Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Getting Tuned

It's that time of year again...to get the piano tuned.  The guy who comes to tune was a student of mine in the early days of my teaching career.  He lives about 3 1/2 hours away now, but comes up to visit his parents and books a couple days' worth of piano tuning while here. So, we usually squeeze in a short visit while he's getting ready to tighten the strings. 

Do any of you remember when piano tuners used a set of tuning bars?  Now it's all digitized, and an electronic devise can give you the exact tone you need.

I discovered how slick that was when I purchased a little "tuner" for my ukulele.  You don't have to rely on your "ear" because it indicates when the note is exactly on the right pitch.  Amazing.  And wonderful if you are just learning to hear flats and sharps in a tone. But mighty fast, even if you can.

This all made me think about how I usually feel this time of year, and can usually use a little "tuning"in attitude.  When in the classroom, I felt 3rd quarter was the toughest.  Teachers were tired, kids were tired (the season of school testing, regional and state tournaments), and winter hangs on for another month.  And we had so much to do! 

I'd find myself thinking too much about the future... (anxious for spring, perhaps...or dreading something)...and not paying attention to the NOW.  Are we appreciating that hot cup of coffee? Brunch with friends on a frosty Saturday morning?  Time for casting on another wool project or finishing one that's long over-do? Reading? Blogging...without interruption? Quiet observations?  Prayerful decisions? How good it feels to hear from a friend or relative?  How good it feels to reach out to one?  Yeah, a little tune-up is good.


  1. Your message today is a good one. It's definitely time for a tune-up.

    I just watched a documentary on Netflix about the making of a Steinway. It mentioned that electronic tuning was available, but Steinway still hand-tunes each piano by ear (several quick rough tunes as well as several intense hand tunes). I was also intrigued that the Steinways were placed in a pounding room where the keys were literally pounded by a robot for hours to simulate the concert pianist's vigorous pounding. It was an amazing documentary - I recommend it.

  2. I agree. A little NOW tune up is so important and refreshing!