Supervisor of Keyboard Maintenance

Job Opening ID: 47534 - Position Number: 19274 - Job Code: 101756

Job Summary

Under general supervision, serves as head piano technician and supervisor for the Bienen School of Music’s keyboard maintenance team with primary responsibility for planning, financial, technical and operational functions of the keyboard maintenance office. This office has oversight of more than 250 pianos, harpsichords and pipe organs in support of school’s academic and performance activities. In collaboration with the second full-time piano technician, coordinates and advises on purchases, maintenance, repair, tuning, rebuilding and location/relocation of instruments to meet school needs, as well as the selection, coordination and evaluation of contract technicians and specialized vendors. Also responsible for oversight of office budgetary resources and preparation of inventories and other special planning documents for the Bienen School. 

Please note: Availability to work flexible hours, including occasional evenings, weekends and holidays in addition of regular business hours. Physical strength, dexterity, agility and stamina necessary to accomplish the duties of the position.

Specific Responsibilities

  • Serves as head piano technician and supervisor for the Bienen School of Music’s keyboard maintenance team. Oversees the general management of the Keyboard Maintenance staff members, contracted piano technicians, and interns and office operations.  This includes supervision, selection, training, goal-setting, scheduling, and evaluation, and formulating guidelines and procedures for Keyboard Maintenance office in adherence with Bienen School and University policies and guidelines. Maintains standards of frequency and level of service for all keyboard instruments, quality assurance, and communication between Keyboard Maintenance office and faculty, staff, and a diverse population of instrument users.

  • Performs the highest level of tuning, maintenance, and concert preparation for pianos and harpsichords used for public performance and to meet the academic needs of the Bienen School. This includes regular and specialized maintenance and repairs.

  • Performs the highest level of rebuilding work, including refurbishing or replacement of Soundboards, Bridges, Pin Blocks, Strings, Dampers, Actions, Keyboards, and Pedal systems.

  • Plans for the acquisition, refinishing, rebuilding, replacement, and disposition of keyboard inventory, including the coordination of moving, placement, and allocation of instruments within the facilities and performance venues, in consultation with Bienen School of Music administration, faculty, and staff as needed.  In consultation with Associate Dean, develops goals and long-range plans for Keyboard Maintenance office operations and staff.

  • Manages system of data collection and analysis for the Bienen School’s keyboard inventory, including location, condition, value and maintenance and service history.

  • Manages Keyboard Maintenance annual budget, including planning and managing resources and expenditures to meet the needs and goals established.

  • Organizes and manages special projects as developed or assigned.

  • Other related duties as required or assigned.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Certificate/diploma in Piano Technology or equivalent experience.
  • Ten years of experience in piano voicing, regulation, tuning and repair required.
  • Three years of supervisory and management experience, preferably in a demanding academic setting.
  • Extensive experience in preparing pianos and harpsichords for concerts and recordings, including working with concert artists of international stature. Must have a thorough understanding of piano technology concepts and methods. Highly developed skills in complete rebuilding and re-manufacture of modern grand pianos.
  • Experience developing proposals and presentations; ability to collaborate and recommend options.
  • Strong interpersonal skills as well as the ability to relate sensitively to internal and external colleagues and constituents.
  • Experience providing direction and working cooperatively with others to plan and achieve strategic goals. Ability to communicate clearly and effectively in written and verbal forms.
    Ability to delegate work assignments, set expectation and monitor assigned activities to achieve timely results.
  • Ability to maintain positive and productive working relationships with co-workers, employees, students, administration, faculty, artists, vendors and University departments.
  • Operational knowledge of specialized piano repair tools, small power tools and equipment such as a drill press, table saw and band saw.
  • Availability to work flexible hours, including occasional evenings, weekends and holidays in addition to regular business hours.
  • Physical strength, dexterity, agility and stamina necessary to accomplish the duties of the position.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Minimum of fifteen (15) years of experience in piano voicing, regulation, tuning and repair.

Minimum Competencies (Skills, knowledge, and abilities)

  • Adaptability - Works effectively in an environment in which the parameters may change daily; adjusts behavior to meet the needs of different people and situations.
  • Business Acumen - Possesses business savvy and demonstrates the ability to foster and lead cost-efficient initiatives without sacrificing quality or core values.
  • Collaboration - Facilitates open and effective communication, cooperation and teamwork within and outside of one’s own team; respects the needs and contributions of others.
  • Collegiality - Being helpful, respectful, approachable and team oriented building strong working relationships and a positive work environment. 
  • Communication - Communicates effectively one-to-one, in small groups and in public speaking contexts; writes precise, well-organized emails, letters and proposals while using appropriate vocabulary and grammar.
  • Compliance - Honoring University policies and regulatory requirements.
  • Computer Proficiency - Successfully uses multiple software programs independently. Software may include Microsoft Office, applications such as PowerPoint, Word, Excel, and Access, email, web browsers, and PeopleSoft.
  • Conceptual Ability - Deals effectively, not just with concrete tangible issues, but also abstract conceptual matters.
  • Efficiency/Dependability - Effectively performs duties and responsibilities; displays attention to detail; supports organizational policies; anticipates demands/pressures of assignments and adjusts accordingly.
  • Judgment - Demonstrates logic, rationality and objectivity; shows common sense; uses all available information to make educated decisions.
  • Listening - Actively listens to others' opinions and ideas; respects and seeks to understand differences in opinions.
  • Meets Deadlines - Displays consistency and success in adhering to deadlines. 
  • Multi-Tasking - Demonstrates ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously.
  • Organization - Plans, organizes and schedules in an efficient, productive manner; anticipates contingencies and pays attention to detail; targets projects or initiatives that require special attention and focuses on key tasks when faced with limited time and/or resources

Application Information

To apply for this position, you will need to submit your résumé, cover letter and references through the University's electronic recruiting system, eRecruit, using the job opening number or the job title.

Once you apply, you will receive an email confirming submission of your resume. For all resumes received, if there is interest in your candidacy, the human resources recruiter or the department hiring manager will contact you. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until a candidate is selected.

Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities and veterans are encouraged to apply. Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the United States.

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