European Piano Factories Movies:
Randy has both visited, and trained at, several European piano factories, so when time permits we show videos of factories in Europe, depending on which factory videos students would like to see. Randy has toured many piano factories including Bechstein, Blüthner, Schimmel, Hamburg Steinway and Steingraeber in Germany, Egtved in Denmark, Kemble in England, Bösendorfer in Austria, Petrof in The Czech Republic, plus Renner’s vertical action factory in Seitz, Germany. Video segments of factory visits will be available to seminar participants to watch as time permits.
Pre-Seminar Seminar / Mid-Atlantic Regional Convention:
Several years ago students began asking if they could arrive early, and spend extra time with our instructors before the seminar started, to work on specific areas of interest to them. Some were so new they wanted to make sure they understood the basic action part names, functions of vertical and grand pianos, tool names and how they worked. Others had specific tuning, repairing or regulating questions they wanted to work out. Others wanted some one-on-one tuning help before the seminar started.
So we started by adding two additional days at the beginning of the seminar, before the seminar starts. Over the past several years we have experimented with having just one extra day, or two.
The Pre-Seminar Seminar (PSS) is almost entirely student directed. By that I mean that while we have a list of subjects, topics, and many props ready, based on what students have asked for in prior years, we are prepared to use some, all, or none of them, depending on what the students attending this year wish to cover.
For our April 2017 seminar, we are not having a Pre-Seminar Seminar. Students are encouraged to consider attending the Mid-Atlantic Regional Convention.
Since we moved our week-long hands-on seminars to Philadelphia, we decided to coordinate our dates with the Mid-Atlantic Regional Seminar (MARC). This seminar (along with the New England – Eastern Canada Regional Conference in even-numbered years, both spearheaded by the organizational team of Taylor-Adams-Cheng) is the largest PTG regional conference, and is second in size, in technician attendance, and number of classes, instructors and exhibitors, only to the PTG Annual Convention. In fact, most years the MARC / NEECSO has about 60-70% of the number of attendees, and the same as far as exhibitors and exhibits, as the PTG Annual Convention.
Technicians come from all over the US and Canada, and often from around the world, to attend this seminar.
In 2017 the MARC is in Harrisburg, PA, April 27-30, 2017. Current students of our school receive a discount on registration fees at the NEECSO and MARC seminars. These students will receive a $50 discount off the regular registration, and $100 discount if they also attend one of the special classes the extra day.
You can get more information about the MARC at www.ptgmarc.org.
Pre-Seminar Gettysburg Battlefield and Valley Forge Tour:
If students are interested, and arrangements are made early enough, Randy will be offering a tour of Gettysburg Battlefield National Park. Several of his ancestors, on both sides of his family, fought there, including several in Custer’s famed Wolverines, Michigan 6th and 7th Cavalry. Another side of his family served in a New York Regiment. Randy has been there more than a dozen times and knows a few things worth sharing. It is a “no charge” tour, except you will pay for your own hotel room while there (and can share with another student, if you like), and share the gas to drive over and back. Depending on who (if anyone) wants to come, we might take one of the nighttime ghost tours (they charge for that).
Post-Seminar Philadelphia City Tour:
Our seminar ends with close of seminar Saturday, May 6th. Anyone who wishes can tour Philadelphia, the US’s original Capitol, including Liberty Hall, the Liberty Bell, Sunday, if they delay their return home until Monday.
Why Does Randy Do These Tours?
Randy has been attending, and teaching at, seminars all over the world for over 35 years. Early on he would rush in and rush out, rarely seeing any of “the sights”. He had an “I have to hurry home and get back to servicing my client’s pianos” mentality. He quickly learned that when you get back home your friends all say “Did you see (whatever) sight?” When he went to St. Louis they asked if he went up in The Arch? Whenever he was in Sydney did he go to the Sydney Opera House, and walk the bridge? In London it was did he see Big Ben? In Paris did he go to the Eiffel Tower and The Louvre? In Northern England did he see, and walk on, Hadrian’s Wall? Yes, yes, yes, yes and yes. When you return from our seminar your friends and family won’t ask if you learned the proper method of jack regulation to the repetition lever and knuckle, but ‘what sights you saw’ – or ‘missed’ seeing? I am just saying you will already be there, and the additional costs of a couple or few days spent seeing some impressive sights, and in this case learning some important American history (two dozen of Randy’s ancestors fought there), is a relatively small addition.