From toddlerhood to secondary school our two boys have progressed through various music classes at Forte School of Music.
They have moved on from the simple enjoyment of music and movement to preparing to sit grade 8 piano.
We have always been impressed with the team at Forte with their enthusiasm, friendliness, and expertise. In more recent times their flexibility of approach has meant that lessons have continued, and progress has not been lost.
The syllabus at Forte is carefully planned to suit the needs of the child at each stage of their learning. The quality of teaching is excellent, and we have always felt that the individual needs of our children have been catered for.
The learning partner approach in the junior years was of huge benefit as it enabled us to confidently support our boys with their practice at home. This style of teaching made it a family commitment and it helped us when their confidence or engagement waivered. The experience and support of the staff also helped us when our children felt that they had had enough of ‘this learning business’ or when they lost their nerve before an exam. We felt reassured that the challenges would be worth it.
Over the years, Forte charity Playathons and The Forte Festival taught them how to prepare to perform in front of an audience. It was a gentle introduction to performing music in public both as a member of a small group and as an individual. It really boosted their confidence.
COVID-19 restrictions have not disrupted their learning due to the quick response of the Forte team. Our youngest son was able to pass grade 5 theory having completed most of his learning on Zoom. Both boys have been receiving piano lessons via Skype with their regular teacher and our youngest son has moved from learning violin at school to continuing online with Forte. Including music practise as part of their daily routine has provided welcome relief from home/schooling, as well as keeping them away from their phones for a while!
As parents we have observed other positive effects that learning a musical instrument can offer a child. Our boys have greater appreciation of the organisation, commitment and focus needed to be successful. Preparing for piano exams has been a challenge for both boys (and for us as parents) but, over time and with the support of their dedicated teachers, they have become far more organised, resilient and independent. This has spilled over to their school life in general.
They have now become interested in learning contemporary piano pieces of their own choosing and appear to really appreciate the ability to be able to play current tunes.
After over fifteen years of attending classes, we have no hesitation in recommending Forte School of Music.
Having hosted ABRSM exams since 2005, we have faced our most challenging year yet. With some exam centres unable to open due to the pandemic, we found demand for the Cardiff North exam centre increased, with candidates travelling in from across Wales and the South West.
During our time as an ABRSM exam centre, we’ve become a popular choice for teachers, students and parents, who recognise and appreciate the professional and welcoming way in which the exams are hosted.
Our well-equipped and spacious music studios are perfect for accommodating exams of all levels for a variety of instruments and the facilities for parents, teachers and accompanists help to make the exam-day experience as pleasant as possible for everyone concerned.
During the most recent six-week exam period in November and December 2020, we were very proud of the way that our exam stewards safely co-ordinated the movement of over 1250 visitors to the exam centre. They worked closely with teachers, candidates and their families to ensure a good exam experience for all whilst working within Covid-safe practices and guidelines.
We look forward to welcoming many more exam candidates and their families to Forte in the future.
Paul started one to one lessons with Forte in September and since then has continued weekly lessons on our flexi pass scheme which has allowed him to change his lessons to suit his work timetable. In the last month he has undertaken lessons online during the lockdown. Paul has an incredible interest in music and is the Programme Director of Acapela Studio in Pentyrch, where he contracts all the great artists for their event schedule.
“One of the most enjoyable things I have ever done – I wish I had done it years ago. The guitar I am playing (a Fender Stratocaster), I bought almost 30 years ago but at that time work and family duties just stopped me from progressing! Now with more time on my hands I am loving the challenge and with structured lessons from Forte I am so pleased with how my playing has developed. I would encourage anyone of any age who wants to learn a musical instrument to give it a go – it’s very relaxing and yes at times frustrating!”
Dylan Taylor and his mum Claire
My son has attended Forte since he was 6 months old where we first did the Jungle Music classes. These were a lovely, child friendly introduction to music. He loved the music that accompanied the course. We always had the CD on in the car and he benefited hugely from the interaction with other children.
He now attends the Music is Fun class and has really enjoyed the group approach to learning. My son really responds to the songs and the actions and is starting to develop his sense of rhythm. The lessons are fun and interactive and there is no pressure. It’s about nurturing an enjoyment of music and accepting that children learn in different ways and at different rates. The classes are also a lovely activity to do together with your child, encouraging skills such as listening, turn taking, co-ordination and social interaction.
We have recently had to complete classes via Zoom due to current Covid-19 restrictions. I have found the staff at Forte to be very flexible adapting their teaching style in response to these changes and always available to trouble shoot any problems we’ve had. Classes have continued to be well organised and easy to access. When we have been in for face to face teaching I’ve felt very safe and have been impressed by the thought and organisation that has gone into making the classes feel as normal as possible.
I have always had a love of music and gained so much pleasure from learning to play various instruments as a child. My son loves music too and I’m sure the Forte approach to teaching will continue to encourage and develop his skills.
Forte online music lessons can provide a teaching experience similar to a face-to-face class. Many busy families have found that learning online is very appealing. Attending classes online from home also holds appeal for those students who find it difficult to travel to the school.
Here at Forte, we have had to temporarily close again due to the lockdown and all our lessons have now successfully moved online. It’s been so encouraging to receive the wonderful support from parents and children for our online lessons and to obtain the excellent feedback from you all.
If you are not currently taking advantage of our online tuition, please do get in touch and we can help you arrange your next lesson. We will contact everyone when we are back open again – which we hope will not be too long!