The day people stop playing pianos; the world will come to an end. It will be the day that music dies. It will be the day that imagination, creativity, and the right side of the brain wither. Hence the world will perish when piano tuners stop tuning.
An intern reporter for the Chicago Tribune called me. She wanted to talk to me about piano tuning and the piano industry. I was afraid of being interviewed. What if I said something incorrect? What if she asked me something I didn’t know? What if I couldn’t think of anything to say? Putting my fears aside, I agreed to do the interview and invited her to come to Harper College where I maintained the pianos. The day before the interview she asked if she could bring a photographer. I said OK.
The photographer took multiple shots of me tuning one of Harper College’s concert grand pianos. What’s your favorite piano? – Steinway. How did you get into the business? I wanted to be self employed and enjoyed being around pianos. How did you fare in the recent economic down turn? I really didn’t notice it. Do you tune for anyone famous? No, I tune for ordinary people. But I do tune for concert artists here at Harper and at International House in Chicago. I showed them the inside of the piano and explained how it works. I talked about the mechanics of tuning. I told her how piano technicians have conventions and monthly meetings. I played a jazz standard
An interesting question: “Why are you passionate about tuning pianos?” I answered, I do very good work and I enjoy my job. And it pays well.” I didn’t tell her that the fate of the world depends on piano tuners. No, I think not. Saving the world is best done in secret.