★★★★ Author Ned Klein spent many years tuning and repairing pianos, and in Piano Dance: Extraordinary People, Places, and Pianos, he brings that experience to the page. In Piano Dance, he recounts a number of memorable visits servicing pianos while providing readers with fun facts about the classic instrument throughout the text. An amateur performer himself, Klein starts his memoir by crediting his longtime music teacher for his career as a piano technician—a flexible position that enabled Klein to allot time for his own performances. After graduating from the North Bennet School of Boston in 1972, Klein went on to tune pianos for amateurs and professional organizations alike, such as the TV show The Mentalist, the actor Hal Holbrook, and Ms. Harris, an 82-year-old woman who once played an hour-long performance for friends and family.
Readers need not be musically inclined to enjoy taking a long walk in the shoes of this humble piano tuner, and are guaranteed to walk away with a piano fact or two to tuck away in their brains. Did you know that pianos have more than 200 strings?! Furthermore, Klein’s deep love of music is inspiring and evident on every page of this book. Although a skilled and seasoned technician with many notable clients, Klein’s memoir is not pretentious or showy. His personal stories are accessible, regardless of a reader’s familiarity with music-making, and serve as an open invitation to behold the power of music and, more specifically, the beauty of the piano.