Semipro Tech
Re: Denver PTG Convention Review [Re: Mark Cerisano] #2446732
08/02/15 08:56 AM
08/02/15 08:56 AM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 849
Boone, Iowa, USA
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Chuck Behm, CPT-E Offline
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Boone, Iowa, USA
Quote
"You can't quit Chuck." - Mark Cerisano, RPT


On the contrary, Mark, at this juncture I believe it is only way I can get my point across. Talking sure doesn't seem to accomplish anything.

The thing of it is, in my role as Journal author, I am in correspondance with a great number of technicians, especially (as it turns out) those who are associates. I have a current membership book in which I've tagged the technicians who have sent me emails over the years, and I'm at 300+ for associates.

My plan right now is to write up an explanation of why I'm leaving the guild, and what would need to happen for me to return. I intend to send out my letter to each associate listed in the membership book on an individual basis, so it will take some time - but I hope people listen and act.

My hope for the future is that aural tuners and ETD tuners are treated as equals in the guild. I would propose a separate tuning test for each designation. A straight-up RPT would need to test with just a tuning fork, hammer and mutes. This (as I have explained previously) would be the gold standard designation - the guy or gal that could do it with no aids whatsoever. They would be applauded as such. For the RPT-E designation, the testee could use his or her ETD all the way through the exam. The point is that they are able to produce the necessary results - an in-tune piano. This would be the silver standard designation and allow the member voting rights and a place on the PTG website as a "registered technician."

Contrary to what some may believe, I really have no personal stake in this. At 65, I'm looking to begin curtailing some of my business. With 6 grandkids to occupy my time, I don't need or want to work so much. I really don't want my name on the website - just more business I would have to say 'no' to.

What does concern me is the health of the organization, in that right now the people at the helm seem to more concerned with maintaining the status quo, then changing with the times. There are a lot of folks out there who are dissatisfied with the guild as it is, and I hear from them on a weekly basis. Here's an excerpt from an email I just received the other day after my last post on this thread:

"Forget the PTG. I have done that years ago. Whenever I ask a pertinent question about the PTG either the people run and hide or just ignore me. Lots of us outsiders get the same treatment. You are continually offered false promises so they can wring the last drop of energy out of you. Then you are to be dismissed as a nobody. Same thing every time. The only thing that changes are the faces and the names of the dupes like you and me….."

Is that what is best for the organization? Wouldn't it be far better to be able to send out a letter to all those technicians who dropped out over the years as associates which would begin with the sentence, "Greetings, former PTG member - exciting news. RPT-E credentials now may be obtained by testing using your ETD!"

Just wishful thinking, I know. Chuck Behm

Last edited by Chuck Behm; 08/02/15 09:00 AM.

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