by: Online Piano Atlas -
Gary Trenholm braces himself against the weight of over 200 kilograms of wood and cast iron with slightly bent knees before confidently stepping off a paved walkway and into a garden bed on a steeply sloped hill.
Mr. Trenholm, who had been blind since childhood, couldn't see the hill physically, but he could visualize it, as well as the upright piano he was gripping and the truck it would be loaded onto.
Notably, he trusted his assisting colleagues – they indicated how many more steps he needed to take before reaching the stairs, or they placed a hand on his back to indicate their position.
Mr. Trenholm enrolled in a piano tuning elective at the Halifax School for the Blind on a whim in order to avoid taking French class. He was a natural – decades of research support the notion that those born blind or develop blindness at a young age compensate for their loss through their other senses, particularly their hearing.
He continued piano tuning on the side while attending university as a student of general arts. He also had an aptitude for repairing them, and he and a friend started a business repairing pianos and selling them out of the basement of a downtown Halifax hotel. Due to the success of their venture, they decided to open a storefront and begin selling new pianos as well.