Mitchell Piano Service About Me

 

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As a piano technician...

Combining my experience and educational background, I consider myself to be one of the best piano technicians in the SF Bay Area.  My skills and tools are well suited to everything from simple piano tunings to full regulation, voicing and repairs for higher quality instruments.  I endeavor to provide my customers with the best technical and professional service. 

My clientele ranges from private homes to institutional settings. Many of the private homes are for what I consider to be concert-level pianos and artists.  For the institutional customers, I regularly tune at Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory School in San Francisco, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Chabot College, Skyline College and many piano dealers in the area.  I also do concert tunings for Yamaha Artist Services at local venues.

As part of giving back to the community, I tune the office, rehearsal and performance pianos of the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus on a "pro bono" basis (and I also sing as a Baritone!).

By far, most of my new business comes from word-of-mouth -- and why shouldn't it.  If you do good work, your customers are your best advertising agency. 

 

Licenses, Insurance and Affiliations

A Registered Piano Technician has passed a series of rigorous examinations on the maintenance, repair, and tuning of pianos. Only RPTs are authorized by The Piano Technicians Guild to display the logo containing the words ôRegistered Piano Technician".
  •  RPT Member of the Piano Technicians Guild

  •  My business is fully insured

  •  I carry a San Francisco business license.

Education

I believe it is important to continuously improve my skills through education and relations with other top technicians in the country. 

7/2011 - "Concert and Technical Strategies" presented by Steinway & Sons and Oberlin College.  This invitation-only one week, hands-on workshop covers "major" rebuild areas (hammer replacement, backaction rebuilding) and concert preparation.  Taught by Steinway and Oberlin college technicians, including Eric Schandall (S&S) seen below:

               

   

8/2009 - "Yamaha Little Red Schoolhouse" in piano regulation and Disklavier service.  Little Red Schoolhouse is Yamaha's invitation-only in-house training for piano technicians.  It is led by piano technician LaRoy Edwards, who is widely regarded as one of the top tech's in the world (that's me with LaRoy in the photo below).  The 50 hours of training (lecture and hands-on practice) covered all aspects of detailed, fine piano regulation and Disklavier support and service.

               

1/2007 - Graduate of "Intermediate Training Seminar" held at Montana State University School of Music, Bozeman, Montana, presented by The Randy Potter School of Piano Technology.  This was a week-long intensive training and hands-on practice for tuning temperaments, repair and regulation. 

8/2006 :: 1/2007 - Graduate of "Basic and Intermediate Course in Piano Tuning, Repairing, Regulating, Apprentice Training and Business Practices Training", The Randy Potter School of Piano Technology (Bend, Oregon). 

Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

PTG Training and Classes

7/2015 - 2015 PTG Convention & Technical Institute (Denver).  Tended to focus on regulation and repairs of the "back action" (the part that drives the dampers), dampers and resetting damper timing.  Also took some very interesting classes about managing the business and pricing my services for success.

2/2014 - 2014 Western Regional PTG Convention WestPAC (Redwood City)

7/2012 - 2012 PTG Convention & Technical Institute (Seattle).  Another excellent annual convention was presented this year.  In an effort to move my skill sets up the technical ladder, I tended to focus on both detailed voicing and refined regulation.  Many exceptional classes presented by the leading technicians in the world. 

3/2011 - 2011 Western Regional PTG Convention WestPAC (Burlingame). I spent one full day looking at Touchweight Analysis and attended other excellent classes on piano regulation and action rebuilding.  Another great convention. 

6/2010 - 2010 Annual PTG Convention (Las Vegas, NV).  A great week of presentations by the top technicians from around the world. 

7/2009 - 2009 Annual PTG Convention (Grand Rapids, MI).  Five days of classes and seminars given by some of the top piano technicians in the world.  This year, I tended to focus on voicing techniques and advanced aural tuning skills.

6/2007 - 50th Annual PTG Convention in Kansas City, MO.  Four full days of classes, tutorials and hands-on skills workshops.  Plus mini-concerts and evening performances (the Gryphon Trio were the highlight of the week, giving an absolutely stunning performance). 

2/2007 - 2007 California State PTG Convention in San Carlos, CA

Going Further Back...

The first years of my "working life" were spent as an engineer and engineering manager.  I graduated from MIT with an engineering degree and went straight to Hewlett Packard (later Agilent Technologies).  While there, I worked on everything from Universal Frequency Counters to DNA Microarrays. 

But when presented with an exit opportunity from Agilent, I decided to try something different.  I've long enjoyed singing and the mechanics of musical instruments.  So, I jumped at the chance for a new career in piano tuning since it lets me combine my engineering skills with my love for music. 

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