This guide is designed to help acquaint you with the work of the Piano Technology Dept. and help clarify some questions about procedures and responsibilities that you might have. Please take a minute to read this information and keep it on file for future reference. Feel free to contact me if you have further questions not covered here.

The staff of the Piano Technology Department includes: Rick Woodruff, Tel. 626-5151, email:

Sometimes, you may see me in the practice facility, working in the concert halls, or going through the hallways with my work cart. I’d like to get acquainted, so let me know who you are and how you are doing!

If you have any suggestions for this guide or have any questions or service requests regarding our pianos, send an email to This will enable you to have input on how I can best serve your needs.

Thanks, and have a great year,

Rick Woodruff



1. All pianos at the School of Music are intended solely for the use by faculty, staff, and currently registered SOM students.

2. Pianos may be used for university-related activities only. Authorization for other uses is required through the office of the Director of the School of Music. Examples of other uses may be School of Music co-sponsored events such as master classes, guest presentations, auditions, etc.


1. Practice facility pianos are for piano majors, instrumentalists, singers, and all other School of Music majors requiring facilities for practice or research purposes. They are also intended for

sanctioned activities or responsibilities related to the duties of TAs or instructors in SOM programs.

2. Grand piano practice rooms are reserved for the exclusive use of currently enrolled SOM piano majors.

3. Piano practice rooms are to be used for practice or rehearsal. Private instruction not related to SOM programs is not allowed in any of the piano practice rooms.

4. Food and drink are completely forbidden in all piano rooms. This includes any open or closed containers of beverages of any kind, including water. Under no circumstances should food or drink be placed on the pianos (this applies to faculty and staff too). Repeat student offenders will have their grand piano practice room privileges taken away at the discretion of their instructor.


1. FIRST AND FOREMOST: Plan ahead! Two weeks of lead-time is necessary to prepare for your piano needs.

2. The Piano Technology Department has limited human resources. Pianos in Holsclaw and Crowder Hall are serviced daily Monday through Friday during the academic year, adequate for most needs. Generally, tunings are scheduled on or as close to the actual performance date as possible to ensure the highest musical standard.

3. The Piano Tech Department does not automatically tune pianos for every performance listed in the School of Music Calendar. However, I do make certain assumptions about “obvious need.” For example, a listing that simply says “XYZ Ensemble, Crowder, 7 p.m.” does not convey an obvious requirement of a piano. However, “B.M. Recital, John Doe, violin, Holsclaw, 4 p.m.” does, as it is generally accepted that a piano will be needed for accompaniment. I make every effort to check for any special notations on the SOM Calendar listings. However, the more complete information you provide to the Technical Staff, the easier it is for us to supply your piano needs.

4. When you are scheduling a performance that requires special piano services, consult the piano tech staff. Needs such as duo-piano recitals, piano lid removal, “prepared” pianos, or recording sessions must be coordinated with a variety of different university agents. Many people’s schedules must be considered, especially in heavy-use rooms like Crowder or Holsclaw. Be mindful of the costs! The School of Music has limited resources.

5. A note about the harpsichords in Holsclaw Hall: There is a small 4-foot single manual harpsichord and an 8-foot double manual harpsichord. Both are available for instrumental and vocal performances requiring A-440 standard pitch. The Piano Tech staff tunes these instruments upon request. However, as I am not a harpsichord

technician, I am not equipped to handle any but the most minor service problems concerning these instruments.



*While an attempt is made to tune all pianos in instrumental and vocal faculty studios at least once per semester, I rely upon the faculty to inform me when additional or special tunings are needed in a teaching studio. You must let me know in writing ( and I will make every effort to address your piano service need as soon as possible, usually within a week. Be sure to include a copy of your schedule so I can plan accordingly.

*Pianos are delicate and expensive instruments. Please treat each instrument as if it were your own: with respect. The cost of maintaining them is quite high. Replacement cost of a six-foot grand piano is more than $100,000, and seven-foot grand piano is $135,000. Our nine-foot concert pianos (we have 2) have a current replacement cost of $217,000 each! They are quite valuable and worthy of respect.

*If you have a technical problem with a piano including broken strings, leave a note either at the Piano Shop (Room 112) or email me at

*Should you have reason to believe someone is engaged in destructive behavior toward a piano, please notify someone in a position of responsibility immediately, such as the Front Office personnel or one of the Piano Tech Staff.

*If you encounter a piano that has been abused, notify the Piano Tech Dept. immediately. Quick action can sometimes minimize damage.

*Exercise proper care of the concert instruments in Holsclaw Hall, Crowder Hall and Rm. 232 by making sure to cover them after each authorized use. Also take care to have clean hands to minimize hand & fingerprints, and not to bump the pianos against walls, chairs or music stands when moving them around. No one likes to see a dirty, damaged recital piano.

*Please use consideration and common sense when it comes to making special or personal requests for piano service. I ask that you keep in mind the needs of others for pianos that are available and in good service.

*Remember that the Piano Technology Dept. is here to advise and serve you with your piano needs. Your cooperation in assisting those efforts is greatly appreciated.


*Under no circumstances should food, drink, or delicate personal items be placed on the pianos. (This applies to faculty and staff as well as students.) Irreparable damage results from

accidental spills on any part of a piano, as well as scratches that mar the surface of the finish. The consequences are higher maintenance costs and fewer pianos to utilize for practice, teaching, or performance.

*Concert instruments are not to be used for any “prepared” piano. Should you have a need for an instrument for such literature, consult the Piano Tech Dept. about your specific requirements. The same applies to pianos in the practice facility.

*Removing grand piano lids is not allowed. Currently every performance instrument in our inventory has been damaged from improper lid removal. If you believe your performance has a lid-removal need, you must contact the Piano Tech Dept. and the Technical Staff before your performance for consideration. Under no other circumstances are lids to be removed. The same applies to practice rooms and classrooms.

*Remember that pianos are instruments and not tables. Please keep items such as instrument cases, coats, book bags or backpacks and other paraphernalia off the pianos. Potted plants should not be placed on pianos. Water rings damage the finish of the piano, and there is no guarantee that a disastrous accidental spill might not happen.

*The Piano Tech Dept. will not be responsible for removing items such as valuable instruments, bows, artwork, sculptures, etc. in order to service a piano. If the piano is not clear when I arrive for a tuning appointment, I will not service the instrument and we will have to reschedule.

*Please take care not to throw piano covers on the floor in recital locations. The covers must be kept free of dust and dirt to protect the piano finish. Roll them up and place them on a chair or desk.

*Do not attempt to retrieve lost items from inside a piano yourself! I am available for emergencies. If you have an immediate need, such as a watch that has fallen into an action, or other valuable items (including rings, pencils, pens, etc.) notify me as soon as possible. It is important to remove foreign items from inside a piano as soon as possible to avoid damage to the piano or the valued item!


DO use common sense and respect in treating the pianos at the School of Music. Use them as they are designed to be used: to make music!

DON’T abuse or mistreat the pianos by thoughtlessness or ignorance. When in doubt, consult the Piano Tech Dept. I’ll be happy to help!