Your Chicago: Chicago School For Piano Technology

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.

Your Chicago with Rob & Kate

Your Chicago with Rob & Kate

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  • Kate Lawroski

    Pierre Miller was fantastic!!!! His website is here
    The music he played was here:

  • Your Chicago: Chicago School For Piano Technology « CBS Chicago | Technology News

    […] care. That's where Laura Olsen and her colleagues come in. CBS 2's Kate Sullivan reports. [Read More] […]

  • Laura Olsen

    CBS Chicago: Thank you for sending Kate Sullivan out to our school. She’s a fabulous reporter and the photography and editing made for a very entertaining review!

  • Leon James

    The piano restoration, maintenance and tuning arts need to be actively preserved. There’s still a need, and fewer people are considering it as a career. It’s not easy, just tuning takes tremendous skill: I wish great success to Laura Sullivan!

  • Laura Olsen

    Leon: It’s Laura Olsen (not Sullivan!) and I agree with you! It’s been a fabulous career and we need more women in the field. I’ve been tuning and servicing pianos for 25+ years and it’s been a good living and when my children were young, It worked well around their school schedules. My website is

    • Leon James

      My apologies on your name, Laura. Let me correct my error…

      I wish great success to Laura Olsen!

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