CHICAGO (CBS) – For a piano to sound grand, it needs loving care. That’s where Laura Olsen and her colleagues come in.
Tucked down a hall in an old warehouse on West Carol near Damen is a school most people have never heard of: the Chicago School for Piano Technology.
Olsen is no concert pianist, but her work can make beautiful melodies possible. She’s one of five teachers at the school.
“I was 13 when I taught myself how to play the piano,” she tells CBS 2’s Kate Sullivan. “I’m not a very good pianist, but I could fix your refrigerator.”
Nowadays, she can fix pretty much any piano. That’s no small feat, according to school founder Paul Revenko Jones.
“It’s extremely difficult,” he says. “Anyone interested ought to be forewarned that it’s very time-consuming. It’s very difficult.”
Jones started the school seven years ago. Now, he along with Olsen and three others teach an intensive 40-week class in piano repair and technology. Their small groups of students come from around the world.
“It’s not for every person. It’s for someone who maybe likes to be by themselves or works well on their own,” student Ryan Ellison says.
Tuning pianos is no doubt a technical job that calls for a creative soul.
“It’s part musical, it’s art, and it’s part mechanical, and that’s really who I am,” Olsen says.
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