The West

Old hand still in demand
Piano tuner John Cross. Picture: Michael O'Brien / The West Australian.

When John Cross left school to start his piano-tuning apprenticeship at age 14, there were piano workshops dotted around Perth.

Mr Cross at 65 is now the oldest-working piano tuner in WA but his love for his craft has not waned.

The traditional job of a piano tuner has moved into the computer age, but he still uses a tuning fork as he learnt to at Will Armstrong and Company in Victoria Park in 1960. Mr Cross said hardly any tuners had been trained locally in the past 20 years because training options were scarce.

"In the next 10 to 15 years you'll be battling to find a piano tuner to tune Mrs Jones' piano down the street."

Australasian Piano Tuners and Technicians Association WA president Bob Hawker said there were about 30 tuners in Perth and they had plenty of work, but it was hard to find young people interested in training.

The West Australian

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