Growing up in the US Virgin Islands, Leal Sylvester had never considered piano technology as a career until a piano tuner came into his high school choir room to tune a piano. Because Leal liked to work with tools, had a strong musical aptitude, and a great ear, his music instructor suggested he talk with the tuner about piano tuning as a career option. Knowing the School of Piano Technology for the Blind specialized in working with blind individuals sealed the deal for Leal. He applied, and upon acceptance to the school, immediately enrolled. Leal graduated from the School of Piano Technology for the Blind in 1997 and went right to work as a field technician for the school.
In 2002, he began working as an instructor and had the opportunity to execute the school’s curriculum through hands-on teaching and one-on-one mentoring of students. In 2006, Leal launched his own tuning business in the Portland/Vancouver area and also served as Lead Tuner for Classic Pianos in Portland. In 2012, Leal accepted a position as Lead Technician and Shop Supervisor for Metroplex Pianos in Dallas, Texas, where he worked for four years.
Leal and his family relocated to Vancouver, Washington, in 2016, when he accepted a position with the School of Piano Technology for the Blind where he worked as Director of Instruction and Lead Technician until the school closed in March 2017.