By Dawn Hatfield
DARKE COUNTY — Jeremy Woodall, a Greenville High School alum, grew up in a very musical family, with all of his siblings playing multiple instruments.
“My first instrument was the drum set, which I started playing at age 12. My younger brother, Ben, was a piano player, and he and I played together at church and in a band that recorded several albums and toured fairly locally,” Woodall said. “In college I played guitar and began learning piano. I played professionally for many years after marriage, and even taught at the Sweetwater Music Academy in Fort Wayne.”
Woodall’s wife, Heidi, then encouraged him to learn to tune piano since he already played and taught, saying, “Then you could do everything on the piano!” He took her advice and started a piano tuning business called Everything Piano.
Piano tuners nowadays learn by finding a mentor or working through a course made available by a few companies in the US. This is what Woodall did. “There is a school of piano technology in Boston, but it’s a three-year program, and I didn’t want to be gone from my family that long. I took the course—we were living in Oregon at the time—and I found a [local] mentor in Portland whom I worked with for two years.”
Woodall has now been tuning pianos for 10 years.
He wishes to educate families, houses of worship, music teachers, and retirement homes about the importance of taking care of their pianos. Most piano manufacturers recommend a piano is tuned every six months. “I tell customers it’s kind of like getting your oil changed every 3,000 or 5,000 miles (depending on your car),” Woodall said. “You don’t have to, but the longer you wait, the more potential damage can be done to your engine.”
When a piano isn’t tuned for a long time, the metal strings stretch causing the piano to go “flat.” To bring the piano back up to pitch is stressful on the piano. When a piano hasn’t been tuned for many years, the stress of tuning could cause strings to break and/or cause the piano to not stay in tune for very long, which results in more tunings being required to get it stabilized, and that ends up costing the owner more money.
In brief, get your piano tuned today!
A piano tuning takes about 1.5 hours, and Woodall charges $145 for a Fine Tune, including any pitch adjustment work. (A discount is available for homeschooling families, houses of worship, and piano teachers.) He charges $60/hour for repairs, and most can be done in the home.
One big tip Woodall emphasized is the importance of playing the piano regularly. A piano is built to be played. To use another car reference, if someone never starts their car, it’s not good for the car since it’s designed to be started and driven. Woodall highly recommends a piano be played, and played often. He joked, “Of course, parents love this suggestion, and I often invite parents to make me the ‘bad guy’ (the piano tuner said…) when they tell their children to practice.”
Woodall can be reached at 260-415-8398 (voice/text), and readers are invited to like his Facebook page, Everything Piano, where he often shares info about piano tunings and customer stories, such as the following:
Woodall recalled, “Once I tuned at a nursing home, and I had a lady come out. She was sitting right [near the piano] in her wheelchair. She sat there the whole time just watching me. I got all the way done—you know, it takes an hour and a half, so that’s a long time to sit and watch somebody do something—and when I was finished, she looked at me really sternly and said, ‘You’re the worst piano player I’ve ever heard!’”