I felt so guilty about not looking after our piano properly for so long - it costs a bit of money to keep a piano maintained especially if you are teaching on it every day, have two children practising it every day, not to mention your own practise.
I had been meaning to get my piano tuned for years but didn't quite have the cash flow to justify it (silly, I know).
I had the number of a brilliant piano tuner, had the cash in hand to do it in December/January but couldn't get hold of him.
Finally in February after some Google searching and other enquiries, I found out that he passed away. Such a shame - I didn't have the privilege of meeting him. I did look up the Australasian Piano Tuners and Technicians Association (http://www.aptta.org.au/) and found the name of a local guy who was accredited with them.
I am happy to say that he did a brilliant job, and my piano is back in working order (still a practice pedal to be tightened up but that wasn't part of tuning).
I didn't realise just how much having an out of tune piano was messing with my sense of pitch. The piano wasn't sounding honky tonky, but it certainly wasn't in tune. I found it was harder to play in tune on my violin - not a good thing when you're a violin teacher. It is so much easier now. What a difference! When you're playing the violin, the finger being 1 millimetre out can make a big difference.
It was $190 for about an hour of tuning. Standard price for members of the APTTA. I was happy to pay that.
Just in case you were wondering what the inside of a piano looks like, here you go:
Something else I found out: Piano Tuners mark carefully the inside of the piano when they tune it so the next tuner knows how long it has been since the last tune-up. This one was tuned in Tamworth last! How about that!! Apparently they mark it in chalk, so it can be wiped off easily and not do any damage.