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Richard Murphy graduated from the Crane School of Music at the State University of New York, Potsdam, New York, in 1974. He soon became interested in piano tuning. He apprenticed briefly with Robert Reiman, Sr. After working with Bernard Cavallier of Buffalo, New York on the reinstallation of an old pipe organ, he began looking for employment at pipe organ companies.

In 1977, Mr. Murphy began to work at the Wicks Pipe Organ Company of Highland, Illinois as a service technician and installer. In 1984, he accepted a position at the Martin Ott Pipe Organ Company of St. Louis. where he was responsible for the tonal finishing of about sixty instruments..

In the late 1980's. Mr. Murphy joined the St. Louis chapter of the Piano Technicians Guild and became a registered piano technician in 1997. He began working at SIUE in 2000, repairing and tuning pianos, organs, and harpsichords.