December is here. I’m more or less working a typical schedule this Christmas – despite the pandemic, things won’t be drastically different to other months. I’m only taking Saturday and Sunday off to celebrate Christmas with family, and the rest of the time I’ll be piano tuning or wrapping presents. The week between Christmas and New Years Eve I hope to pack more piano tuning in… although that all depends on what is going on in Leeds and Bradford.
What are my health and safety precautions during a piano tuning visit? For starters I will wear a mask upon entering your home. I will keep two metres during the visit and allow each customer to decide if they’d like to open the windows for ventilation while I’m piano tuning. I’d advise every piano tuning customer to wipe down the keys with antibacterial spray before and after each piano tuning as I’ll be touching every key.
I’m double vaccinated and, outside of piano tuning in Leeds, Bradford and so on, I never go out or put myself in close proximity to large groups of people. Piano tuner is the most solitary profession in the world outside of lighthouse keeper and that’s a good thing at present.
Unfortunately, all that being said, I tested positive for Covid-19 earlier in the year (I caught it at a band rehearsal), but it was the most mild version of the coronavirus ever seen – so I’m confident my immune system has built up a strong defence against the virus. I had a blocked nose and a cough for two days, and tested negative after four days. Following the guidelines, I stayed in quarantine for ten days in total even though I was testing negative for six of those days. The experience has made me even more cautious when travelling around Wakefield, Bradford or Leeds piano tuning. I can’t afford to stop being a Leeds piano tuner for ten days (or more) again! I test regularly, both at home in the mornings, and often before a piano tuning at a Leeds or Bradford School or commercial venue.
It’s that time of year again – industrious piano students are preparing for their grades and their Christmas concerts and their keen ears require their pianos be tuned to A440. Concert halls, venues, clubs, pubs and restaurants in Leeds and Bradford are busier and require their pianos to be tuned as more and more customers mention it to them. I hope I don’t sound ungracious as I appreciate the increased interest, but a weekend booking might be more favourable right now (assuming you can manage it), as my week day West Yorkshire and Leeds piano tuning slots are being snapped up by the second. Please keep a keen eye on my availability page if you’re looking for a Leeds piano tuner, I’m updating it on a daily basis and it’ll give you a general idea of my schedule at the very least. My number is 07542667040 if you’d find it easier to make an appointment verbally.
I don’t know what it’s like for other piano tuners working in Leeds, Bradford, Wakefield etc, but December appears to be the busiest month for anything musical. I’m being sensible with my bookings and not squeezing too much in – I leave sufficient time to do a thorough job on every Yorkshire and Leeds piano tuning.
Worried about Covid-19? I’m double vaccinated, have caught and defeated the virus in the past (thus have built up the antibodies), am testing regularly (last tested today: negative. Previously tested on Saturday: negative). I will wear a mask upon request and naturally keep two metres distance throughout each visit. I don’t think there’s a safer time to book than now – but the decision is yours!
There seems to be a distinct absence of calls and emails from Leeds piano tuning clients the last few days, which is a little concerning as business over the three months has been heaving (what caused the short drop off? Christmas?). More optimistically, I received a text this evening from a happy customer in Shipley expressing his gratitude for my fixing of his ‘twangy’ piano (a word often used to denote pianos slightly out of tune – piano tuning improves the tone as well as the pitch!) and a call from a restaurant in Wakefield which requires another piano tuning. Maybe its time to broaden my territorial scope even further! Where else could I advertise?
I still remember my lacklustre early years building this business from the ground up. Many weeks of only 2 – 3 jobs for the first year or two. Having to take odd jobs in unrelated fields just to make ends me. I suppose a week where I have 10 jobs rather than 20 is not a cause of despair when looked at from that perspective. Now I’ve grown used to working 7 days a week, I get terrified when business shows signs of slowing down.
My ‘Leeds Piano Tuner Availability’ page is best used as a guide to find an hour that fits your work schedule. I also work early mornings on a regular basis although these are ‘hidden’ piano tuning hours that I offer when no others suit you; they tend to be offered to theatres, schools, commercial venues and the like (usually in Leeds, Bradford, Wakefield or Harrogate), but if you’re an early bird like me then a home booking at 7 AM or 8 AM might be your first choice. Piano tuning can be done at any time of day, as long as it isn’t disturbing a neighbour or relative, although I personally feel most energetic in the morning, afternoon and early evening.
As Christmas draws near, late evening bookings could be an option. While my stated last booking is usually 7:30 PM, I sometimes have a piano tuning booking at 9 – 10 PM as well if it meets the needs of the customer. I always like to have 2 hours available for each customer, even if it doesn’t take that long – this allows enough time to tune the piano and make any required adjustments to the mechanism.
Life has been a little bit hectic the last few weeks since my return from holiday. I’ve had lots and lots of catching up to do piano tuning in Leeds, Bradford, Wakefield, Harrogate, York, Morley, Thirsk and many bright and colourful places in James Herriot land – and I’m all the better for it. Because of this my Leeds piano tuner availability page fell by the wayside. I’m trying desperately to update it at least once a day but I regularly have days where I leave the house at 7 AM and arrive home at 10 – 11 PM too tired to log in. If the page has not been modified for a few days its purely because of a busy schedule, not because I don’t want to be doing more piano tuning and repair. If the side note says it hasn’t been updated in a while it might be easier to ask for a few days that works around your schedule, and in all likelihood I’ll be happy to arrange it.
- Richard Lidster, the Leeds Piano Tuner.
It seems like anyone who works in anything to do with music loves to talk about the famous people they’ve worked with/for at every opportunity. It’s so pervasive it could almost be a Harry Enfield sketch. Well, I’m tuning a Yamaha C3 grand piano for John Grant and Richard Hawley on the 4th of September at the Piece Hall in Halifax. Please come along to hear how in tune the piano sounds once I’ve serviced it.
I’m pleased that concerts, recording studios, schools and churches that have booked me in recent months. Home visits are also valued. I treat each piano equally and give it the thorough care and attention it deserves!
I still like to update my ‘Piano Tuner’s Availability’ blog as often as I can. I regularly have days where I leave home at 8 AM and arrive home after 10 PM, at which point I’m too exhausted to log into this site, never mind write about Leeds and piano tuning (if I did, I’d sound tired and cranky!). In an ideal world I’d update my availability listings multiple times every day. If I can find a way to do that, I certainly will in due course.
Due to a problem with my browser, I’m unable to access the admin port of my website via my iphone which is somewhat unfortunate. If I could, then I could easily change the listings in my car when I’m early for a job (I usually park up on the road if I’m early). Because of this, I would view that page as a way to see whether my schedule fits yours and if there’s a particular day that would work well, if it hasn’t been updated in a day or two.
To earn a respectable living as a piano tuner, one must be willing to travel far and wide – only booking jobs in Leeds, Bradford and Harrogate would be a dead end. One or two days out of the week there will be nothing listed – this is usually because I’ll be booked up in a far away locality such as Scarborough or Whitby, where I get to have an enjoyable day at the seaside in between successive piano tuning. I didn’t used to like travelling, but I’ve learned that putting on some classical music or an audiobook makes such long drives much more bearable. Given that the last job of the day usually begins at 7:30 PM, driving back from Scarborough at 9 PM is a breeze.
After an interesting year of mild starvation I’ve had a week of work that was as equal to a typical pre-March 2020 week. In the past year, lack of work led to apathy and caused me to neglect this website a little. Thanks to the recent slew of calls I’m feeling much happier and more motivated about my Leeds and Bradford piano tuning.
I haven’t always been on time with reminders or with updating my Leeds piano tuner availability section. When you originally start a business you spend a lot of time on the website, making sure the availability is updated at least once a day and you have more to talk about on your blog. As time goes on you start to rely on people texting, emailing or contacting you to give a time that works best for them for a piano tuning. There are fewer topics you can write about that you haven’t already said. Also, piano tuning, repairs and regulation are niche topics I’m not sure how many people are genuinely interested.
I don’t think I’ll use this blog as much as I used to when I started piano tuning. There just isn’t as much new ground to cover. Instead it’ll be used for any important updates.
If you’re worried about the legality of booking a piano tuner during lockdown, don’t be. Tradespeople of all types are allowed to continue their work under the new rules. Please see the yorkshire post for more details. This link covers the health and safety guidelines that me and other piano tuners have been asked to follow throughout the pandemic. Common sense isn’t always so common! Sometimes it’s helpful to remind yourself of the best way to stay safe (I need the reminder myself from time to time).