PIANO TUNING CLASS HELPS
Most teachers would agree the practical experience is by far the best learning environment. That is certainly true when it comes to piano tuning and the opportunity for the University of Tennessee at Martin Piano Technology class instructor, the Rev. Elwood Doss Jr., RPT, to provide that practical “real world” experience was one that he relished. The opportunity came when Boys & Girls Club of Northwest Tennessee Director Sherri Puckett contacted him about tuning two pianos that had been donated to the club located in Union City. He discussed the possibility with the class members, and they jumped at the opportunity to tune the pianos. Doss teaches the piano tuning technique of aural tuning, or tuning “by ear.”
According to Doss, “the ‘in the field’ tuning differs greatly from tuning the pianos in the UTM Fine Arts Building that are tuned on a regular basis.” The class is studying the theory, history and technique of piano tuning this semester and meets at the Fine Arts Building.
Doss first demonstrated the “rough tuning” technique of pulling, up to the correct pitch a piano in which its pitch is flat, then turned the pianos over to the class to “fine tune” the instruments.
The group will also be tuning the piano at Martin’s Weldon Public Library as a part of this class project. Danielle Alston, Boys & Girls Club director of education and choir director, will use the pianos for her choir rehearsals and to give piano lessons to the club members.
The Piano Technology class will study piano repairs and regulating of grand and upright pianos beginning in January 2008.
Will they use the two pianos to practice on?
“Well,” said Doss, “I haven’t asked permission yet, but it would be a good project for the second semester class.” Anyone can register for the class by enrolling through UTM. Call 881-7402 for more information.