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.