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Through the Floating Piano Factory Apprenticeship Program, piano technicians-in-training gain work experience by tuning your piano while you benefit from lower costing services.

Backed by FPF, our apprentices strive to achieve the highest quality tuning possible according to their skill level. While some customers may still request a more experienced technician to service their pianos, other customers may choose to request the work of an apprentice due to a more limited budget or the desire to support our apprenticeship program.

The cost of hiring an apprentice for your tuning varies depending on the apprentice and their level of experience. The more tunings an apprentice completes successfully, the higher their rate is. Check the Prices page for up-to-date rates for each piano technician and apprentice. When you are booking an appointment with an FPF piano technician or apprentice, you are given a rate for your tuning. This rate will is confirmed by email, and will remain fixed for the specific appointment; however the rate will be subject to change for subsequent appointments as the apprentice continues to gain skills and experience.


WHAT TO EXPECT

LEVEL: GREEN

Apprentices at this level may not achieve a perfect tuning for your piano, but they are likely to get your piano sounding and working much better. These apprentices are prepared to perform select minor repairs and they have a good understanding of how your piano's action works and can be fixed. You will be one of their first several customers, so you'll be providing them with some of their most valuable foundational experience. If you have forgone tuning your piano because of cost then why not try a better tuning at a cost you can afford?

Apprentices at this level do not perform pitch raises, so if you plan on playing along with records or with other instruments that cannot be tuned to your piano, this tuning is not for you. You can expect a piano that is in tune with itself and enjoyable to play.


LEVEL: BLUE

Apprentices at this level have tuned between 11 and 20 pianos. They have gained confidence from their experiences with other pianos and customers. Previous customers must have reported great satisfaction with their tunings and repairs before they can move from level Green to Blue. You can expect all the skills of a Green level technician but know that their precision with repairs and tunings is likely to be slightly better. Some apprentices at this level do not perform pitch raises; others do. If a pitch raise is not listed among their services and you plan on playing the piano along with records or with other instruments that cannot be tuned to your piano, then this tuning is not for you. If an apprentice does a pitch raise, please note that they are still developing these skills, as well as the string repair skill necessary in case a string breaks in the process of a pitch raise. Expect a fairly well-tuned piano in either case.


LEVEL: PURPLE

Apprentices at this level have tuned between 21 and 40 pianos and passed an evaluation. They are developing a deeper understanding of aural tuning techniques (tuning by ear) and thus the quality of your piano’s tuning improves. They also now have the tools and knowledge to do well-executed string replacements if a string breaks during a pitch raise. Due to their experience in the field, apprentices have now gained some key skills in repairing more specific problems and may be more confidently able to get rid of certain clicks and buzzes, repair a stuck key, or troubleshoot a pedal problem. You will notice that they can produce a highly satisfactory tuning.


LEVEL: RED

Apprentices at this level will have previously tuned between 41 and 60 pianos. They will have learned how to remove upright and grand piano actions to make specific repairs and replacements of parts. They have completed a written project demonstrating specific knowledge of piano care, maintenance, history or mechanics.


LEVEL: ORANGE

Apprentices at this level will have previously tuned between 61 and 80 pianos. They will have undertaken the installation of various piano accessories, such as quiet keys practice rails in upright pianos or humidity control systems.


LEVEL: YELLOW

Apprentices at this level will have previously tuned between 80 and 100 pianos. They will have participated in action regulation projects which require deeper understanding of the mechanisms of the piano action.


LEVEL: COPPER

Apprentices at this level will have been tuning and repairing pianos for 12 months. They will have participated in action refurbishing projects, developing a deeper understanding of the process of action restoration. This requires understanding of the approprate tools, methodology and reasoning necessary for doing high quality action work.


LEVEL: SILVER

Apprentices at this level will have been tuning and repairing pianos for 14 months. They will be preparing for a 100 question comprehensive written examination which requires understanding of a wide variety of aspects of the piano trade falling under the categories of Tuning Theory, Upright and Grand Regulation, Voicing, Repairs and General Knowledge of the piano trade including facts about rebuilding.


LEVEL: GOLD (TECHNICIAN)

Apprentices at this level will have been tuning and repairing pianos for 18 months. They will have passed the written examination mentioned above and will be preparing to pass rigorous examinations of their tuning and technical abilities.