Select Piano Works is a small piano rebuilding shop located in Big Lake, Minnesota and run by Terry Sipe, a Registered Piano Technician. Terry’s career as a piano technician found its direction back in 1984 with a course in piano tuning and repair at Anoka-Ramsey Community College in Coon Rapids, MN. However, his initial interest in this profession can be attributed to his uncle, Glen Sipe, who by that time was well established as one of the most respected tuner/technicians throughout the Minneapolis–Saint Paul area. With a combination of natural talent, dedication, and his uncle’s guidance, Terry would continue to build upon his successful start in professional piano service by mastering virtually all aspects of the trade over the next 28 years.
In 1995, Terry realized his dream of opening a shop specializing in quality, individualized piano restoration under the name “Terry Sipe Piano Service.” In 2003, we incorporated under the name “Select Piano Works” to better reflect our philosophy of being selective in both materials used and techniques adhered to when restoring pianos. We encourage you to get to know us better through this web site.
History of Select Piano Works
1984: Completed piano tuning and repair course at Anoka-Ramsey Community College, Coon Rapids, Minnesota.
1985: Became an Associate Member of the Piano Technicians Guild (PTG).
1985-1990: Employed by Schmitt Music Company as a staff technician specializing in belly restoration (soundboard repair, pin block replacement, plate sanding and refinishing, and piano restringing).
1990: Became a Registered Member of the Piano Technicians Guild. From the PTG website: “Piano Technicians Guild is an international organization of piano technicians. Registered Piano Technicians (RPTs) are those members of PTG who have passed a series of examinations on the maintenance, repair, and tuning of pianos.”
1990-1996: Served as Schmitt Music’s Steinway Technician responsible for preparing most of the new Steinway & Sons pianos, while also performing complete action rebuilding for Schmitt’s restoration department (which focused primarily on vintage Steinway pianos).
1991: Attended an intensive, week-long training seminar at the Steinway & Sons’ piano factory in Astoria, New York. This is considered a golden opportunity for technicians that can take many years of waiting between the day of application to the time of acceptance.
1991-2009: Personally recruited by the Piano Technician’s Guild (P.T.G.) to be the Chief Examiner for the bench testing administered by the Twin Cities branch of the Guild. This test is given to Associate Members wishing to become Registered Piano Technicians.
1992: Enjoyed a two-day private training session with Franz Mohr, Steinway and Sons’ then current Chief Concert Technician. Franz was also the personal Concert Technician for legendary pianist Vladimir Horowitz for many years.
1996-Present: Established “Select Piano Works” in 1996, an independent rebuild shop specializing in complete restoration of high quality grand pianos, especially Steinway & Sons and Mason & Hamlin. (Previously, Terry served his private clientele doing business as Terry Sipe Piano Service. During that time he attended to all aspects of in-home piano service, while concurrently rebuilding piano actions and performing other high-level piano service for Schmitt Music.)