In 2017 I was elected Vice president on the committee of the Piano Tuners and Technicians Guild of Victoria. I look after the Guild website and I am the editor of the Guild newsletter.
For family reasons I am currently spending a lot of time in New Zealand with my wife Angela, but regularly return to Australia for work committments.
I have always been fascinated by fiddly things; puzzles, jigsaws and things with a bit of detail in the back end. So I guess pianos, having thousands of moving parts, are a perfect fit!
I started dabbling with playing the piano in my 40s. I rented a piano from Eddie and Mandy at ABC pianos in Montrose. I just loved it so I ended up buying one!
David Nyhouse came to tune it. That was it, David opened it up and there it all was. The gleaming bits, the bits of felt and fluff, all the strings and all kinds of fascinations. Oh wow. It's all David's fault, I really blame him for everything. David was obviously very skilled and got the thing sounding great. Like a bought one.
I found out about learning piano tuning from David
I couldn't think about anything else so off I went to Brent Ottley and learned my craft at ASPT in Melbourne. Quite a life changer really!
I always wanted to play piano but never did a thing about it. We had an old Bluthner upright at home when I was a kid, but it never got played and my father was not in to the idea of a kid playing the piano and getting lessons.
Odd really because both my parents were really musical.
My mum studied piano to grade 8 (in the 1930s!) and my father was one of those guys - he could play any instrument by ear. He could go to pretty much any instrument and immediately get a tune out of it and not only that join in with anyone else! Piano included.
Yep my dad was a bit of a drinker. I never heard my parents play or saw any of their musical evenings, that was an age before I was born.
By the time I was a kid that old piano was just a bit too noisy for him. He ruled the roost and that was the end of that.
I went to my brother's wedding when I was a kid. They had a classical guitartist playing Spanish music.
That was it. It stuck in my head for years. In my 20s I bought a guitar, grew my hair long, taught myself to play and read music and played Segovia tunes. I still do! Love it.
I could sit under a tree and pluck away for hours. Definitely not a performer though! This is a private pleasure.
It's great to be part of something. I have learned so much so fast from others around me and I'm still learning. I was pretty impressed by the skills and knowhow of some of the people I met as a student so joining the Guild was an obvious pathway for me. I really didn't think twice about it.
Without doubt there are some pretty talented people in this organisation.
Every piano is problem solving. It's great. I like being able to make such a dramatic difference to an instrument so quickly. It's a nice feeling to get something up to scratch and see people's pleasure when they play it.