Fast, friendly, and professional, I'm proud to bringing over 10 years of tuning and repair service experience to your doorstep. I have extensive experience maintaining instruments of all makes––ranging from the noble Bösendorfer Imperial Grand to the humble Cable Nelson upright, and everything in-between––but I am exceptionally well versed in the methodology, touch, and tone of New York Steinway. In addition to attending multiple Theodore Steinway Academy training seminars at the Steinway Factory, I received a degree in Piano Technology from the esteemed North Bennet Street School located Boston, Massachusetts (2012). I am a Registered Piano Technician (RPT) with the Piano Technicians Guild and a Certified Dampp-Chaser installer.
In an effort to engage with musicians at the highest level, I often spend summer months in residence at the Grand Teton Music Festival in Jackson Hole, WY, working with many of today's leading national and international touring pianists. Formerly a Senior Associate Technician at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre and Dance, I worked closely with department chair, Robert Grijalva, and maintained several world-class performance pianos, as well as numerous student and faculty studio pianos.
A musician at heart, I graduated from Oberlin Conservatory with a BA in Cello Performance (2011). Throughout my undergraduate degree, I studied piano technology with John Cavanaugh and Robert Murphy. I call on all my artistic skills, as a piano technician and musician, to empower musicians of all backgrounds to inspire and be inspired.
Quality piano maintenance involves so much more than tuning. With over 10,000 parts, the modern piano is by far the most complicated musical instrument. With an instrument this complicated, a different approach is necessary. Quality piano maintenance addresses three essential areas: Tuning, Regulation, and Voicing.
My Service Philosophy
I structure my service appointment to reflect the interdependence of these essential areas. By scheduling a service appointment, I commit to you a full 90 minute appointment time. During the service appointment, my goals are to produce best possible tuning, refine the pianos regulation, and address any minor voicing inconsistencies.
How Often Should I Tune My Piano?
Your piano is an investment in your future. It can bring you and your family a lifetime of music, adding immeasurable joy and beauty to your home.
Manufacturers can provide general advice on tuning frequency, but your personal frequency depends on your own use and expectations of your instrument. Generally speaking, manufactures recommend as many as three to five services per year for the initial years of a new piano's life. After this initial break-in period, manufactures typically recommend two services per year.
Your personal frequency depends several factors including the type and age of the piano, the piano's environment, your sensitivity to the piano's tuning, and your overall expectations for the piano. Given the fluctuating climate of Southeastern Pennsylvania, I often recommend an average of 2-3 tuning services per year, but at a minimum, I recommend at least one service per year. Regular tuning service will help to maintain your instrument throughout the changing seasons. If you do elect to service your piano only once a year, I recommend scheduling the service within the season that the piano will be used the most (i.e. the holidays).
Your piano contains materials such as wood and felt, which are subject to change with climatic conditions. Extreme swings from hot to cold or dry to wet cause its materials to swell and contract, affecting tone, pitch, and action response or touch. You can reduce the severity of these effects by placing your piano near a wall away from windows or doors that are opened frequently. Avoid heating and air conditioning vents, fireplaces and areas which receive direct sunlight. Your piano will perform best under consistent conditions neither too wet nor dry, optimally at a temperature of 68 degrees F and 42 percent relative humidity.
When considering a used piano, often problems that don't seem that big are major problems and vice versa. “Free" or “cheap” pianos can actually be the most expensive if the condition of the instrument requires significant restoration or rebuilding in order to be a playable instrument. First, look at the piano and be sure it is something you are interested in. Do you like the tone and touch? If you've determined that you are interested in the piano but still have questions about the structural condition, please consider scheduling an evaluation before purchasing the instrument. An investment of an evaluation before purchasing will inform you of the piano's overall condition, any necessary repairs, and, most importantly, can prevent you from buying and moving a piano that won't be playable much less an instrument you can be proud to play and own.
Please contact me to schedule a piano evaluation. Rates vary and depend on piano's location.
PTG: Buying a Piano
A wonderful resource that will answer many of your questions about buying a used or new piano.
An semiannual piano buying guide from Larry Fine. The site is filled with information about buying new pianos. Includes a massive database of prices for all—acoustic and digital—new pianos, tables for calculating used piano prices, brand profiles, and so much more!
In certain circumstances, adding a humidity control unit to your piano will help it keep its tune longer and extend the life of the instrument. As a certified Dampp-Chaser installer, I can provide quality installation and service for any style of Dampp-Chaser unit.
Please contact me for a detailed estimate.
With a strong pedigree that includes institutional service, I've seen nearly every type of mechanical failure. I've seen it all–broken strings, sticking keys, broken agraffes, broken hammer shanks, or leaking dampers. I use my intimate knowledge of instrument construction, keyboard mechanics and manufacturer practices to address any problem that I encounter.
Periodic Maintenance of Action's Regulation and Voice
The piano in your home will require periodic adjustments to its regulation and voice. At its core, a piano is comprised of many organic materials, such as wood, felt, and cloth. These materials wear and change with use. Just like brakes in a car, these components need periodic adjustment and even replacement to function at their best.
I offer a wide range of services, including
- Partial and full keyboard action regulation
- Partial and full damper regulation
- Hammer reshaping and filing
- String leveling and hammer fitting
- Tone building, using American Steinway techniques
Please inquire at our next appointment if you are interested in mechanical or tonal regulation.
I specialize in action refurbishment and restoration. I have experience restoring several makes and models of piano, but I have extensive experience working with Steinway pianos and Steinway product. If you are interested in learning how to refurbish or restore your piano, please mention your interest at your next appointment. We'll discuss ways to improve the tone and overall performance of your instrument in a way that falls within your budget.
Action restoration services offered:
- Full action replacement and restoration
- Touch weight analysis and weight profiling
- Complete damper action replacement
Belly restoration services offered:
- Bass string replacement
- Full restringing
- Bridge repair
For more extensive belly restoration, I will work with you to identify the unique needs of your piano and guide you to a piano rebuilder that will employ the appropriate techniques restoration techniques.