Who Is PIANOVATIONS?


When folks step through the doors of PIANOVATIONS  they often express surprise at what they see in front of them. It’s a buffet of instruments of all shapes, styles and customers decorating the floor and walls, waiting for someone to take them home, play and cherish them.  Often, given our piano oriented name, the expectation has been that we are only piano based , however since 2004 we have been adding instruments of all sort so that now we carry most types of them. We’ve worked hard to find good value for our customers and we try and look at our business the old fashioned way, a warm handshake and greeting and a genuine desire to help you find the instrument best suited to your needs and budget. Visiting PIANOVATIONS is more than just a typical music store stop. We have some cool stuff here that’s both unusual and amusing, and if you have the time we are happy to share these interesting gems with you!! So we warmly welcome you stop in to Blyth, Ontario to see us ! Our hours are Wednesdays through to Fridays 10-6 and Saturdays 10-4  or by appointment to suit you best.  Since we  do have much work within our Piano Restoration shop our store hours are limited to the four day, or by appointment but we are happy to open for you if you call ahead! 519-523-4535
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Lianne Hoogenboom-Piano technician, Rebuilder, Refinisher

LIANNE HOOGENBOOM co-owns Pianovations Music Centre. She loves her work with pianos and the challenges that can be had. We think once you meet her and she chats with you, you will see her passion come through! From a young age Lianne has enjoyed woodworking, recalling the days when she was the only gal in her woodworking class in high school. As a youngster gifts like woodburning sets and chisels weren’t uncommon!!
Her first brush with working on pianos started in 1995 where she worked for a local technician in the Goderich area. A few years later she answered the call to head to Calgary Alberta at the Steinway dealership where they have an excellent restoration shop. During this time she has become skilled at various levels of refinishing work, removing the old finishes, sanding and repairing veneer, and wood carving damage, staining and recoating with a fresh finish. Lianne specializes in the “Steinway” type satin hand rubbed finishes as well as high gloss mirror finishes. Many of today’s newer pianos are finished with polyester, an extremely high shine protective finish that is easily renewed. After many years of dusting and use they can develop a “dusting haze” or scratches. Lianne has perfected the buffing process that can often result in the piano looking close to new again. Polyester chips or crush marks are also common damage. It takes much patience to perfect these meticulous repairs of which Lianne has done hundreds of.
Apart from Lianne’s refinishing abilities, her other passion involves the heavier rebuilding work with larger restoration jobs. Skills like soundboard repairs, pinblock and bridge replacement and treble bridge notching are favorites for Lianne to work at. She has also added a 9 foot concert grand “plate” replacement to her list of challenging jobs completed.
To add to the busy schedule is the fun of coming up with advertising and marketing ideas as well as building this website!
When you visit PIANOVATIONS ask Lianne for a demonstration of the player pianos. We know you will get an enthusiastic response! You might even get a peek in the small working area in the back of the store where there is an odd piano that you’ll want to see! She also enjoys showing folks through the workshop by appointment.
Apart from pianos, Lianne’s other passions are her large family, people, road trip planning, whales and nature photography.
Here are some pictures of Lianne at work!
Refinishing and Satinizing a Steinway M Grand for a customer
This is Lianne custom drilling a new pinblock for a Grand Piano restoration.  She custom fits all her pinblock rebuilds.  Custom fitting a new pinblock into the plate of the piano means that the tuning stablility will be excellent.  She is often able to acheive a better fit than the factory original!
Lianne is prepping the treble bridge for a new one, this beautiful grand also received a new pinblock, soundboard work, new strings, tuning pins, and action!
A customers Bell upright done in a custom applica high gloss finish.
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Tamara Andre Piano Technician, Rebuilder

TAMARA ANDRE who also co-owns PIANOVATIONS, is almost always your first connection to Pianovations. She’s the voice on the phone and spends a number of days within the store each week. She’s the face at the front door. She spends a great deal of time evaluating pianos in peoples homes, helping them to be more aware of the playing potential of their instrument [or not ;-)] Tamara also manages the office and business end of things. She became involved in the piano work in 1995 and quickly immersed herself in the technical aspects of the mechanics of pianos.She spent 3 years working along with a local technician, and took the opportunity to work at the Calgary Alberta Steinway dealership where she served as a technician as well as service co-ordinator for four years. Working at the second largest piano dealer in Canada allowed her the opportunity for hands on work on a wide variety of pianos, including Schimmel, Boston, Bechstein and Steinways.
Tamara’s strengths in the piano field involve the inner workings of the piano, the action, include hammer, keytop, damper replacement, restringing and repinning…. Many times the “regulation” of a piano has been neglected over years of playing. Regulation is the find adjustment of the piano action and keys which allows for better quality of sound as well as ease, efficiency and control while playing. It also involves the touch, and feel of the keys, and the relation that has to the rest of the action.
When she can get away from her many responsibilities Tamara loves to travel and explore and has been an avid photographer her whole life. She is also an artist who has shown her work in galleries and is rarely seen without a camera, paintbrush, phone, car wheel or piano tool in her hands. She loves attending concerts, music and folk festivals and capturing the beauty of musicians with her camera in hand.
Here are some pictures of Tamara working on different pianos o
Here she is performing regulation work.  This is a crutial part of how well the piano is going to play, and is often forgotten about.  Regulation consists of leveling, aligning and setting the action and keys back into proper position for the best dynamic and playability the instrument has to offer.  We offer free evaluations to Piano to see if this process is needed with your piano!
Restringing and Repinning a Grinnell Grand piano for a customer. This piano was completely refinished and rebuilt.
This is a square grand piano that we restored for a family.  Tamara is restrining and repinning it, the piano was a big job, but turned out just beautiful.  The after picture is below.
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