Frequently asked questions
Enrollment is ongoing and you can join at any time! Contact us today or register online to get started!
HOW DO I START LESSONS OR CLASSES?
The way we determine how we can best help you is to invite you and your child to attend a one-time trial lesson with one of our teachers. This is an opportunity for you to meet with the teacher, get a sense of their teaching style and see how your child responses to their personality and teaching methods. This also gives the teacher a chance to evaluate the student’s learning style (and their skills if they have had lessons before) and determine what the best course of action is for future lessons (or classes).
If you are interested in attending Forte FUNdamentals, you may observe the first class as our guest. For these group classes, your child will not be required to participate immediately in the first visit unless they would like to. Just come and relax and watch the class in action. We know all children can succeed in these classes, provided they can focus in a group setting and can adjust to the format of the class. Call 503.690.3505 to schedule your one-time trial lesson / class.
MUSIC LESSONS AND CLASSES
We started this music school with the goal of providing the most quality, supportive and caring music experience for our students. Private Lessons, Adult Lessons and FUNdamentals offer the most specialized, focused instruction at Forte Music School. A year-round curriculum will help our students learn and progress in the best way possible. To learn more about our lessons, call us or take a look here.
Private Lessons are 18-week enrollment based classes with a Fall and Spring semester. Summer lessons are available a-la-cart.
Pre-registration occurs at the end of every Spring semester for the proceeding Fall semester.
Adult Lessons are sold al-la-cart and scheduled accordingly. Monthly lesson purchase is recommended..
FUNdamentals Classes (Group, 3-5 y/o) will be two 8-week programs.
My child doesn’t like to perform. Does he have to do the recitals?
No, we never ask a child to perform in a school concert if they are not comfortable performing in public. They will be encouraged to perform in other small-group performance opportunities throughout the year. There are no parents at these events, just other students and their teachers. This still gives our students a goal that they are working towards throughout the year. These are small master-style classes on the weekends. Children play for each other in an informal, friendly atmosphere. We have observed over many years of teaching children of all ages, that these smaller nurturing settings often provide the experience necessary for our younger or shyer students. They then can be promoted, if they feel ready, to our Concert Events.
Does your school offer performance opportunities?
Yes, we have many Performance options for our students throughout the year. Your teacher and the Director will invite your child to the performance event that will provide your child with the best experience. Please see our Events page for more information about performance opportunities we create especially for our students.
Does your school offer any music certificate programs or exams?
Yes, for our piano programs. We have three teachers who participate in the Oregon Music Teacher's association Syllabus exam as well as the ABRSM exams. These state and national evaluations and certificates are recognized across the country . Student must have been enrolled with us for 6 months years to qualify, and exemplify consistent practice habits.
What books/methods do your teachers use?
While we do not use any one method, our piano teachers generally use the Faber & Faber method books especially for beginner to early intermediate students. We encourage our teachers to use methods of teaching they are most comfortable with and to match material that works best with the student's learning style and goals. Our teachers use supplemental materials beyond our method books to further your child's music education. We also use a variety of fun teaching aids during the lesson to help students understand the more challenging abstract musical concepts. Students really enjoy the variety in their lessons.
How much do you expect the student to practice?
We recommend that beginners practice about 15 minutes per day, 5 days a week. We believe in the 5 days a week format as it allows the student to make choices and they take ownership over their own practicing. Intermediate and Advanced students make that decision with their teacher. We help our students set practice goals that ensure progress each week and balance with the student’s other weekly time commitments. Please read our Studio Policy for more detailed information.
How does the parent know what the student is to practice each week?
Private and Adult lessons have weekly homework and practice assignments.. For these programs, each student should have bring a music assignment binder to lessons each week. Your child’s teacher creates personalized, weekly action steps on customized assignment sheets that outline the student’s practice goals. Here, parent and child can find clear and detailed instructions for success-based pratice. We specialize in providing clear attainable goals, taking the student several steps closer to amazing accomplishments each week. We know the key to retention and on-going music lessons is making sure our students feel confident with the projects they take home with them, clearly understanding their role in the process. Our FUNdamentals program does not have weekly homework in the first portion, but it is often helpful to review the material in their binder with the children at home a few timesbefore the next class so they are prepared to learn materials that build upon what they learned the previous week. Our teachers are excellent at communicating what parents can use at home to support their child’s music education. If further instruction for the parents is needed, feel free to ask your teacher for further assistance or tips.
If we miss a lesson, can we make it up?
There are no refunds for missed lessons, and no guaranteed make-up lessons though we do strive to provide alternate dates for make-up lessons throughout the term. Your lesson time is reserved exclusively for you. The School does not assume any responsibility for missed lessons for any reason. Maximum number of make-up opportunities allowed per student per semester is 4 total. Missed lessons qualifying for makeups are valid through the end of the Summer session of that school year. Please see more information about makeup lessons in our policy here.
How long has the school been in the community?
Forte Music School has been in the Portland area since XXXX and has been in it's current location since XXXX.
How qualified are your teachers?
All of our teachers have Degrees in Music from accredited Universities and have great interpersonal skills with children and adults alike. We only hire teachers who have these qualifications. The director offers supplementary workshops and assistance for the teachers at Forte Music School. Many of our teachers are also involved and accredited through the National Music Teachers Association (NMTA) as well as the Oregon Music Teachers Association (OMTA) . Our teachers are always working on perfecting their craft.
Can we come in and try a trial lesson with more than one teacher?
All of our teachers are excellent and they meet frequently as a teaching team to discuss motivational teaching techniques and the latest methods. Our students benefit from the knowledge of the whole staff here, as well as their own private teacher. If after your first trial lesson, you would like to meet another teacher, you may schedule another trial lesson with the front desk staff. Each trial lesson after the first trial lesson is the price of a full single lesson.
What if we want to stop lessons?
If you need a lesson time change, let our front desk staff know and we will put you on a priority wait list for a new lesson time.
For any reason, if you feel that this school is not right for you, you may withdraw. Request a Forte Music School Withdrawal Form. Using this form, you must provide us with 30 days written notice effective from the date we receive it. You will be refunded a pro-rated amount based on the amount of lessons remaining after date the notice is received.
What about summer lessons?
Private Lessons, Adult Lessons and FUNdamentals are offered year-round. All of our teachers teach through the Summer session, on a limited schedule. (Tuesday - Thursday) Lessons are available to purchase a-la-cart for Private and Adult lessons with a discount for purchasing 5 or more lessons a a time. Summer lesson scheduling is flexible to you and your vacation schedule. We keep track of the lessons you have purchased and you can schedule them at any time throughout the summer. We recommend that all students take lessons during the Summer session so they keep up their practice habits and continue the growth and development they gained throughout the school year.
Our FUNdamentals Classes have a separate Summer session registration. Please contact the Front Desk for more information on Summer FUNdamentals classes.
What is the best month to start lessons?
Our enrollment is on-going, year round. Call our front desk staff anytime to get started and have your first trial lesson or class.
How often are the lessons?
All private lessons are once a week.
How long are the private lessons?
Lessons range in length from:
- 30 min for Beginners/Elementary Level students in their first 1 – 2 years of lessons.
- 45 min for Late-Elementary – Intermediate students in their second to third year of lessons. These lessons give the teacher and your child the best use of time and are highly recommended even for some elementary level students or older beginners.
- 60 min for Intermediate – Advanced Level students beyond their fifth year of lessons. Students in our national and state exam program are taking 1 hour long lessons.
HOW DOES PRORATED TUITION WORK?
We bill private lessons on a semester basis, but you are able to enroll at any time. Tuition is usually paid in full for the semester or is broken into two (2) half-payments. If you enroll during the first five (5) weeks of the semester, your tuition will be pro-rated according to which week you are starting, and then billed in full. Because you are in the first portion of the semester, you have the option of paying in full or half-payment, with the second half-payment due at week 9. If you begin lessons after the first five (5) weeks of the semester, you will be billed the pro-rated amount according to which week you are starting and the payment will be due in full.