Hardworking Cleveland – Repairing harmony for 34 years

The sounds, the feel, and the design of a piano is recognizable by everyone. However, not everyone can distinguish a dying piano. Pianos are built with a great deal of stress and compression in their sound producing parts and can deteriorate over time. The same can be said of the action or moving parts which have worn out parts over time.) Some people believe their pianos just can’t be revived. However, there is a master “pianosmith” with the ability to repair the Delicate , balanced construction. Greg Newell, owner of Greg’s Piano Forte, in Lakewood, knows how hit the perfect note.

Greg Newell, owner of Greg’s Piano Forte, has been repairing and tuner pianos for over 30 years out of his garage. Photographer: Matt Frieden

When Greg was young, he loved to tinker with everything. However, growing up in a musical family, his mother suggested that he learn music as well. Greg continued to learn music at The Conservatory of Music at Baldwin Wallace University. He soon realized his passion didn’t lead to a solid living. He was surrounded by other talented musicians that, like him, didn’t know how to tune a piano. Frustrated with the sounds and disrepair of his own piano and others, his drive to improve the instruments he encountered grew. He found himself at a trade school in Elyria, where he learned the basic skills of a “pianosmith”. Greg’s Piano Forte was born in 1984.

Greg Newell, owner of Greg’s Piano Forte, working on the hammers of a piano. Photographer: Matt Frieden

Understanding the design phase of every piano he explains to us how most pianos sound best at an A440 standard pitch. The steady, local customers that have stuck with Mr. Newell over the decades call him, “my piano guy or my piano technician.” Greg loves the sense of belonging and loyalty that is developed with his customers. Mr. Newell has seen his fair share of interesting piano moves and deliveries. While many transports can be their own unique challenges each one is approached with the need of the customer in mind and done with a can do attitude with caring and compassion especially when family heirlooms are encountered. Greg and crew pride themselves on delivering pianos under circumstances where other have said that it could not be done!

Greg’s passion to play the piano hasn’t disappeared. From running his business over time, he sometimes develops a pinched nerve that keeps him from playing the piano for long periods. When he does get to play, he prefers the classics like Beethoven and Rachmaninoff. He also loves Billy Joel and learning new music by ear. Playing is a relief and a getaway from his busy schedule. In his own words, “Piano is best therapy money can buy.”

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Greg Newell, owner of Greg’s Piano Forte, working on the hammers of a piano. Photographer: Matt Frieden

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