PTG Associates and RPT exam

Posted by: pianoseed

PTG Associates and RPT exam - 05/24/02 11:04 PM

I have failed the RPT Aural tuning exam once passing the electronic portion.I failed the technical exam, took it again 3 years later, failed two portions finally passing the grand regulation part. I would like to hear from other associates as to your feelings toward the test.
Posted by: Alex Hernandez

Re: PTG Associates and RPT exam - 05/25/02 03:11 PM

Don't get to discouraged many people have a tough time with the exam. I would suggest tuning exclusively by ear for awhile and then check yourself against the exam tuning.

I have thought for a long time that electronic tuning aids should not be allowed in the exam but thats another story.

Youll be ok just keep trying and youll make it.
All it takes is practice and patience..good luck.
Posted by: PNO2NER

Re: PTG Associates and RPT exam - 05/26/02 06:54 AM

Hi Thammer: I am an RPT, but I know exactly what you are going through. It took me 4 tries to finally pass the aural tuning test. I then and now use an accutuner exclusively, and therein lay the problem. My best suggestion is find a mentor(s) who is willing to work with you on tuning as well as repairs to raise your skill level to a point where passing the test is possible. I suspect PTG sees a lot of failures and that's the reason they push pre-testing. It makes sense to qualify the person for testing first, as the process involves several people and no small length of time. Concerning the technical test, it seems that the vertical regulation portion is the hardest to pass. It might be helpful to borrow an action model from your chapter, take it home and really work with it, following the steps in the materials on regulating and repair that PTG puts out. Bottom line: The more you practice and become proficient at home on these various items, the easier time passing the tests you will have. Its a great feeling to have achieved the level of RPT, the public doesn't care much, but it makes you a MUCH better technician. E-mail me privately if I can be of further help. PNO2NER.....
Posted by: Bob

Re: PTG Associates and RPT exam - 05/28/02 10:12 PM

Before taking the test, I pumped every tech I worked with for suggestions on improving my work - both tuning and technical. In addition - I read many books. It helps to work for a store that rebuilds pianos. That is a great source of experience. I passed the tests in 1985 after a great deal of practice, and I owe a great debt to those people in the Guild who helped me during those early years.

The skills I learned while studying to pass the test made me a much better technician.
Posted by: pianoseed

Re: PTG Associates and RPT exam - 05/29/02 01:47 AM

I feel like the test does not accurately measure a technicians skill. I see no need for the aural portion of the test. I have been told by an older RPT that 60% of the RPT's could not pass the current test. I think it is scaring off many associates, keeping good technicians from upgrading. Very few RPT's seem to live in rural areas. It is very difficult and expensive to get the necessary training to pass the test, even if one is already a good technician.
Posted by: PNO2NER

Re: PTG Associates and RPT exam - 05/29/02 07:45 AM

Hi John: Is there any perfect test? They are all a compromise, put together as a yardstick that everyone tries to measure up to. If it is an easy test that everyone can pass, then it doesn't have much value does it? If its a difficult test, yes it takes more effort to pass, but you become better for it, and it really means something when you pass. Speaking from experiences with other similar tests, (amateur radio, and automotive mechanic certification) the RPT test is well thought out, and though its difficult to master, there is a tremendous sense of pleasure and accomplishment when you are successful. I suspect that doctors, lawyers, plumbers, pharmacists, etc. etc. would all have difficulty passing their original certification tests if taken today. That's not their intent. Tests are designed to place everyone on a level playing field at a particular point in their career. Its a starting point which gives them and the public they serve some assurance that they have attained the knowledge and skills to adequately perform the job for which they have trained. No different for us. If you feel overwhelmed by the RPT test, don't beat yourself up trying to pass it. The public in general doesn't care, most don't know of its existence and I would estimate over half of the technicians working in the field are not even members of PTG. As an alternative there is another group called The Master Piano Technicians (MPT) which allows the use of their logo and status just for becoming a member. Certainly one does not have to be a member of ANY group to be a good technician, however there is a real benefit in being a part of an organization which supports your field and whose main aim is the furthering of what you do by education and certification. I can understand your feeling in being isolated as you are, but at least the journal and regional and national conventions are helpful. Remember the old saw, "If it's to be, it's up to me.......
Posted by: Alex Hernandez

Re: PTG Associates and RPT exam - 05/29/02 02:26 PM

The RPT exam has changed over the years and while it's true that many existing members were "grandfathered in" and would find the current test challenging we should realize what an RPT really means.

It means you have a basic level of competance as a technician. It doesnt mean that your a great technician or imply your a master rebuilder. I passed my RPT exam years ago, and passed my tuning exam ( on the second try ) aurally and felt a tremendous sense of satisfaction when I did. But I was taught by my mentor that the RPT is a starting point and that is all.

The RPT would mean much more to me if every current member who had it passed the same test.

I also think electronic tuning aids should not be allowed in the testing process, this in my opinion would make passing the test more meaningfull.
Posted by: pianoseed

Re: PTG Associates and RPT exam - 05/30/02 12:11 AM

The Aural requierment is like requiring engineers to learn to use a slide rule in the event their calculators fail. The electronic tuning devices work extremely well. The PTG membership is up but they are bemoaning the fact that the number of RPT's is getting smaller and associates are not upgrading. The vast majority of the PTG income comes from associates. The purpose of any test is to measure , and this test leaves much to be desired. One small mistake and your goose is cooked. The test should be changed in the following manner:
1. Eliminate the Aural requirement.
2. Allow two hours for the vertical regulation.
3. Allow twice as much time for the repair
The test has been changed before because of problems. Why not now? Perhaps Associates should start withholding their dues until something is done. Money talks.
Posted by: Alex Hernandez

Re: PTG Associates and RPT exam - 05/30/02 01:19 PM

Well we will have to agree to disagree.
If your battery fails you or your tuning program crashes then where are you? This is why it is important to know how to tune aurally. I couldnt imagine awarding an RPT to somebody who couldnt set a good temperment by ear.

To water down the requirements for the RPT exam would only dilute the quality of the new RPT's .
Posted by: Bob

Re: PTG Associates and RPT exam - 05/30/02 06:04 PM

I agree with Alex. The purpose of the test is for the student to obtain a certain level of compentence. I think an RPT should be able to set a temperment by ear when required. An RPT should be able to make common repairs and adjustments quickly and correctly. Passing the tests require practice, dedication, and hard work - and they should - or the RPT designation means nothing.
Posted by: pianoseed

Re: PTG Associates and RPT exam - 05/30/02 10:49 PM

If you are aurally tuning and someone is using a jackhammer next door to you what do you do? Ask him to stop or postpone the tuning. If my SAT III crashes I will pull out my old SAT I. Niether has had a problem in 9 years. When hindu-arabic numerals were discovered there was great resistance to them by the academic community. If people used them then they would never master the Roman numeral process. When automobioles were invented there were and still are people who refused to use them. Arn't the Amish cute?
Posted by: Bob

Re: PTG Associates and RPT exam - 05/31/02 08:49 AM

Actually after 20 years of aural tuning I have the ability to shut out any annoying sounds and concentrate on the beats. 20% of my tunings are in areas less than quiet. Common distractions other than the afore-mentioned jackhammer include noisy kids, lawn mowers, traffic, canned music, wait staff clanking dishes, housewives gabbing on the phone, licky and barky dogs, cats that sit on the piano and play with the moving action, ..... you get the picture. I suggest that it takes about 1000 aural tunings before a tuner can do a decent job- and about 10,000 tunings before a tuner is at the concert level. It just takes practice. After 20 years I still isolate areas of my tunings for improvement.
Posted by: pianoseed

Re: PTG Associates and RPT exam - 06/03/02 01:20 AM

I know when I am licked and I hereby fade into the Beautiful Roswell NM sunset. So long Saddle Pals.