Piano Technology

Our comprehensive Piano Technology programs give you the skills you need to start a successful business and pursue a deeply satisfying career. We offer two nine-month courses—Basic Piano Technology (PT) and Advanced Piano Technology (PA)—both of which provide intensive training with master faculty in a stimulating environment.

Both programs attract students who share a passion for music, problem solving, complex mechanisms, and the hand and machine skills used to restore and care for beautiful musical instruments. Combined with business instruction, you’ll have the opportunity to develop the skills and knowledge to become a successful technician.

Basic Piano Technology (PT)

The PT program covers the most common aspects of in-home piano service, with aural tuning at the core of the curriculum. You’ll also learn to regulate and repair the actions of both upright and grand pianos. Classes include hands-on work, lectures, and field trips to such venues as the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Mason & Hamlin Factory in Haverhill, the Steinway factory in Long Island City, as well as various workshops and collections throughout New England.

Advanced Piano Technology (PA)

​​The PA program focuses on the entire piano and comprehensive piano service. Each year, PA students work in teams of two or three to dismantle, rebuild, and repair grand pianos with faculty guidance. Through that process, you’ll gain an in-depth understanding of piano construction that will serve you well whether you pursue a career in on-site service or a career in rebuilding. Students will learn how to approach piano service calls with a well-rounded, whole-piano mindset as opposed to a tuning-only mindset.

Schedule & Curriculum

  • Students are admitted in September.
  • The maximum enrollment is 16 students.
  • Classes meet 8:00 am – 3:30 pm, Monday – Friday, September through May.
  • The program length is one, nine-month academic year (36 weeks or 1260 class hours*).
  • Students who complete the program receive a Certificate of Basic Piano Technology.

* Class hours equals clock hours.

  • Students are admitted in September.
  • The maximum enrollment is 9 students.
  • Classes meet 8:00 am – 3:30 pm, Monday – Friday, September through May.
  • The program length is one, nine-month academic year (36 weeks or 1260 class hours*).
  • The successful completion of the NBSS Basic Piano Technology course, Registered Piano Technician (RPT) certification or equivalent experience is a prerequisite for this course.
  • Students who complete the program receive a Diploma of Advanced Piano Technology.

* Class hours equals clock hours.

Careers

Graduates of our Piano Technology Program have a variety of successful career choices. In addition to being independent entrepreneurs, our graduates hold positions at piano companies, colleges and universities, concert halls, recording studios, and music festivals.

Our graduates have held jobs like:

  • Registered Piano Technician (RPT)
  • Piano technician and manager in the piano technical services departments of colleges and universities
  • Piano tuner for recording studios
  • Owner, piano tuning and repair business
  • Owner, instrument rental business
  • Piano technician at various Steinway Piano Galleries
  • Piano technician for Tanglewood and Sundance summer music festivals
  • Piano rebuilder
  • Piano repairman/restorer
  • Consultant for a piano company
  • Piano tuner for cruise ship company

Educating Basic and Advanced Piano Technology students for employment may begin in our practice rooms and program spaces, but the work doesn’t end there. Newly learned skills are tested in the real world, via a wide variety of internship opportunities, from tuning grand pianos at summer music festivals to servicing upright models in the Boston Public Schools.

The closest job classification the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) uses is “Musical Instrument Repairers and Tuners.” This classification includes repair of percussion, stringed, reed, and wind instruments. May specialize in one area, such as piano tuning. The classification does not include repair and tuning of electronic instruments.

Musical Instrument Repairers and Tuners held about 7,800 jobs in 2020. The Occupational Information Network (O*NET) predicts there will be a less than 1% decline in jobs from 2020-30, with roughly 800 job openings within that decade.

According to O*NET, the average annual salary for musical instrument repairers was $36,810 as of 2020, with an average hourly rate of $17.70. Additionally, Income for this occupation varies widely based on industry and location. The U.S. DOL reports the following:

Industries with the highest levels of employment for musical instrument repairers:

  • Sporting Goods, Hobby, and Musical Instrument Stores – Average annual salary: $38,100 | Average hourly wage: $18.32
  • Personal and Household Goods Repair and Maintenance – Average annual salary: $39,920 | Average hourly wage: $19.19
  • Other Miscellaneous Manufacturing – Average annual salary: $43,180 | Average hourly wage: $20.76
  • Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools – Average annual salary: $58,000 | Average hourly wage: $27.89

Top paying industries for musical instrument repairers:

  • Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools – Average annual salary: $58,000 | Average hourly wage: $27.89
  • Elementary and Secondary Schools – Average annual salary: $56,450 | Average hourly wage: $27.89
  • Other Miscellaneous Manufacturing – Average annual salary: $43,180 | Average hourly wage: $20.76
  • Personal and Household Goods Repair and Maintenance – Average annual salary: $39,920 | Average hourly wage: $19.19
  • Sporting Goods, Hobby, and Musical Instrument Stores – Average annual salary: $38,100 | Average hourly wage: $18.32

Top paying states for musical instrument repairers:

  • Texas – Average annual salary: $40,760 | Average hourly wage: $19.60
  • Illinois – Average annual salary: $45,250 | Average hourly wage: $21.75
  • Pennsylvania – Average annual salary: $40,510 | Average hourly wage: $19.48
  • California – Average annual salary: $45,730 | Average hourly wage: $21.99
  • Florida – Average annual salary: $35,410 | Average hourly wage: $17.03

For more information on career outlook and additional resources, visit The Piano Technicians Guild.

13:1
Student to Faculty ratio
88
Keys on a full-size piano
70%
Students who receive financial aid

People

Faculty

Piano Technology Department Head

Piano Technology Instructor

Basic Piano Technology Teaching Assistant

Piano Technology Instructor

Piano Technology Instructor

Guest Lecturers & Instructors

Our Piano Technology instructors are nationally recognized and respected trade practitioners with nearly 70 years of combined experience. Each offers a unique perspective on the approach and execution of work, which gives students a more comprehensive view of the field.

We supplement instruction from our master faculty with visits from industry experts who provide hands-on lectures. Past speakers and field trips have included:

  • Allan Winkler, Harpsichord maker
  • Matthew Onigman PT ‘06, PA ’07, Sing For Hope
  • Mario Igrec, The Juilliard School
  • John Cavanaugh PT ’86, PA ’87, Oberlin College piano technology program
  • Don Mannino, Kawai America
  • Larry Fine PT ‘76, pianobuyer.com
  • Michael Collins PA ’94, Mason & Hamlin
  • Greg Cheng, electronic player systems and case finish repairs
  • Dan Levitan PT ’75
  • Chris Storch PT ’08, PA ’09, professional acoustician
  • Barbara Renner PT ’78

Facilities

Our facilities include two bench rooms and sixteen individual practice rooms, outfitted with a variety of pianos, so you have the opportunity to develop the skills and knowledge to become a successful technician.

Basic Spaces

Advanced Spaces

More Information

2020 Piano Technology Graduate & Employment Report

Basic Piano Technology

  • 15 Basic Piano Technology students started the program in September 2018 and had a graduation date of June 2019.
  • 93% of this student cohort graduated in 2019.
  • 83% of these graduates are employed in the field.
  • This data was officially reported to ACCSC in October 2020.

Advanced Piano Technology

  • 9 Advanced Piano Technology students started the program in September 2018 and had a graduation date of June 2019.
  • 100% of this student cohort graduated in 2019.
  • 100% of these graduates are employed in the field.
  • This data was officially reported to ACCSC in October 2020.

2021 Piano Technology Graduate & Employment Report

Basic Piano Technology

  • 16 Basic Piano Technology students started the program in September 2019 and had a graduation date of June 2020.
  • 88% of this student cohort graduated in 2020.
  • 88% of these graduates are employed in the field.
  • This data was officially reported to ACCSC in October 2021.


Advanced Piano Technology

  • 7 Advanced Piano Technology students started the program in September 2019 and had a graduation date of June 2020.
  • 86% of this student cohort graduated in 2020.
  • 100% of these graduates are employed in the field.
  • This data was officially reported to ACCSC in October 2021.

This disclosure is required by our accreditors, the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools & Colleges (ACCSC).

For each of our career training programs, we consult with a group of top professionals in the field to ensure our curriculum continues to meet industry needs and trends.

The Piano Technology Program Advisors are:

  • George Crawford
  • Lawrence Fine PT ’76
  • Ann Garee
  • Sean Mallari PT ’05, PA ’06
  • Don Mannino
  • Jude Reveley
  • Lewis J. Surdam PT ’79, PA ’80