The program consists of two 10-month terms, each 1400 ± clock hours of instruction. Terms run from early September to the end of June. The first term concentrates on tuning and piano maintenance in homes and stores. The second term focuses on grand piano repair, servicing and business operations. The tuning portion of the program in the second term is designed to give practical tuning experience and build productivity and confidence.
A student who is doing at least B level work at the one-quarter, one-half and three-quarter points in his/her program, and maintains at least an 80% attendance, is considered to be making satisfactory progress. Occasionally, to achieve a commercially acceptable level of competence, a student may require more time, instruction and practice. This will not exceed 1.5 times the standard length of the course for which the student is enrolled. Certificates are awarded at a Commencement Banquet at the end of June.
Each school day opens with a short class and question-answer session. Assignments are made, and each student goes to work on an individual tuning or repair project. Instructors are available to offer guidance, instruction and help. The maximum number of students accepted is 8, so that each student will have individual attention every day. Students keep records describing each day’s activities and projects, with special attention to problems, insights and new skills learned. This helps the student to organize skills and concepts, and also prepares the student to discuss and sell piano work as a career technician. Students also spend time in lecture classes on technical skills, music appreciation, the science of sound, and business skills. Our school’s long experience in working with blind tuner-technicians has developed highly-successful methods of teaching repair skills by touch-methods that are unique to the School, and which enable blind students to compete, on terms of equality, with experienced tuner-technicians. These methods give our graduates a lifelong competitive edge.