Member Spotlight on Kayla Huhn of Huhn Tuning
Kayla Huhn is willing to lend an ear to her customers any time they need her, for a small fee. She is the owner of Huhn Tuning, a fairly new piano tuning and repair business based out of Cedar Grove.
The idea to learn piano tuning came to her when she moved to Oostburg in 2020. Huhn is a very musical person. In addition to having more than ten years of piano lessons under her belt, and holding an AA in music, she plays violin, ukulele, and flute. During Covid, she and her husband decided to take up the bagpipes. She has a background as a worship coordinator and is a piano/keyboard player at church. So, when she went to have her piano tuned and could only find one piano tuner in all of the Sheboygan area, and that person wasn’t tuning pianos during Covid, she identified the shortage as a problem that needed solving.
Huhn did a little research and before she knew it, was enrolled in a correspondence course out of Oregon through the Randy Potter School of Piano Technology.
“It was a lot like drinking from a fire hose to start with,” admitted Huhn. There are a lot of parts in a piano and every part has its own name and function.
However, between her extremely musical background, which she credits to her mother, and her previous work experience with her father, a crop duster, which gave her mechanical know-how, her new piano tuning skills fell into place.
She completed the course in under a year, supplementing her training through a membership with the Piano Technician’s Guild, an international organization with a chapter in Milwaukee. Monthly meetings with other technicians and retailers in the Guild provided her the knowledge and networking necessary to get her business off the ground.
She officially opened Huhn Tuning, LLC, in April of 2022.
Huhn says that pianos should be tuned every six months, and if they aren’t, that they can go pretty flat. When that happens, Huhn conducts a process called a pitch raise, where the piano is tuned above where it should be, and then stretches back down into place.
She notes that technology has accelerated this process, as it used to be a two-day visit, where the tuner would need to come back a second time to fine tune the piano. Huhn has a software that helps her determine exactly how high the piano needs to be tuned to fall back closely into proper tune. She then fine tunes the piano the same day using a combination of electronic tuning software and aural tests.
Whether she needs to conduct a pitch raising or not, she reserves three hours for tuning each piano, as she never knows exactly what will be needed until she arrives. She charges $100 for a standard tuning and an additional $60 if a pitch raise is needed.
In addition to tuning, Huhn is able to complete action repairs, key repairs, string replacements and can tighten tuning pins on all kinds of pianos, even including electric/hybrid pianos and player pianos. The only thing she is unable to do is rebuild a piano, though she is happy to help customers find a resource who can.
As a people-loving introvert, she loves the opportunity to get out and meet people but also appreciates the peace of tuning the piano alone.
“I like the predictable process of tuning,” she continues, “but it doesn’t get boring because once in a while I find a problem to solve.”
Huhn offers the following tips to help keep your piano in peak shape:* Similarly, don’t ever keep it near a fireplace.
* Tune every six months to keep your piano sounding great and minimize services needed.
* Don’t store your piano near vents or windows- humidity is your piano’s enemy.
* The best place for your piano is on an interior wall.
Huhn Tuning offers flexible scheduling, though most of her appointments are weekday afternoons, as she also homeschools one of her three children in the mornings.
She typically services homes within a half hour from Cedar Grove, but can go farther for an additional travel fee.
She is currently offering a special deal for churches. When a congregation member has their home piano tuned, she provides them with a coupon for their church good for 10% off tuning services. The coupons are stackable so if the church collects ten coupons, their tuning is free.
Appointments can be booked by calling or texting Kayla at 920-564-0002 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Customers can also follow her on Facebook.