My name is Steve Winder and I’ve always had a keen interestin music and the piano. I started piano lessons at 4 ½ years old. To some thatsounds young but for me it was just fine. I was borrowing my older sisterspiano books a year earlier. I had pianolessons until 18 primarily classical. There was a desire to go to college forpiano in some fashion and I had the thought to look into apprenticing in pianoservice as a means to help pay for tuition. In junior year of high school Ibegan working on pianos and did apprentice with a Baldwin dealer in thePhiladelphia area my senior year. The college study never did turn up though.At that time school districts were laying off art and music teachers.Counselors were telling friends of mine already in college to change theirmajor since the job market would be scarce.
The dealership asked me to stay onfulltime with them after graduation so I did ! It was a wonderful learning experience . I learned not onlytuning aurally (by ear, no machines) and repairs but also the restoration ofpianos as well. Soon I began to preparepianos for concerts for this Baldwin concert center. It was a little scary atfirst to be working a piano that Liberace , Burt Bacharach and Dave Brubeck would be using but I guess you could say I gotused to it. Helping budding young players of different ages in their homes tohear the piano as it should be always places a smile on my face ( not tomention the four-legged family members Ialso would meet ).
Into the 80’s in conjunction with another shop I began aweekly schedule of half the week tuning and the other strictly restoringpianos. The oldest being an 1863 Steinway model B rosewood grand. My experience grew to the complete replacement of soundboards, bridges and pinblocks. The concert work continued at venues aroundPhiladelphia including the Academy of Music, Temple University, Valley Forge Music Fair and the Robin Hood Dell East and West.
My life’s journey took me to Florida where I began working with the Yamaha dealer in Orlando. Within 2 years representatives for Yamaha Corporation of America in California asked me to become an independent technical consultant for them. New worlds opened up and travel from coast to coast preparing pianos was very rewarding. I’ve had the pleasure of prepping pianos for the Chopin Piano Competition in Miami, the SuperBowl in Jacksonville for Sir Paul McCartney and EltonJohn here in Florida. Last year my travels took me to the Nashville Symphony and Elon University and others. It’s been great fun !
After 43 years now I can still say I truly love my job. It’s rewarding, it’s heartwarming and stillfun!