What is the Piano Technicians Guild?
You have seen the mention of the Piano Technicians Guild (PTG) in all of my correspondence. But what exactly is the PTG? The PTG is a professional organization of piano tuner/technicians. According to our Bylaws, the mission of the PTG “is to promote the highest possible standards of piano service by providing members with opportunities for professional development, by recognizing technical competence through examinations and by advancing the interests of its members.”
Our organization has two classes of membership: Registered Piano Technician, (RPT) and Associate members. An RPT has proved his/her technical and tuning abilities with passing a serious of rigorous exam. First is a 100 question written examination, which asks questions about piano tuning repairs, rebuilding, design, voicing and the history of the piano. This is followed by a 4 hour technical exam, in which a candidate must be able to show hands –on competence in repairing and regulating both upright and grand pianos. And last is a 5 hour tuning exam, where a candidate must aurally tune a piano to very exacting measurement.
RPT’s are not necessarily better tuner/technicians than Associate members or piano tuners who are not a member of the PTG, but they have proven their skills before their peers who are Technical Examiners, (TEC’s) and Tuning Examiners, (CTE’s). To become an RPT, a candidate must pass all the exams with a score of 80 or better. To become a TEC or CTE an RPT must retake all the exams again, but pass them with a score of 90 or better. Before moving to Hawaii, I was both a TEC and a CTE.
For more information on the PTG, please visit the website at www.ptg.org. We have chapters all over the USA and Canada, and members all over the world. The PTG sponsors an Annual Convention and Technical Institute once a year, and throughout the year there are a number of regional and state weekend seminars. In February of 2014 I attended a regional seminar in San Francisco, where I taught four different classes on tuning, business and regulation. PTG’s Annual Convention will be in Denver this summer, where I have been asked to teach a class on soundboard, bridge, and pin block repairs using epoxies.
I also am politically active in the PTG. I represent the Hawaii chapter of the PTG as the Delegate to Council, where Bylaw changes are voted on, and National officers are elected to the Board of Directors. (I have served as a Regional Vice President of the Central West Regional). I am also on the Board of Directors of the Piano Technicians Guild Foundation.