The Newark Piano School is recognised as the UK centre of excellence for piano tuning, restoration and repair. Designed for those who wish to work in the piano industry as a tuner and/or technician, it is the only programme of its kind in the UK making this offer and is valued throughout the world. It prepares successful learners with the skills needed to join the piano trade for sustainable employment.
The school is situated in a specialist building close to the main college campus, giving easy access to the college facilities and the town centre.
The school’s modern, well-appointed facilities boast sixteen individual tuning rooms containing more than fifty pianos, which are used exclusively for piano tuning practice. The dedicated workshops are fitted with tailored workbenches and storage facilities, and are fully health and safety and COSHH compliant. Large stocks of trade specific tools, materials and parts are available along with numerous and varied types of upright and grand pianos. Together this ensures that students gain a wealth of practical experience of all aspects of piano tuning, restoration and repair.
Learners also benefit from the school’s strong links with the industry: a regular feature of which is visiting speakers from trade organisations and suppliers. Graduating students enjoy a range of job opportunities either in employment by piano firms and shops or on a self-employed basis. The Steinway Company, amongst others, have recruited directly from the Piano School.
The programme has been recognised for accommodating visually impaired learners.
Year 1 (Level 4)
This stage acts as an introduction to the world of piano tuning, restoration and repair. It assumes no prior knowledge of music, pianos or the piano trade, and develops skills and understanding from the ‘bottom up’. It comprises of five modules, namely: Anatomy and Design, Basic Techniques, Workshop Practice, Making Specialist Tools 1 and Historical and Contextual Studies.
The course is largely workshop based and much of the content is practical. Within the modules, the elements covered, at an introductory level, are:
- piano tuning,
- repair and restoration techniques,
- case repair including French polishing,
- anatomy and design,
- the use and application of tools and materials,
- history and development of the piano, and also
- students learn to manufacture their own specialist piano trade tools.
Successful completion of year one enables progression to year two.
Year 2 (Level 5)
This stage is designed to build on the first year and to further develop skills, techniques and understanding. It also introduces the concept of working increasingly towards commercial standards of quality and time when undertaking the practical elements. It comprises of three core modules: Applied Acoustics, Problem Solving and Making Specialist Tools 2, along with four other modules chosen from Maintenance, Restoration, Overhaul, Tuning and Case Finishing.
Successful completion of year two enables progression to year three.
Year 3 (Level 6)
The final year of the course continues to cover all aspects of piano tuning, restoration and repair on both upright and grand pianos, and culminates in the final major project leading to graduation. As with previous years, the program is still mostly workshop based and practical in nature, although demonstration and explanation increasingly give way to self-directed and analytical study by the learner, as concepts and techniques are practiced. Main elements include upright and grand piano fine tuning against commercial standards, grand piano restringing, grand action overhaul, setting up and regulating, along with the introduction of business studies. These skills are covered in five modules, namely: Business Practice, Advanced Craft Techniques, Professional Standards Test, and the Final Major Project Preparation and Realisation.
Applications for this course are processed through UCAS. Please make a note of the codes below, then continue to apply through the UCAS website:
Institute code: L42
UCAS Course code: J950
You will study at the School of Musical Instrument Craft at Newark College for the duration of the course. Full Time - 3 Years Course contact hours are to be confirmed.
Applications for this course are processed through UCAS, please see the course description and make a note of the Institute Code and UCAS Course Code.