Today we get to know Max Mitler, piano technician for the music department! Max tunes and maintains the pianos for our department and for Memorial Hall. His office/workshop is in Hill Hall Room 8, down in the practice room area. However, he noted that “I sort of float around the whole department throughout the day. The door is usually open when I’m in my office, feel free to pop in anytime.”
Max began working here just over one year ago. He had been a piano technician in and around Washington DC since 2006.
“When I saw that UNC was looking to fill the position for a staff piano technician, I jumped at the opportunity. I had heard nothing but good things about the school and the area, so I sent in and application and thankfully it worked out. I have enjoyed my first year working for the University. The students, faculty and staff have been terrific, my family has really settled in and the whole place feels like home.”
Max first started learning piano tuning at a school of music and has worked for various music programs his whole career. “Having always enjoyed music and the arts, I can’t really imagine a better environment in which to work,” he said.
Although he tunes and maintains pianos for a living, he’s interested in other instruments as well! Max used to play the guitar, but admits that “aside from trying to teach my son a couple chords, I haven’t really played in years.”
Outside the department, you can likely find Max playing chess or golfing. Another hobby he developed more recently is woodworking.
“During the quarantine, I’ve been trying to learn how to make dovetail boxes,” Max noted. “I’ve managed to put a few together, but have yet to figure out how to put tops and bottoms on them. As it stands, I’ve got a few nice open rectangles. Funny thing, there are tons of youtube videos on making dovetails, but surprisingly few about attaching lids and bottoms to boxes, go figure.”
Of course, these hobbies are nothing without his family. Max and his wife have two boys, Charlie and Andrew (soon to be 10 and 7 years old respectively), and a dog named Flash.