Doing More Than Tuning
Over the years, I've developed a philosophy for first appointments. It's more than just showing up, twisting the tuning pins and picking up a check. I like to approach first appointments with the piano (and it's owners) the same way good doctors approach new patients. They don't jump right in and start prescribing medications. They take a history first. They ask questions. They examine.
Good technicians, in my opinion, should do the same things. Don't just open the lid and start tuning. Slow down. Find out the history of the piano. Where has it been? Who owned it? How was it used? Find out how the customer feels about the condition of the piano. How would they like to use the piano when we're finished with our work? Will it be used for little Johnny to learn Chopsticks or is it being made ready for a returning college student to practice? With these, and a few more questions, one can begin to formulate a plan for bringing an old piano back into service, or improving the quality of a new one.