Just call him the "Piano Man." Ed Spangler is involved in almost every aspect of pianos: from repair and restoration work, to tuning, to selling, to teaching adults how to play.
Spangler was first introduced to pianos at a young age while taking lessons offered through his elementary school in Shelby. Intimidated by his teacher's stern teaching style, he soon gave up the art, and that might have been the end of the story.
But Spangler's father owned and operated a furniture store, and in the early 1970s the senior Spangler began selling pianos as part of his business. During that time piano manufacturers, such as Kimball, began offering training sessions to their retailers on how to tune and repair the company's instruments.
"The nice thing is that pianos are basically the same, so once I learned how to tune and repair the Kimballs, I could also do other pianos," says Spangler.
During this time he also took piano playing lessons offered through the company.
"Kimball developed a set of lessons for the adult learner that allowed me to get a good understanding of how to play and how to teach other adult learners to play as well," he says.
And that is exactly what he has been doing for more than 30 years.
Today, Spangler's business, The Piano Shop, is thriving as he offers a variety of services.
"I offer used piano sales, piano repair, and tuning and piano instruction," says Spangler. "Whatever your piano needs, I have you covered."
For those thinking about purchasing a piano, Spangler stresses the myriad of aspects that are involved in the selection process: from the acoustics of where the piano will be placed, to the rigidity of the keys, to the cost and aesthetic qualities of a particular piano.
For those who already have a piano, Spangler offers instruction on how to play.
"I can teach a student anything ranging from the basics of where to place your piano to how to place your hands and feet," says Spangler. "Proper training leads to proper playing. With a structured method of practice, folks will be amazed at how quickly they can learn to play appropriate scales and get the most out of their piano."
And, finally, for those who have had their piano for a while, Spangler offers piano tuning and repair services.
"Piano tuning and repair is not for a novice," says Spangler. "I handle the voicing, regulation and tuning required to make a piano work efficiently and effectively. Tuning is the process of ensuring that notes match the keys that are hit. All instruments go out of tune periodically. It takes a skilled professional with the right tools very little time to identify and fix tuning issues. Voicing relates to the uniform tone that all keys should make when struck. Regulation is the reaction of keys to touch. A piano should not be looser in touch on one end and more rigid on the other. It should be uniform, and I can perform all of these services."
Spangler is proud of the products and services he offers.
"Quality is guaranteed with my shop. I take pride in my work," he says. "My goal is to exceed a customer's expectations with the exceptional service I provide."
Find out more about Spangler and the Piano Shop by visiting the company web site at www.ShelbyPiano.com or by calling 704-692-4693.
By April Hoyle Shauf
Special to Community First Media