After so many years of tuning pianos without being a member of the Piano Technicians Guild, I made the decision to join this year. I made this decision for a couple of reasons, but before I explain what they are, a couple of questions emerge, to wit: What is the PTG, and why wasn’t I a member all along?
Good questions. The PTG is probably best explained on their homepage:
“The Piano Technicians Guild (PTG) is the world’s premier source of expertise in piano service and technology. The mission of the Piano Technicians Guild 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.”
The instructor I had years ago was not a member of the PTG and his attitude toward the organization was rather ambivalent; he just didn’t seem to have a good reason to join. My young and impressionable self felt that if it was good enough for him, it would be good enough for me. So, that’s all I have to offer for why I hadn’t joined years ago.
Having said all that, there are good piano technicians the world over that are not members of the Guild. You do not need to be a member to be a good tuner or technician. And you do not need to be in the Guild to be in the business of tuning pianos.
Then why did I join? First of all, the PTG is based right here in Kansas City. There are chapters of the Guild all over, but the parent organization is right here where I live, about a fifteen minute drive.
Additionally, being a member of the Guild provides educational benefits. Now that I have more time, I want to pursue these opportunities to improve my skills and remain current with emerging technology. In July, St. Louis will be hosting the annual PTG Convention. Members may attend at a substantial discount. I’ve already signed up and very excited! (My bags are already packed!) Also, I’ve always wanted to know more about different tuning techniques. Of course, the end result is to produce a well tuned piano. But there are so many ways to achieve that result! My desk is now stacked with books and DVDs that cover this subject and many more.
Having now attended my first chapter meeting, I’m pleased to have made this decision to join. I look forward to all of which membership promises to deliver.