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Dan Silverwood wrote an article which was printed in the recent Piano Technicians Journal. Published under the series called "A Tuner's Life", Dan's account of demonstrating tuning to a group of children in a school for the deaf was a touching example of the side benefits of our work to us - and our clients. Mere pin crankers we are not!


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Thanks Jurgen,

Very kind of you to comment about this; I had forgotten all about that story. Indeed, encounters like that is one of the biggest reasons I wouldn’t change this job for any other. The human interaction and experiences make us a lot more than just pin crankers indeed.

Children are so precious; and no more so then the children at that school. Anytime I get a chance to teach a child something I jump in right away, especially children living with disabilities.

That little guy will remember what happened that day for the rest of his life simply because someone gave him a chance to experience a part of life he otherwise might be unable to.

Children happen to be our most unrecognized commodity today as they represent the future of human life on this planet.

A while back assistant editor, John Parham and I were emailing on the LinkedIn Piano Technicians forum and he noticed the story on my blog and liked it quite a bit. A while later the editor Ed Sutton contacted my asking to use the material.

I am not sure if the story remains intact or if they have edited parts as I have not read the copy yet. For those that do not subscribe to the Journal, here is the original story published on my blog. I had posted this previously here in Sam Casey's long running thread about what did you do today.

Jericho Hill School


I had another encounter with a group of kids that happened a couple of weeks back and I plan on writing up a story about that one soon.



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Thanks for sharing that Dan.


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Nice comments Dan, thank you.

I was tuning a piano in a school yesterday and a class of eight or nine year olds passed along the end of the corridor, about ten feet away. One little girl called merrily to me "Hello Mister" and I called Hello back. She asked "What you doin'?". Ever the teacher, trying to draw out rather than tell, I replied "Well, what do you think I might be doing?". She answered "Yer making a terrable mess of that piano!". I could only reply "I hope not".....

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I once tuned a grand in an orphanage, as a charity work, and many of young children were gathered around it, looking at me working, and asking a lot of questions. I had a lot of time at the moment, so I answered to all of them. It was amazing how grateful they were after somebody payed his attention to them and treated them with patience. I have almost forgotten that, until I have red Dan"s text.


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Dan,
Thanks for sharing the article. I read it today while eating lunch. Put me in a good mood!


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Well done, Dan. Thanks!


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Hi David,

It is interesting how many make the mistake of equating the quality of the sound made during tuning with the quality of the work being done. It is one of the things I miss about working in the schools; the curiosity of the children, along with the honest, unfiltered remarks. Thanks for joining us with your experiences.

Hi Bojan,
Thanks for the comments. Indeed it only takes a few minutes of time to engage children and for the most part their attention does not last long, as they move onto other things. I am sure the many technicians who work in school systems have good stories about curious kids. They are grateful for having an adult spend time with them instead of brushing them aside due to work duties.

Hi Ed,
It was fun to have a helper organizing the tools who could not communicate in the conventional ways. I learned quite a bit that day too. Thanks.

Hi Bob,
Appreciate the comment.

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"...Dan's account of demonstrating tuning to a group of children in a school for the deaf was a touching example of the side benefits of our work to us - and our clients..."

My partner is mostly, but not entirely, deaf, as a result of having had spinal meningitis at the age of two. You would not think music would be of much importance to such a person--- but it's not the case at all; he is mad for it, and believes he might have had a career as a jazz musician if not for his illness. I've noticed that at parties for the deaf or near deaf, they always have music. Loud, of course. They feel the power, even if they don't hear it so well.

Maybe the very apparent genius of the mechanism, and the beauty and glamor of a grand piano's case also is appealing to them.


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Originally Posted by Jeff Clef
"...Dan's account of demonstrating tuning to a group of children in a school for the deaf was a touching example of the side benefits of our work to us - and our clients..."

My partner is mostly, but not entirely, deaf, as a result of having had spinal meningitis at the age of two. You would not think music would be of much importance to such a person--- but it's not the case at all; he is mad for it, and believes he might have had a career as a jazz musician if not for his illness. I've noticed that at parties for the deaf or near deaf, they always have music. Loud, of course. They feel the power, even if they don't hear it so well.

Maybe the very apparent genius of the mechanism, and the beauty and glamor of a grand piano's case also is appealing to them.


Very cool Jeff,

I have normal hearing, but I enjoy immensely the vibrations of my piano that I feel through my feet when playing. It adds another dimension to the experience of the music.

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Polkacide, inspired by deaf dancers.


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