2007 NBSS Alumni Award Honors Contributions to Piano Technology
Stanwood asks the audience to hum along with an A-440 tuning fork
Posted October 23 2007 North Bennet Street School newsletter
At the June 1,2007 graduation ceremony, the third annual Distinguished Alumni Award was presented to David C. Stanwood
in recognition of his contributions to the science and craft of piano technology. The award is given each year by the alumni to
a graduate who has shown outstanding achievement and creativity in furthering their craft, and who has advanced the body of
knowledge in their trade. Stanwood graduated from the North Bennet Street School in 1979. Stanwood invented a fundamental
measurement system for pianos called Touch Weight Metrology based on his Equation of Balance in the early 1990s. The system
isolates fundamental components in the internal workings of the keyboard in a way that was never possible before. The system
employs customized tools, techniques, and computer software to custom build a piano action to a pianist's unique needs. The
system has also been used to help pianists with injuries such as tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome. "It took me ten years to
develop and refine the Equation of Balance," said Stanwood after accepting the award, "and that creation is my lifetime achievement.
It makes a pathway for others to follow in the art and craft of piano making and it empowers us as piano technicians. We are in a
position to make pianos easier to play and help the piano player to be more of an artist and more able to truly convey feelings
through music which is the magic of piano." Pianos balanced with Stanwood's methods are noted for their flawless playing characteristics.
Kent Swafford, president of the Piano Technicians Guild, said, "Stanwood's work fills important gaps in piano knowledge. As a
result, it is now possible to elevate the quality and value of older restored pianos to equal and even exceed that of new pianos."
Stanwood runs a full-service piano workshop in West Tisbury, Massachusetts on Martha's Vineyard and consults for piano technicians
worldwide who are trained to use his techniques. For more information visit www.stanwoodpiano.com.