Piano Shop

The BYU School of Music prides itself on assembling and maintaining a collection of the world’s finest pianos for the edification of our students and faculty.

The BYU Piano Shop has the responsibility to oversee the care and maintenance of more than one hundred and sixty pianos in the School of Music. Each piano is tuned and serviced at least six times a year—with teaching studios, classrooms, and recital venues receiving significantly more attention. Pianos in the concert halls are maintained at an optimal level, at times being tuned daily to meet the rigorous demands of the concert artist.

Full Time Technicians

Piano Shop
Rick Baldassin

Rick Baldassin

Piano Technician
C-110 HFAC
Jason Cassel

Jason Cassel

Piano Technician
C-110 HFAC

Frequently Asked Questions

A: No, the School of Music no longer sends its used pianos to BYU Surplus; however, other entities on campus may still do so. More information can be found on the BYU Surplus Website.

A: All scheduling of keyboard instruments for School of Music events are done through the Department of Arts Production (801-422-3002). The scheduling office will schedule the event and send the booking confirmation to the Piano Shop for approval.

Use of pianos outside of the School of Music is not scheduled through the Piano Shop.

A: The pianos in designated practice rooms (not classrooms or performance areas) are reserved by music majors. If no one with a reservation claims the practice room by 15 minutes past the hour, then anyone may use the room. If someone with a reservation arrives before 15 minutes after the hour, however, the room must be vacated. Practice on pianos in classrooms, as well as performance areas is only permitted with proper scheduling.

A: Each piano has an assigned identification number and is assigned to a specific area. Do not move any piano without permission. If there is not a piano in a room where you need one, DO NOT, under any circumstance, move pianos from another location. If you have any questions, please contact the Piano Shop.

Non-traditional / Prepared / Extended Piano Use is defined as any piano use other than “fingers on the keys and feet on the pedals.”

The concert instruments that reside in the Recital Hall, the de Jong Concert Hall, Room E400, and Room E432 are not approved for this use. All faculty studios, practice rooms, and other classrooms, except as specifically identified, are not approved for this use.

The School of Music has approved specific pianos, including concert quality instruments, for Non-traditional / Prepared / Extended Piano Use, for both rehearsals and performances. These pianos must be scheduled in advance, at the time the booking packet is filled out, so as to allow adequate time for moving and other logistics. The list of approved pianos is subject to change. Please contact the Piano Shop to obtain the current list of approved pianos.

Only on Approved Instruments

1. Structural changes

All structural changes to any piano must be approved by, and in most cases performed by the piano technicians. This includes removing the lid or other case parts (excluding the music desk), and attaching anything to the strings or soundboard to modify the sound.

2. Marking notes

Painter’s tape may be used on dampers or agraffes to mark notes. Never use masking tape, stickers or any other adhesive that may leave a residue. Care must always be used when touching the dampers as the wires are easily bent. The performer is responsible for removing any markers immediately after any performance. Harmonics may be marked on the strings using a non-permanent felt tip marker. These marks should be wiped off after the performance. Nothing else should be applied directly to the strings or piano parts. This includes white-out, tape, stickers, nail polish, chalk, etc.

3. Striking and plucking strings

Strings may be struck or plucked with fingers or guitar pick. Other implements must be of a material that will not damage the strings. On steel strings, only materials that are softer than the steel strings, such as brass, aluminum, wood, plastic, rubber, etc., may be used. Copper wound bass strings must also be struck or plucked with a material softer than the copper. Acceptable materials include wood, plastic, rubber, etc. In some cases, the literature calls for the insertion of screws or mutes between piano strings. Again, a material softer than the strings involved must be used. The piano technicians are available to help suggest and select the appropriate materials for your particular need.

4. Extreme volume

There is a fine line to be drawn between passionate musical expression and outright banging on a piano. As with all performances, please use good judgment when approaching extreme volumes.

5. Common sense

Most damage to our pianos can easily be avoided by using good judgment. Usually an alternative can be found that will satisfy both the

performer and this policy if it appears that any techniques being considered may harm the instrument. The piano technicians welcome the opportunity to consult with you as you contemplate using any of the above techniques.

 

6. Exceptions

Any exception to this policy must first be approved in writing by the School of Music Piano Technicians, and then by the Director of the School of Music.

 

This policy replaces any previously published or verbally communicated policy that may have existed in the past.

Student Work Program

Job Availability

The BYU School of Music is pleased to offer hands-on training and work experience in piano technology to select student employees. Positions are filled as needed. Responsibilities include tuning for practice rooms, classrooms and faculty offices, together with assisting in shop work and piano rebuilding projects.

Qualifications 

  • Prior experience with piano technology is helpful, but not required. 
  • A minimum commitment of 15 hours per week during the Fall and Winter Semesters. 
  • A long term commitment is ideal, therefore hiring preference will be given to freshman and sophomores

What to do Now

Introductory training is offered to potential student employees free of charge. This training provides a basic overview of piano tuning and repair. Students who demonstrate commitment and aptitude during this training will be considered first when hiring opportunities arise. For more information, please call 801-422-3400 or email Jason Cassel at jason.cassel@byu.edu

PROVO, UT 84602, USA | 801-422-4636 | © 2022 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
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