Welcome to my musings about pianos and piano technology. But first, a little bit about me. My wife and I have lived in Ann Arbor, Michigan since 2004. I was a lawyer from 2001 to 2021, when I decided to make a change and study piano technology. I'd been taking piano lessons as an adult learner (wow, how humbling!), and I was always fascinated observing the piano technicians who would come to our home to tune our piano. We had several fine technicians over the years, and each one either retired or moved away to other opportunities in piano technology.
During my years of piano lessons and of observing the technicians who worked on our piano, I began to develop more and more interest in the idea of studying piano technology and becoming a technician. One fine technician suggested a couple of great books: The Craft of Piano Tuning, by Dan Levitan, and Theory and Practice of Piano Tuning, by Brian Capleton. I started reading and I got hooked. Piano tuning involves a captivating array of ideas from math and physics.
I decided to apply to the North Bennet Street School, in Boston, Massachusetts, to study basic piano technology. I enrolled in the one-year program in September 2021 and I graduated in June 2022. Along the way, I passed the tuning and technical exams issued by the Piano Technicians Guild, which means that I am a Registered Piano Technician. While I was studying at North Bennet Street School, I was part of a Boston NPR story about people making the transition into careers in the trades.
The day after graduation, I headed to western Massachusetts for a summer internship, working as an assistant piano technician at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, in Lenox, Massachusetts.
At Tanglewood, many of the nation's best high school musicians meet to study and perform under the direction of outstanding professional musicians, including members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. I tuned and repaired pianos in performance halls, classrooms, and rehearsal rooms, worked with students and faculty to prepare for recitals and events, and performed emergency repairs and tuning as needed.
North Bennet Street School, and my Tanglewood internship, prepared me well for my new profession. I returned to Ann Arbor, Michigan in August 2022 and I immediately began CarlinPiano, my own business in which I provide an array of services for all makes and models of grand and upright (vertical) pianos, including tuning, regulation, voicing, repair, humidity control, and cleaning. I'm excited to share my piano enthusiasm with you, and I hope you will consider giving me the opportunity to make your piano sound better.