Fairfax Piano: Spreading the gift of music

Mike Nemeth of Fairfax Piano gives a piano lesson to Nate Holmberg, 11, at Nate's home in Marion, Iowa on Wednesday, Dec
Mike Nemeth of Fairfax Piano gives a piano lesson to Nate Holmberg, 11, at Nate’s home in Marion, Iowa on Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
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Mike Nemeth has been playing the piano since he was very young.

Just last year, however, he decided to use the skills he’s been honing for decades to share the gift of music with others after being asked by friends to teach their son to play.

“I liked the idea of teaching others, and I love passing along the things I’ve learned over the years,” he said.

Fairfax Piano students get a balance of theory and technique during lessons because of the teacher Nemeth had when young and living in Michigan, Dr. Ejnar Krantz.

“He taught me how to continue learning, too,” Nemeth said.

With students as young as five and as old as 65, Nemeth said he very much enjoys his work.

“I get a thrill when students get something I am trying to get across,” he said. “When something isn’t going well, we work through it until they have a breakthrough that gets them beyond that roadblock.

“You can see the light bulb in their eyes sometimes, and it’s very cool to see that happen.”

Fairfax Piano is based out of Nemeth’s home in Fairfax. He teaches lessons there as well as in the homes of his students.

He meets one student in his home over the student’s lunch hour to fit the lesson into a busy week.


Nemeth also does piano tuning and light repairs — a part of his business that grew from tuning his own piano.

“I notice a piano going out of tune quicker than most people,” he said.

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