William Paterson University
Rutgers University - Newark
Seton Hall Univeristy
Nutley Public Schools
The Newark Boys Chorus
Orange Public Schools
Glen Ridge Congregational Church
The Women's Club of Glen Ridge
West Orange Public Schools
Morris Plains Presbyterian Church
Morris Catholic High School
My interest in the piano began at age 5 with piano lessons. In high shool I began to take an interest in fixing our home piano which led to a two year apprenticeship while also working toward a classical piano performance degree at William Paterson University. With my newly earned skills as a piano technican I worked my way through college and chose to stick with tuning and restoration as my vocation.
In my early years as a technician I concentrated more on rebuilding pianos while developing a private tuning and service clientel. I studied and practiced every aspect of piano restoration and developed a philosophy that I feel preserves and enhances the potential of the great pianos that I work with.
I am currently the Piano Technician for William Paterson University, Rutgers University Newark Campus, Seton Hall University, Orange, Nutley, West Orange and other School Systems and the Newark Boys Chorus School.
I also currently teach courses in piano technology at Willaim Paterson University.
Sharing and playing music with my children and friends remains a large part of my life and I enjoy working in a field that keeps me close to music. I perform everything from chamber music to rock and avante garde new music.
My current focus is on home and concert tuning and service, specializing in voicing, tone regulation, touch- weight design and correction and custom action restoration.
I find so many wonderful pianos in need of voicing and action work that don't play anything near as wonderfully as they could. Bringing out the full potential of these instruments through voicing and touch improvements is my favorite and most gratifying work. I never get tired of the big smiles on the faces of my clients when they play their newly improved pianos. As a fellow pianist I can understand when they express issues about touch and tone and this helps me to choose the right solution.
I selectively do full restorations with a "one at a time" attitude, working with affiliated specialists in soundboard installation refinishing and keyboard restoration. After soundboard and cabinet finish work is done I "live" with the piano in my home based workshop while I'm completing the work. Often in the evening I will go to the piano I'm currently working on to play various kinds of music in order to get to know the personality of the instrument. I consider a piano finished only after I have had enough to time to get to know the nature of that particular instrument and fine tune the touch and tone to the optimum potential of that instrument. If the technician listens, the piano will tell him how it will best sound and play.
My philosophy in piano work is to know all there is to know about how the best pianos are built, to respect the principles that make those pianos the best and to combine the exacting approach of old world craftsmanship with the advantages of state of the art technology to maintain or restore each instrument to it’s full potential.
I strive to understand what each client needs from their piano and to provide the most practical solutions to satisfy those needs.
I am a Registered Piano Technician. An R.P.T. has passed a series of rigorous examinations on the maintenance, repair, and tuning of pianos. Only RPTs are authorized by The Piano Technicians Guild to display the logo containing the words “Registered Piano Technician”.
Registered Piano Technician
Who I work for
registered piano technician
Some of my current clients and past concert tuning artists
Peggy Dearmond – pianist, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra
Steven Stills and Graham Nash
Juana Zayas – concert pianist
The Beaux Arts Trio
The Vanguard Orchestra
The Guarneri String Quartet
The Emeson String Quartet
Paquito De Reviera
"Thank you for a fine job. The action seems smooth and fluid all the way up the keyboard, with a just right touch not too easy, not too hard, and the sound is great."
George Baxter - Satisfied Steinway grand client after a complete action rebuild
"I have hired Bob consistently to tune and repair my pianos, and to tune the pianos I perform on. He is truly gifted, and his voicings are superb. He has also found pianos for me, my students and friends and has always steered us in the right direction!"
Diane Moser, founder and director of the Composers BigBand
"I'm a very picky musician when it comes to piano tuners - most I've tried tune "by the book" and end up with results that are less than musical. Over the past 20 years, I've had exactly 2 tuners I've asked back - the first one moved out of the area, and the second - and I hope, last! - is Bob Dowling. Bob gets it, and you get a piano whose tuning issues, whatever they may be, disappear when you play - that, after all, is the goal, to make music, and not to notice any individual string, note, hammer, and the like. My highest recommendation goes to Bob, a master craftsman and artist at tuning pianos."
Multitalented musician and educator