Program Overview

Piano Technology

Oberlin boasts 240-plus Steinway grand pianos and the longest continuous relationship with the piano maker of any institution in the world. Our two-year Artist Diploma in Piano Technology, created in partnership with Steinway & Sons, grew out of this extensive history together. We emphasize the collaborative relationship between the concert artist and piano technician.

Through individualized instruction, training in complete piano restoration, regular interaction with visiting world-class artists and master piano technicians, and immersive training at the New York Steinway factory, students who complete the program are placed directly into careers that demand the highest level of technical expertise.

Program Facts

  • Program Type: Artist Diploma
    • Artist Diploma in Piano Technology (ADipPT)

Program Director

John Cavanaugh,
Executive Director of Keyboard Technology


teacher John Cavanaugh works with a piano technology student
John Cavanaugh oversees the work of a student in the piano technology program.
Photo credit: Julie Crookston-Gulenko '15

Our Philosophy

Oberlin's emphasis on developing technicians into concert-level specialists in tuning and voicing sets the program apart from traditional piano technology programs. We do, however, believe in understanding the piano as a whole, meaning that the acoustic, mechanical, and tonal elements of the piano are interconnected, and our students learn how to apply this philosophy throughout their careers.

Oberlin Piano Tech Gallery

Piano Technology Faculty

The Piano Technology program emphasizes the collaborative relationship between the concert artist and piano technician and features mentorship by concert technicians and rebuilders John Cavanaugh and Robert Murphy.

“We don’t go to a piano and just start working on it. We survey the problem. We think about how we can make its strengths better and how we can camouflage its weaknesses. And then we go to work.”

John Cavanaugh, Executive Director of Keyboard Technology

See Profile

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