Female Piano Tuner / Technician in Hong Kong
After living in the United States for 12 years, started as a composition student, working many jobs on backstage: stage managing, recording, ushering… I found the work of a piano technician very interesting. I decided to pursue the one thing I couldn’t yet do – to prepare the concert piano.
Besides doing what every piano technician does, I am interested in incorporating other disciplines with piano technology. I certainly have the skills and knowledge to compose for and to execute the prepared piano now. I also combine taiko kata (posture) with piano tuning. As a female, I recognize that I am biologically not as strong as male. However, with skills and efficient posture, it is entirely possible for female to tune smartly without the same brute power of men. I have met many female piano technicians in other countries. This is definitely not a male-only profession.
Depending on the climate, piano technicians recommend home piano owners to have their instrument tuned 1-4 times a year. In this way, the changes from temperature and humidity of a piano would be very manageable. Of course, it is up to the owner to decide how often they would like to hire a piano technician. All I can say is that, the changes will accumulate; therefore it will take a piano technician longer to maintain a piano if it has not been worked on for years, resulting a higher cost. Moreover, if there were problems, it might grow from small to bigger problems throughout a long time. Then if the piano were fortunate enough not to suffer from permanent damage, the repair fee would be more expensive as well.
I have had good teachers in the United States, they are hardworking piano technicians of universities. Since music school faculty and students are all professionals, their high standard to me is challenging and intriguing. As a professional trained musician myself, I understand how music schools are run, what faculty and students need. I speak their “language”, which is particularly useful.
Duration of each service depends on the piano and their owners. Normally it takes 1-2 hours. Sometimes it takes less time; if it takes longer, it doesn’t mean that the piano technician is not skillful enough. It’s not a race anyway. One could shorten his or her tuning time by using appropriate tuning app, it doesn’t mean the piano technician cannot tune aurally. I usually tune by ear, could tune faster or in noisy environment if necessary. Otherwise, I’d rather take my time to do a better tuning, so to maintain proper my blood pressure (even though I am still very young).
- I perform aural tuning, regulation, voicing, repair, and maintenance.
- Familiar with university/ conservatory settings, especially working with professional musicians and music students.
- Experience in historical keyboard tuning and maintenance, with knowledge tuning unequal temperament aurally.
- Experience in basic woodworking with hand tools and power tools.
- Refer to my profile for more details!
- Sometimes I write blog post on piano technology.
- Assistant piano technician at Florida State University
- Staff piano technician at Boston University Tanglewood Institute
- Keyboard technician at Academy of Fortepiano Performance
- 4-week Practicum ’19 at Carl Sauter Piano Factory (Spaichigen, Germany)
- Mentor: Hermann Kaufmann (Klavierbaumeister – Master Piano Builder)
- Master of Arts in Piano Technology ’19 at Florida State University (Tallahassee, FL, USA)
- Mentor: Dr. Li Yeoh, MPT, Bruce Hargabus
- Advance Music Studies in Piano Maintenance ’17 at Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, PA, USA)
- Mentor: Peter Stumpf, RPT
- Mentors for historical keyboard maintenance
- Edward Kottick, Richard Hester, Maki Masayuki, Barbara Wolf, Alan Winkler, Dale Munschy, Claire Hammett
- Original piano tool design
- Historical keyboard instruments
- conservation & restoration
- education for performer and technician
- historical research, including provenance and genealogy
- History and design of piano tuning levers
- Ergonomics and posture of piano tuning