Bellyman Certification Program

As professionals, we are asked to supply expert information about the condition of vintage pianos, especially about the soundboards, bridge caps and pin blocks. Training in these areas has been difficult to obtain, but our new comprehensive online courses will teach you everything you need to know.


The Soundboard Kit:

Back in the 70”s,  I got to spend a few hours with harpsichord kit maker Frank Hubbard at his Boston area workshop.  Before building harpsichords, Frank had been a graduate student in English at Harvard; so when he started building kits, it was his excellent communication skills that made the difference. I build one of his kit harpsichords, and sold it to buy then two more.

The idea is still the same.  The kit includes the instructions and a supply of materials; and over a period of time, you make and install a soundboard in a grand piano that you own.  When you’re done, you sell the piano; and with the proceeds, pay yourself back for the kit and materials.  Not only do you have fun, you position your workshop to do this work over and over.  There’s money in that!

Payment is also in easy steps.  $400 for the soundboard course gets things started.  When you are ready for the next step, Dale Erwin will sell the soundboard panel and rib stock, priced according to the size piano and freight costs. (I am not involved in this transaction.)

Once the soundboard is made and fitted in place with screws, it will be time to pay $400 for the bridge capping course.  This will complete the process and set proper down bearing.  With the new bridges pinned and notched, the kit soundboard will be completed and installed.

For those who need a pin block course, there is one that is being prepared.


Soundboard course                           $  400
Soundboard panel and rib stock      $1700
Bridge capping course.                     $ 400
Capping materials.             $500

Total.                         $3,000

Don’t spend your career in the dark about soundboards only to find yourself uninformed when it’s time to advise your customer about rebuilding.  Be a hero by giving them accurate advice the first time you visit the piano.

Taking the course is easy and fun!
1.  We guide you every step of the way.
2.  You go at your own pace. 
3.  No Shop? Take the course without assignments.
4.  Already a rebuilder? Go for certification and become an expert!

This self-paced hands-on process unlocks skills you didn’t know you had and will revolutionize your understanding of how soundboards work.  We coach you through everything you need using video tutorials and one-on-one evaluations.  You will learn the fundamentals by working with your hands to build a practice soundboard from scratch using tools from your garage and cheap plywood.

With these skills,  you will be prepared to better evaluate existing soundboards, help your client select a quality rebuilder; or start building and designing your own boards.  You will literally use these skills every day,  for the rest of your career!

We are different from a video.  For the first time, the same instructional design used in college courses is being applied to piano technology.  The addition of hands-on assignments using the practice jig  makes this a program that develops hand-skills along with the theory. It has been described as “the future of training in piano technology…..Visionary!”

Soundboard Promo-v3 from Virginia Gorlinski on Vimeo.

Sign up for this new online course to learn everything you need to know about soundboards.

 $400 – Sign Up Now

Simply fill out the contact form at the top of the page and you will be on your way!



Become a Bridge Capping Expert

The companion course is all about bridge capping.   A new bridge cap goes along with a new soundboard.  That’s how we set the optimal down bearing.  This course covers all the steps, from removal of the old bridge, to drilling and notching the new cap.

Sample of Bridge Capping Class

Sign up for this new online course to learn everything you need to know about bridge capping.

Buy the Entire Course  $400 – Sign Up Now

Simply fill out the contact form at the top of the page and you will be on your way!

Upon completion of the two classes, the students will have the option of traveling to the workshop of a participating rebuilder for several days of actually work on a piano. So far, there are three shops in the USA, and we hope to find others around the world. These are well known master rebuilders, and we will be joining together to provide the certification for those who complete the program.