Pitch perfect

What does it take to master a craft, be it event planning, designing, wine making, painting, or making cakes? I got to thinking about this while at an event at Steinway & Sons, one of the world’s most prominent manufacturers of high-quality pianos. The event was the unveiling of the company’s 600,000th pitch perfect piano. The Fibonacci, designed by master artisan Frank Pollaro, is a testament to the art of handcraftsmanship.

It took more than 6,000 hours of work over a four-year period to build this piano. The piano’s veneer lid features the famous Fibonacci spiral made from six individual logs of Macassar Ebony. Synthetic ivory inlays add another layer of design as do bronze details. “As I considered the number 600,000,” Pollaro said, ” The Fibonacci spiral came to mind, the way in which it continues to grow but stays true to its form is very much like Steinway & Sons over their many years. Combining the universal languages of music and mathematics made perfect sense.”

One could say that it actually took 160 years to build that piano — that’s the length of time Steinway & Sons has been using the same techniques to hand build the company’s pitch perfect pianos. Clearly, the key to Steinway’s success is the quality of craftsmanship inside and out.

What does it take to be a master of a craft?

1. Focus. Determination. Discipline. There is no substitute for hard work. Get up early, work late, set your intention and see it through.

2. Quality. It’s easy to get lazy, tired, or bored with the process and take shortcuts. But to be someone of quality and make something that reflects this, it’s important to fall in love with the process.

3. Experience. Whatever your business or your passion, you won’t get any better unless you do it. We have all now heard the famous Malcolm Gladwell 10,000-hour equation and it’s true. The more you do something the better you become. It’s just that simple.

4. Hustle. Same message, different vibe. When you have passion for something, you’ll do what it takes to get it done. Talent is one thing, having the confidence to sell it is quite another, but that is what it will take to achieve your goals.

5. Passion. Live it. Love it. Share it.

pitch perfect

pitch perfect

Pitch Perfect

pitch perfect

pitch perfect

pitch perfect Factory photos: Christopher Payne
Fibonacci photo: Courtesy of Steinway & Sons

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