Musical Instrument Repairers and Tuners

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Also known as:
Accordion Repairer, Band Instrument Repair Technician, Banjo Repairer, Bow Rehairer, Brass and Wind Instrument Repairer, Chip Tuner, Fretted String Instrument Repairer, Guitar Builder, Guitar Repairer, Keyboard Instrument Repairer

ABOUT MUSICAL INSTRUMENT REPAIRER OR TUNER CAREERS
Video transcript

Music may seem magical, but there's a tremendous amount of hard work behind it. In addition to the training and practice of the musician, a lot of credit for a fine performance goes to the people who keep the instruments in good condition. Musical instrument repairers and tuners might often focus on particular groups of instruments.

The work hearkens to traditions handed down through generations, though modern tools are now in use. Repairers and tuners learn their craft in career schools, as apprentices, or through on-the-job training at music stores or manufacturers. Employers strongly prefer technical school training in music repair technology. Two to five years of training are usually required for proficiency.

To make a living, it's usually necessary to live in a city or cultural center where many musical instruments are in use. Job requirements include a good ear for pitch, and a steady hand. Excellent eyesight is needed for work on tiny moving parts and physical strength may be called for. Besides the satisfaction of a job well done, this is a career where success truly sounds sweet.

SNAPSHOT
Repair percussion, stringed, reed, or wind instruments. May specialize in one area, such as piano tuning.
Leadership
LOW
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
LOW
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
MED
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
Daily tasks

Repair cracks in wood or metal instruments, using pinning wire, lathes, fillers, clamps, or soldering irons.

Refinish instruments to protect and decorate them, using hand tools, buffing tools, and varnish.

Adjust string tensions to tune instruments, using hand tools and electronic tuning devices.

Shape old parts and replacement parts to improve tone or intonation, using hand tools, lathes, or soldering irons.

Compare instrument pitches with tuning tool pitches to tune instruments.

Disassemble instruments and parts for repair and adjustment.

Mix and measure glue that will be used for instrument repair.

Inspect instruments to locate defects, and to determine their value or the level of restoration required.

Repair or replace musical instrument parts and components, such as strings, bridges, felts, and keys, using hand and power tools.

Play instruments to evaluate their sound quality and to locate any defects.

Polish instruments, using rags and polishing compounds, buffing wheels, or burnishing tools.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Performing for or Working Directly with the Public Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
Handling and Moving Objects Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Controlling Machines and Processes Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
Thinking Creatively Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Fine Arts Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.
Mechanical Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Clerical Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
Sales and Marketing Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
TOP SKILLS
Repairing Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
Troubleshooting Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
Quality Control Analysis Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Time Management Managing one's own time and the time of others.
Service Orientation Actively looking for ways to help people.
Complex Problem Solving Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.