Welcome to Pianova.net. We offer reliable, high-quality piano tuning, repairs, rebuilding and consultations for Olympia and surrounding areas. We also have a limited selection of clean, well-prepped, pre-owned pianos for students and professionals.
The same techniques that work on a Steinway concert grand will also work on old uprights and spinet pianos. In fact, it is important that I practice these skills regularly on everyday instruments in order to keep my skills sharp. For this reason, I treat all my clients’ pianos as worthy instruments.
I love bringing out the potential of high end pianos, however there is great satisfaction in bringing beautiful piano touch and tone to everyday instruments.
Even small, inexpensive pianos have musical potential
that can be realized with proper techniques and workmanship. In fact, these are frequently the most neglected instruments that can show the most dramatic improvement with appropriate service.
Children and beginners deserve good-playing instruments.
Learning to play piano is a challenging enterprise. The additional stumbling block of a piano with unpleasant and uneven touch and tone can sabotage even motivated students.
Every piano owner’s needs and expectations are unique.
I strive to use my time in the most efficient manner possible to meet my clients’ needs to the best of my abilities. I endeavor to build partnerships with my clients in order to best realize their musical aspirations.
With the virus outbreak, this is a great time to stay home and play your piano! We are adopting the following protocol for our tuning appointments:
Please respect social distancing rules.
I’ll stay back from the door and you can give me plenty of space to enter your home. I’ll prefer to have the room vacated while working, but at least try to maintain the “6 feet rule” if possible.
If you have children please help them respect the boundaries. They are often curious to see the inside of a piano, and usually we are delighted to give them a short “piano tour”. We’ll make up for it in future appointments when things get more back to normal.
I will arrive with a medical grade mask
For your protection and mine. I will also lay down a drop cloth to keep my tools, jacket, and supplies in a confined area.
I will clean keys and wipe down touched surfaces.
Piano manufacturers generally recommend cleaning keys with a damp rag or mild detergent and drying immediately. Chemicals such as bleach or alcohol may react with key material over time causing them to discolor, weaken, or crack. Fortunately, Coronavirus is very vulnerable to mild soap and water solution.
Removing Coronavirus From Keys
That being said, both Kawai and Steinway have recently posted recommendations on the Facebook pages, with Kawai approving Clorox® Disinfecting Wipes and Steinway recommending cotton ball dampened with over-the-counter (3%) hydrogen peroxide.
Be careful with alcohol!
Most mid-century pianos that don’t have ivory keytops have a celluloid based keytop material known as Pyralin. Alcohol will definitely etch and damage the surface. Technicians still use Pyralin to restore old piano keyboards. It is difficult for the untrained eye to tell the difference between pyralin and modern acrylic plastic. If you email me some close up pictures I can usually identify the material for you at no charge.
Soap may actually be the best!
Don’t underestimate the power of this most inexpensive and common weapon.
According to The Guardian:
“Viruses can be active outside the body for hours, even days. Disinfectants, liquids, wipes, gels and creams containing alcohol are all useful at getting rid of them – but they are not quite as good as normal soap.”
Since soap has been shown to be very effective at destroying and removing Coronavirus, (and other bugs too!) AND it is safe to use on all types of key material including ivory, we recommend a rag dampened with soap solution as the optimal cleaning/disinfecting agent. Avoid letting the solution drip between the keys.
Follow with a clean rag dampened with water to remove soapy residue, and dry immediately. Ivory keys in particular should be dried within a minute or two so that they don’t absorb too much water which can cause swelling and detachment.
Find a Piano!
We maintain an inventory of hand selected, clean and affordable pianos to help you express yourself musically and creatively. Have a lead on a piano on Craigslist or from a co-worker? We do pre-purchase checks! In many cases we can move the piano and blow the dust and debris out before it arrives in your home. Challenging move? Use one of our prefered piano movers.
Fix your piano!
Maybe your old clunker is a diamond in the rough! Many older instruments are working far below their potential. We love putting new life back into vintage pianos. The results can often be comparable to a new high-quality piano. Schedule a consultation and we’ll go through your piano with a no-pressure evaluation and help you make a decision that is right for you.
Find a teacher!
We maintain the most complete list of piano teachers in the Olympia, Lacey, and Tumwater area. We have developed a very close relationship with the Olympia Music Teachers Association. (Ryan is currently serving on their Board of Directors). We’d love to connect you with a qualified teacher!
Visit our resources link and go down a rabbit hole of great sites and articles. Attend Yale University’s Music 112 on Youtube for free! Read current consumer information on new pianos. Form your own piano club. Find tools and information for the do-it-yourselfer.
Technician Ryan Sowers has received 130 hours of specialized training at the Steinway & Sons factory in New York City. He has also had extensive training at Yamaha North American Headquarters, and at the prestigious Colbern School with Shigeru Kawai. Additionally he has received mentoring from some of the best technicians in the Northwest including Steve Brady, Darrell Fandrich, and Michael Reiter. He regularly attends educational seminars sponsored by the Piano Technicians Guild.