Our History

Happy Pianos exist to bring a smile to your piano, and make it perform and sing so you can feel inspired!

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Dewald’s Story

Dewald van Deventer, a Registered Piano Technician, is the heart behind Happy Pianos, now based in Kempton Park on the East Rand. You can reach him at 082 461 4865.

Dewald’s journey with pianos began under unique circumstances. At the age of ten, he underwent surgery to remove a brain tumour, which unfortunately resulted in total blindness due to the necessity of cutting the optic nerves. Undeterred by this challenge, Dewald embarked on a remarkable path of learning and discovery. He attended Prinshof, in Pretoria, an education facility specialising in training and learning for visually impaired and blind learners.

Dewald’s Introduction to Pianos

His introduction to pianos started at the age of twelve when he began piano lessons and continued all through his schooling career. Despite his blindness, Dewald continued his studies diligently, culminating in his enrolment at the University of the Free State’s Odeion School of Music based in Bloemfontein, South Africa. He pursued a comprehensive education for the next five years in piano performance, organ, music history, theory, and education, ultimately earning an Honours degree in Piano Performance.

Discovering Piano Tuning

During his studies, Dewald developed a keen interest in piano tuning was sparked with the meeting of a piano builder from Austria, who tuned his practice room piano. This encounter ignited a passion within Dewald, leading him to seek out opportunities to learn the craft of piano tuning. The piano builder taught Dewald how to tune unisons ‘tuning one string to another and making it sound like a sound’. Despite facing numerous rejections and setbacks as there was no school to teach piano tuning to the blind in South Africa, Dewald’s determination remained unwavering.

He started working, as a piano teacher but soon discovered it was not what he was passionate about. A year and a half later, Dewald returned to Bloemfontein to practice tuning with the piano builder from Austria and an amazing opportunity arose.

The Breakthrough!

His perseverance and prayer paid off when he was browsing on the internet and discovered the School of Piano Technology for the Blind in Vancouver, Washington, USA. This institution offered a two-year course specifically designed to train visually impaired individuals in piano tuning, piano repair, and maintenance. With the support of friends and a newfound sponsorship, Dewald filled with determination, embarked on a transformative journey to the United States to pursue his dream of becoming a piano technician.

School of Piano Technology - for the Blind

Upon completing the course, Dewald worked for the school, gaining invaluable experience tuning pianos for customers across various setting, tuning pianos for customers, in their homes, at schools, churches, and other public venues.

Back in South Africa

After six months, he returned to South Africa and founded Happy Pianos in Bloemfontein, his Alma Mater. Since then, Dewald has been dedicated to providing exceptional piano tuning and servicing not only in Kempton Park but also across Gauteng, Free State, Northern and Eastern Cape, and occasionally in KwaZulu-Natal.

Today, Happy Pianos continues to thrive under Dewald’s expertise and passion for tuning pianos. Whether it’s tuning or restoring pianos in homes, schools, churches, or public venues, Dewald’s commitment to excellence ensures that every piano receives the care and attention it deserves.

Head over to the Contact page or drop us an email or simply click here to make an appointment with Dewald!

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