Do You Like Your Job? February 2, 2023 16:17

I was born into a piano family and became a piano tuner at the age of 20. To be honest, I had a hard start trying to getting enough business so when a friend offered me a high paying sales job in a different industry, I took it. I lasted about 8 months there before realizing I hated working in an office. I hated being told what to do, what to sell and how to sell it. I hated being stuck in one building all day and I felt trapped. I wanted to work with my hands. I wanted to be my own boss. I wanted to control my schedule and my income. So I quit and went back to piano technology. That was about 15 years ago and it was one of the best decisions of my life.

I like what I do. No, I LOVE what I do. Although my main instrument is guitar, I also play piano a bit and love working with tools, wood, steel, and music. Every day I am sounded by music and musicians. I make my own schedule, I set my own prices and I am in complete control of my future.

I have been either an instructor or a student coordinator here at PTA for about 10 years and I can tell you, switching careers is totally do-able! I have watched hundreds of people quit jobs they hate and start their own piano service business. Some of my closest friends in the piano industry, started with our course. I love going to the PTG conventions and meeting student after student who tell us how successful their businesses are and how much fun they are having working on the instrument they love every day.

If any of this resonates with you and you think you might want to check this career out, we have just the thing for you! One of our instructors/owners, David Hayes (also owns Artisan Piano Services) is doing one on one screen share meetings with people interested in our course. During the 30 minute Zoom meeting, David will show you the course from the inside and answer any questions you may have about becoming a piano technician. And the good thing is, getting business is a lot easier now than it was when I started! In fact, our Piano Tuning & Repair Course has two whole lessons on building a piano service business! If that’s not enough, we also have a very in depth course on building an even larger piano service business like Artisan Piano Services.

If you hate your job or simply want a change, now is your time! We are here to help!

How does a piano's plate affect the tone? March 10, 2020 10:20

When we were developing the latest version of our piano tuning and repair course, we had to decide what pianos we wanted to teach on. Being that we filmed right next door to a Yamaha dealer, it seemed obvious that we would teach on Yamaha pianos but we also needed to show how other brands sounded and functioned. I myself am a Mason & Hamlin fan and love working on these pianos so we pulled one of those in the mix as well as a Yamaha, Pearl River and some random older uprights. 

Do I need Perfect Pitch to be a Piano Tuner? March 6, 2020 12:07

As the student coordinator here at the Piano Technician Academy, I get asked this question a lot. Its an honest enough question but I have found that most people don't really know what perfect pitch means... 

When somebody asks me if they need perfect pitch to tune a piano, I always ask "what does perfect pitch mean to you?". The reason is most people think perfect pitch means the person can tell if a note is flat or sharp "perfectly" meaning they can tell the difference between a cent or two. 

I can tell you this, as a 3rd generation piano tuner and somebody who has taught piano tuning for years, I have yet to meet anybody who can tell the difference between a couple cents. 

For those of you who dont know, piano tuners use what we call "cents" to measure pitch. A half step has 100 cents and a whole step has 200. When tuning a piano that was just tuned a year ago, the tuner is usually only required to adjust the pitch 1-4 cents. 

I have tested this theory with people who claim to have perfect pitch and every one has failed. BUT! Thats not what perfect pitch means anyways! Perfect pitch just means a person is able to sing or identify a note with no reference at all. For example, somebody with perfect pitch would be able to hear a note and tell you what note it is. They may guess if it is sharp or flat (and some may be able to tell depending on how flat/sharp it is) but that is not the definition of perfect pitch. A person with perfect pitch would also be able to sing or produce a specific note with no reference. An example would be if I asked you to sing a C and you did it without hearing a C first. Again, it may be a little flat or sharp, but its a C none the less. This is the definition of Perfect Pitch. 

Anyways, I cover it in this video so take a look and if you have any questions or comment, please feel free to shoot them my way at

Michael Stilwell

Student Coordinator/ CPT

Piano Tuning Training May 23, 2013 14:22

The Online Piano Tuner As a piano tuner and a professor at The Piano Technician Academy, I get asked “is it really possible to learn how to tune a piano in an online piano tuning training course?” about once a … Continue reading

Piano Tuning School March 4, 2013 13:56

It has been a long time since we have updated our blog at our online piano tuning school. We have been so busy teaching our online piano tuning course that we have totally neglected our blog! The Piano Tuning School … Continue reading