Below, Suzanna Marley shares with us how she is getting on back home in Australia, and the different challenges she faces, working as a tuner down under:
" In 2016 I completed my training at the Northampton Piano Technology School. I returned to Newcastle, Australia to set up my business @Ashlands Piano Tuning.
Australia’s geography is very different to England; distances driven from job to job are greater, the humidity/ heat of NSW does not favour pianos and I often see kangaroos! There are many pianos in cities, but also a lot of pianos in the country, some homes have required 4WW to access! Many of the pianos are very old, but cherished by families.
At the end of 2018 I became an Australasian Registered Piano Technician (ARPT) and am now a full member of the Australian Piano Tuners and Technicians Association (APTTA). I had to travel down to Dee Why in Sydney to complete the examination.
The exam takes 6 hours. I was able to split it over two weekends due to the intensity of the tasks and long drive.
The exam consisted of:
- A tuning assessment, examined on good accuracy and stability. Either aural or electronic.
- A practical assessment of regulation and repair skills.
- An oral assessment of the technician’s understanding of and approach to a range of grand and upright piano problems.
- A comprehensive written assessment on a wide range of piano related general knowledge questions.
The exam was a great learning opportunity. The APTTA members are very friendly and always willing to answer questions and provide support. My business is growing slowly. I am grateful that I am able to work part time for the local health service as an occupational therapist to underpin my income. The one year course at Northampton Piano Technology School was an excellent way to start my career as a piano technician. It provided me with the skills required to pass my ARPT test, set up and confidently start my own business and progress."