Want to know about your piano technician? Here’s my life story (the brief version), including how I came to be a piano technician.

I grew up in northern California, in the Bay Area. Music and sports were always important activities for me, and I juggled violin lessons and soccer practice.

I graduated from Cupertino High School in 1973, then lived in La Piedad, Michoacan, Mexico for four months, working on an orphanage. That whetted my appetite for travel and for meeting people from different cultures. I got my degree in Geography in 1978 and then got teaching credentials in Social Science and Math.

After substitute teaching for a while, the travel bug took hold and I joined the Peace Corps and served for two years (1983-1985) in Seychelles, in the Indian Ocean. I taught math and computer programming (I taught myself to program while in the Peace Corps). During my time in Seychelles I developed a love for Bossa Nova music and spent a good deal of time learning to play Bossa Nova guitar.

After the Peace Corps, I traveled in India and Nepal (where I managed to pick up four different intestinal parasites at once!). Soon after returning to the US, I met my wife, Kathy. We’ve been married since 1987 and we have three sons (and recently a new grandson).

I decided to quit teaching and pursue computer programming as a career in 1989. We moved to the north shore of Lake Tahoe, where we lived for 10 years. I worked for a company that developed Fortran language systems. During this time, I took up piano.

I started my own company around 2000 and developed an educational simulation of life in any country of the world, called Real Lives. The first version of this software was released in 2001. Later I gave all rights to the software to an Indian company and they continue to advance the simulation and sell it worldwide. See or Google “Real Lives” for more information.

While living at Tahoe, Kathy and I found Quakerism, and we have both been active in Quaker faith and activities ever since. We both worked for a Quaker school in Nevada City and then, from 2011 until 2019, we were co-directors of a Quaker conference retreat center in the Santa Cruz Mountains, called Quaker Center (

After leaving Quaker Center, we moved to Chico and I opened my piano technician business. But, you may be asking yourself, how did you become a piano technician while doing these other things?

Playing guitar, violin (and later mandolin), I had always tuned my own instrument. When I started playing piano, at the age of 40, I figured I ought to be able to tune that, too. How hard could it be? Well, turns out there is a lot to learn to be able to competently tune a piano. Being interested in mathematics and music, I absorbed myself in learning about piano tuning. I tuned pianos just for myself, friends, family, and the organizations where I worked (Quaker Center had four pianos). In 2012, I met an experienced piano technician in Santa Cruz, and he took me under his wing. I joined the Piano Technicians Guild and got serious about becoming a piano technician. After several years of study and practice, I felt I was ready to take the exams to become a Registered Piano Technician (RPT). The exams are rigorous and include turning, regulation, and repair sections all under some pretty challenging time constraints. The mid-section of the piano needs to be tuned within an average of one cent per note by ear (starting with a tuning fork for A440). One cent is one hundredth of a semitone.

I passed the exams and became an RPT in 2019 and opened my business in Chico at that time. Since then I have gotten to meet and tune for hundreds of people, churches and schools from Redding to Yuba City and I’ve enjoyed almost all of it!

So that’s me. I look forward to meeting you and hearing your story and that of your piano.