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Piano Questions and Answers


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Hear directly from Joan's customers what they think about her piano tuning services


Joan Smith graduated with a Certificate in Piano Technology from the University of Western Ontario in 2008. This is a specialized program in which each student must pass an audition and interview in order to be accepted into the program. Applications come from around the world and only 14 students are accepted a year.

Joan is an active member of the Piano Technician's Guild since 2005 and has attended classes at 7 National Conventions. She recently relocated to Republic for a quieter way of life.

Piano Life Saver Certified Installer"I gave up my office job in August 2013 to devote myself full time to the piano world and haven't looked back since. I enjoy what I do! When not tuning pianos, you can find me with my boyfriend tending the garden and fishing in the nearby lakes."



1. Why should I tune my piano?

Pianos are mechanical instruments and just like any car that needs it's oil changed to keep running well, so do pianos. Tuning a piano is like getting the oil changed in your car because it help keeps the piano in good working condition.

2. How often should I tune my piano?

Piano tunings are most affected by temperature and humidity changes. Here in the Pacific Northwest, I recommend tuning your piano once a year.

3. What's a Pitch Raise?

It's bringing a piano that is very flat due to not being tuned regularly back up to pitch. The reason it's "special" is because a tuner has to work extra hard to get all 220+ strings with 18 tons of tension on an overly flat piano to stay where they need to be.

4. Why does my piano go out of tune?

Your piano is mostly wood which swells when it's humid, which increases the tension and can make the piano go sharp; but when it's dry, it shrinks and can make the piano go flat. Unless you live in a world where the humidity is always exactly the same, it will go out of tune. Also, due to the tension the metal wire/strings are under over time, they stretch and the piano goes flat.

5. Why should I own a piano?

It's my opinion that the piano is one of the best instruments to learn as you learn to read both the treble cleff and bass cleff which can transfer over to almost any instrument in the world. It's also a great solo instrument that can fill a room by itself. Plus, where ever you go, there's usually a piano around that you can tickle the ivories on.

6. What's the best piano brand?

There are expensive pianos and cheap pianos and the best brand is the one that you makes you happy when you play it.

7. Why Music Matters?

Music is a language that everyone around the world can understand. You may not like how it sounds but it's one way to connect with others when you don't speak the language.


  • Thank you so much for coming at the last minute to repair our church piano. I had resigned myself to play minus a critical key so as I stated earlier, you are the miracle I prayed for. The piano played beautifully and I know the family members at the service appreciated your willingness to help.

    Maya Shoreline, WA
  • I am pleased to highly recommend "PianoSmith" tuning service. Ms Smith is a highly trained, credentialed, technician who does quality work in an efficient manner. She is on time, courteous, and comports herself as a thoroughgoing professional. My pianos have never sounded better.

    Gary Seattle, WA
  • I'm a piano teacher and Joan has been tuning my piano for several years; I'm very happy with her work and refer her to my students.

    Monika Kirkland, WA
  • Joan has tuned and tweaked my 19th Century grand, as well as the old upright out in the studio. She always does a great job.

    Keith Seattle, WA
  • Joan is a very fine tuner. She's efficient, thorough and pleasant to have around.

    Carole La Grande, OR
  • Joan Smith has been a pleasure to work with. She’s always conscience about the quality of her work and considerate to any specific requirements.

    Melissa Bellevue, WA