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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.

Philosophy

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.

Updated 3/10/2021

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

After checking on piano manufacturer’s websites (SteinwayYamaha, Kawai) the general recommendation is to not use chemicals, but only mild soap followed by a soft damp cloth.

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.”

Read the rest of the article here.  Another great article on this subject can be found in the New York Times: Why Soap Works

Our Recommendation

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!

Stay inspired!

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.

Our Training

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.

Testimonials

Pianova Piano Service is honored to share these testimonials from some of our top clients


Charlie Albright, internationally recognized award-winning pianist, composer and friend

“Thank you so much for the magnificent work on the piano. I’ve never heard it sound/play that well. It was like a different piano…it was spectacular.”


Jessica Williams
Ryan’s tuning can be heard on the albums “Touch” & “Songs for a New Century”

Jessica Williams, pianist, composer, and two-time grammy nominee

“Just as there are piano players and then there are fine pianists, there are likewise piano tuners and then there are fine piano technicians. A piano tuner tunes the piano, often with a digital device. A great technician has the ear of a true musician. A great technician makes the piano sing to its optimal level, opening artistic pathways for the musician.

After Ryan works on my piano, feel as if it almost plays itself. He opens the instrument up to all of its sonic capabilities. He gets it to SING!”  Continue reading “Testimonials”

Rates/Fees

OUR SERVICE PRICES

$350 “Catch up” / Extended service. Our best value!
$225 Tuning & maintenance.
$175  Basic service
$95  Service call / Minor repair, i.e. sticky key, pedal squeak etc.
$95  Estimate/Pre-purchase check.
Scroll down for more detailed descriptions.

Low or fixed income?

We offer a special econo-tune for low income individuals or families. Email us at ryan@pianova.net and describe your situation. We want everyone to be able to afford an in-tune piano!

To learn more about how our appointments are more than just a tuning, read our post on Full Service vs. Tune & Run. 

We highly recommend  Dampp-Chaser humidity control systems to help preserve the tuning. Without humidity control, tuning can go out more quickly than you might think! To know more, read this blog post on humidity and tuning stability. Cost of basic systems is listed further down the page.

Mileage/Trip fee: For pianos within a 15 mile radius of our business location (2302 State Ave NE, Olympia) there is no trip fee. Outside that range, the fee range is $1.25 – $1.65 per mile for the trip out, depending on overall distance. Trip fee can be shared by clients who schedule in the same area on the same day. Contact our office for more information.

 “Catch up” / Extended Service: $350 Our best value! 

Transform your piano!

We recommend this service for most pianos that are very out of tune and/or have not received any other maintenance besides tuning for several years. The service will vary depending on the needs of the piano and the client. Even if the tuning is close, this appointment is great for pianos that have not had regulating and/or voicing maintained OR if the piano gets heavy use. May include minor repairs if time allows. This appointment typically takes up to 3 hours from beginning to end.

Tuning & Maintenance: $225 This appointment is for a piano that is moderately out of tune and is operating at close to its potential. In addition to fine tuning, a basic service often includes some combination of cleaning, voicing, and regulating. The goal is to keep your piano’s touch and tone from deteriorating from age, use, and humidity changes. This appointment typically takes  1.5 – 2 hours.
Continue reading “Rates/Fees”

About

Career Highlights 

Tuning for recordings, concerts, colleges, schools, teachers, and stores, and many satisfied amateurs.

In 2013 Ryan was honored to receive the annual James Burton Award.

“Each year the Pacific Northwest Regional Conference of the Piano Technicians Guild honors a member of PTG by bestowing the James H. Burton Award. The award is given to honor Jim, for the service he so willingly gave to PTG over many years, and the recipient who likewise, has given of themselves unselfishly to further piano technology in both the local, regional and national level.”

 

 


Ryan’s tuning can be heard on several nationally released recordings:

“Vivace”  by internationally acclaimed pianist Charlie Albright  was recorded on the Steinway concert grand purchased by Centralia College in 2009. Ryan was hired to select and prepare this piano from the West Coast inventory.

Songs for a New Century by award winning pianist and two-time Grammy nominee Jessica Williams. Recorded at her home  in 2008.

“Touch” by Jessica Williams recorded live at the Triple Door Theater in Seattle, Washington in 2010.

“Piano Palettes” by Jennifer Bowman (2019), graduate of the Juilliard School, and former Assistant Manager of Washington’s largest Steinway piano dealer. Jennifer is one of Olympia’s most respected music educators, pianists, and composers.  


Pianova services pianos for many schools and institutions:

St. Martins University, The Evergreen State College, Grays Harbor College, North Thurston Public Schools, Tumwater Public Schools, Shelton School District, and Olympia High School.

Image result for St Martin's University

Continue reading “About”

Piano Sales

Warning! Buying a piano on craigslist can be risky. please read our article “beware the bargain piano!”

Discover our hidden home piano shop on Olympia’s upper east side

By Appointment Only

Featured Piano For Sale:

Updated 3/7/2021

Short List (scroll down for more detailed descriptions)

Price: Lowest to highest. Prices do not include tax.

$4995  Late 1870’s Heitzmann 6’7″ Viennese fortepiano

$14,999  1914 Steinway & Sons “M” 5’7″ Walnut  Grand

Late 1800’s Heitzmann and Sohn Viennese fortepiano 6’7″.  $4995 + tax. Includes delivery and tuning.

Rare Austrian made fortepiano with Viennese action, real ivory keys, rotating candelabras, and beautiful scroll work music desk. New strings, damper felt, and key frame felt. Hammers resurfaced and action regulated.

Piano has not been refinished, and has its original antique exterior.

From Wikipedia: “In the 1770s, the Augsburg builder Johann Andreas Stein developed an entirely new action in which the orientation of the hammer was reversed, with the hammer head closer to the player. This “Viennese” action was widely used by makers in Vienna, and was the action of pianos played by Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven. It survived in Viennese pianos almost to the end of the 19th century.”

With sales tax the out-the-door price is $5465

In the works:

For a modest deposit we can hold any of these pianos for you until work is completed. If you are not happy with the results, your deposit is fully refundable. 

IN PROGRESS: Mid 1960’s Yamaha Console – continental style. Estimated selling price $1700-2000

Very cute with minimal wear and tear, these little Yamahas are a favorite! Its clean, streamlined design means it can fit in places bigger pianos won’t. Crisp, responsive action and clear clean tone will give any student or amateur a boost to their piano playing skills!

IN PROGRESS: Vintage late 1890’s Heintzman Upright Grand. Estimated selling price $1700-2000.

Heintzman is often called “the Steinway of Canada” and they were some of the best vintage upright pianos ever made. This one has a ton (well, maybe 1/4 ton) of character and personality.  The finish has a cool antique/distressed look and the genuine ivory and ebony keys are fantastic.

IN THE QUE: 1939 Steinway M Mahogany 5’7″ grand.

With a pristine, extremely well-preserved soundboard, this piano really sings.  It spent its whole life in the Pacific NW.  Estimated selling price  $9000-$18,000 depending on work completed. We may be able to customize this project to fit your budget.

We sometimes have other pianos in progress that are not listed. Drop us an email at pianovapianoservice@gmail.com to find out more.


Private Listing:
Previously Restored 1914 Walnut Steinway “M” 5’7″ Grand
$14,995 or make offer.

Private Sale: Buyer responsible for tax, delivery, etc.

This beautiful Steinway belongs to one of our clients who needs to downsize.  An affordable high-end piano!

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO


 Why Buy a Piano From Us?

Value.

 Our overhead is super low, because we are a real Mom and Pop operation. Our little piano shop is located at our home near downtown Olympia, so we don’t have to pay for commercial retail space. We are family owned and operated and we don’t hire professional salespeople. That means the money you pay for our instruments goes into refined workmanship that makes our play and sound better than others you may have tried. Yet, if you compare our prices you’ll see we are very competitive.

Reputation

 We service pianos for many of the prestigious teachers and performers in the area.  Ryan ‘s dedication to the Piano Technicians Guild has allowed him to study with some of the most well-respected technicians in the United States. Ryan has received specialized training at both Yamaha North American Headquarters in Los Angeles, and the Steinway & Sons factory in New York. Ryan’s résumé

Musicianship

As an advanced pianist, Ryan can experience the instrument not just as a technician, but as a musician. This allows him to bring a level of refinement to his technical work that would not otherwise be possible.

No Pressure

When you come to see one of our pianos you won’t be pressured into making a decision right away. In fact, we always encourage people to take their time when purchasing a piano.  What is important is that you make the right choice for you. Since you’ll be dealing directly with the technician you’ll be sure to get accurate information without all the sales hype. Even if you don’t buy one of our pianos it will be an educational experience.