Kapstan Piano Services  
                  serving the greater St. Louis area 

Kapstan History


Originally from Milford, NJ, Tom Kaplan started in the piano service business in 1978 by answering an ad from Noldes Pianos in Flemington, NJ for a piano mover. Tom quickly discovered how heavy pianos are and suddenly made a career switch. The idea of becoming a piano technician started to make a lot of sense!


Luckily, Steinway technician, Joe Vizzini, took Tom under his wing and offered him an apprenticeship. As time passed, Tom built a successful tuning business in NJ, eventually becoming a Yamaha Piano Service Consultant in 1991.


As a result of his relationship with Yamaha, Tom worked with some of the best technicians and musicians in the piano industry. Tom ultimately completed all of the courses offered by Yamaha's Piano Technical Academy in Japan.


Relocating to St Louis in 2000, Tom met JoAnn whom he married in 2002 and with whom he formed Kapstan Piano Services.


JoAnn began her piano service business in 1988 under the apprenticeship of acappella director/piano technician Jim Buffaloe. Prior to teaming up with Tom, JoAnn contracted with many St. Louis piano dealers and built a successful piano service business. JoAnn subsequently continued her piano technical training in Japan and graduated from Yamaha's Piano Technical Academy. In addition to her technical work, JoAnn plays both piano and violin and enjoys listening to a wide range of music. 


The name Kapstan came about during Tom's consulting work with Yamaha. Whenever Tom would call into Yamaha for technical assistance, Mark Wisner, an employee of Yamaha's Piano Service Department, would answer the phone with "Hey, Kapstan!" Over time, Kapstan became Tom's nickname and a fitting name for Tom and JoAnn's piano services company.


For those who don't know, a capstan is actually a piano action part that is used to make regulation adjustments. You can see a capstan pictured at the top of this webpage.


And now you know the rest of the story!

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