More About Me (Maggie, the piano tuner)

While a student at Concord University, I became very interested in acoustics and the physics involved with musical instruments, and enthusiastically pursued information on the subject. Since pianos have inharmonicity problems not always found in other instruments, there were books specifically devoted to the physics and history of pianos. After reading these, I became fascinated with the history of temperaments and what was involved with setting temperaments in pianos as well as other instruments. I learned the basic concepts of how to set a temperament by ear, but didn't have an RPT to apprentice with or high quality pianos to practice on, so never mastered this skill while in college.

When I was fortunate enough to become a McNair Scholar, I used their resources to further pursue my interest in acoustics and music theory. I started a pre-graduate thesis related to acoustics, but eventually settled and completed one related to music theory. Although less directly related to piano tuning, this further helped my understanding of harmony and how important it is for certain overtones to line up to attain an aesthetically pleasing sound.

My husband learned basic aural tuning from an RPT at the Cincinatti Baldwin factory before completing his doctorate in music theory and composition at the Cincinatti Concervatory of Music. He taught me what he knew and got me started in the field of piano tuning. I learned more about tuning, regulation, voicing and repair from the members of the Piano Technicians Guild, which I joined in 2004.  I spent time at the Yamaha factory in California to gain Disklavier service certification in March of 2008, and piano regulation certification in May of 2010.  I have passed 2 of 3 tests toward my RPT (Registered Piano Technician) certificate, and will continue training until I have passed the third.  Until then, I plan to continue my use of an ETD (electronic tuning device) specifically designed for pianos.

There are several ETD's on the market. I have faith in most of them. ETD's for pianos are NOT the same as chromatic tuners for stringed instruments such as guitars, fiddles, mandolins, banjos, etc. These tuners are usually equally tempered, but not in the same way a piano is tempered to compensate for inharmonicity problems. Also, their resolution is not as fine as piano ETD's. The most noticeable difference in these tuners is their price. A basic chromatic tuner costs between $20 and $50, while a piano ETD costs between $300 and $1500. With the help of my ETD (a program called TuneLab), I have been successfully tuning pianos in Southern WV and parts of VA since 2002. Included with my satisfied customers are The Ahn Trio, Leon Bates, Fran Bellin, Chris Bruebek, Freddy Cole, Lynn Mackey, Pianafiddle (Adam DeGraff), The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and the Vienna Boys Choir.

For further information or to set up an appointment, please - CONTACT MAGGIE HERE -.