Greetings! I'm Mark Mandell and I must begin this by stating unequivocally that my parents having me take accordion lessons was one of the smartest things they did! But while the playing was enjoyable, it was my accordion teacher having me take apart the accordion that was so significant here. I did it to clean the reeds but my fascination with it was a key ingredient in my fateful decision so many years later to launch my piano tuning career. So when a job counselor recommended it I knew beyond a doubt it was to be my “calling” in life. I then enrolled at the UCLA Extension course in Piano Technology. The instructor soon left so I continued at the assistant's residence. I soon joined the Piano Technicians Guild which was so helpful and I stayed on as a member for seventeen years, becoming a Registered Technician, attending conventions at the state and national level. Certainly one of the highlights in my career via the Guild was visiting piano factories in Europe in the Summer of '79(waiting to get into East Berlin through Checkpoint Charlie at the time is a story onto itself!).
For a five year period(1998-2003), I realized a need to expand beyond just tuning and repair so I got involved with piano restoration and sales, this with another technician working in Altadena and later Pasadena. Though I discovered it to be rather labor intensive, it has still been an enjoyable addition to my in home service. However, I later realized that at some point it was no longer a profitable venture so I returned to the strictly in home service which is what I do to this day(I did, however, return to the piano rebuilding in the fall of 2010 when an opportunity arose to do so and once again with the same tech in Pasadena). The piano is now in Florence, Oregon and I was privileged to visit it in March of 2011(just by coincidence, it had been tuned that very day by a local tech from a nearby town). And once again(as of 1/13) I reunited with the other rebuilder and we've started the restringing of two grands. And as of this month(2/16), yet another restringing job and once again same situation as before. It's a great hobby if nothing else!
Since I first started the business, I have worked for the following dealers: 1)Colton Piano and Organ(chiefly the Carson store), 2)Baldwin Piano in Sherman Oaks, 3)Sherman Clay in North Hollywood and Santa Monica, 4)Pedrini Music in Alhambra, 5)Piano Mart in Santa Monica, 6)Keyboard Concepts in Van Nuys and 7))Hollywood Piano Co. in Burbank. In addition I serviced the Burbank School District from 1990-1997, Pepperdine College from 1980 to 1982 and the UCLA dormitories from 2010 to just recently. And Lastly, I have been awarded the Angie's List Super Service Award from 2012 through 2015 because I've achieved the most number of positive customer feedbacks in my service area.