Forte Music School

Inspire. Teach. Create.

Jonathan Haidle - Director

Jonathan has a long history with education. After completing a bachelor’s degree in performance and composition from Portland State University, where he studied with Harold Gray and Tom Svaboda, he spent the next several years directing youth music programs for high school students. He later went back to school to get a Masters in Education from Lewis and Clark College. After teaching music, art, math, science and language arts in the public school system, he once again returned to music instruction with a fresh perspective on the learning process. It was primarily Jonathan’s breadth of experience and education that shaped and developed Forte Music Studio’s unique pedagogical approach.


Matt Katz - Assistant Director + Instructor - Piano, Voice

Matt Katz grew up studying piano in Brooklyn, NY. After earning a BFA in studio composition and jazz studies at SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Music,  He went on to tour with dance and pop bands honing skills on keyboard, production, vocals and arranging.  He also spent some time working in music publishing as a sync licensing agent.  Matt began teaching lessons during Senior year of High School privately and has done so steadily ever since, to students of all ages. Besides teaching, Matt also produces records for various singers, bands and artists as well as some film and theater sound work. 

 Matt works with all types of vocalists and pianists from beginner to advanced. He excels at pop, jazz and contemporary theater singing styles and all types of piano study. Matt also teaches music theory, composition, arranging and offers both chamber and solo performance training. He currently holds membership with the Oregon Music Teachers Association (OMTA), and is available to offer Syllabus exams preparation. Matt brings a well rounded approach to learning music, making it priority to achieve each student's individual musical goals, broaden their horizon, and provide tools to make it possible for them to make music with whomever, whenever they choose.


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Jasmine Snyder - Instructor - Piano

As the first in her family to play an instrument, Jasmine enjoyed sharing the beauty she heard with those closest to her. Her initial curiosity of the piano eventually led to more than a decade of study where she grew to love all types of music, but especially classical. She hopes to spark curiosity in her students while providing the support and tools needed to help them reach their musical goals. She is also currently a student at Portland State where she studies Computer Science. When she isn't behind the piano or the computer screen, you can most likely find her rock climbing or trail running. 


Belinda MacDougal - Instructor - Violin

Belinda has been teaching the violin and viola since being awarded a Bachelor of Music, Pedagogy from the Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia in 2001. In 2000 she was also awarded an Associate of Music with Honors from the Australian Music Examinations Board on the viola. She has previously taught a full studio of young violinists and violists in Australia at Tamworth Regional Conservatorium of Music in group and solo lessons. She has also performed as a violist of many different orchestras and in chamber music recitals. Most recently she has taught in her own home studio students of all ages and levels.


Samuel Densmore - Instructor - Guitar, Percussion, Drums

Sam Densmore received his Bachelor of Arts in Music Composition and Technology from Evergreen State College. He has also studied classical guitar at Cornish College of the Arts, Music Production at the Art Institute of Seattle and as a Classical Music major at Southwestern Oregon Community College in his hometown of Coos Bay, Oregon. As a songwriter/guitarist/vocalist, Sam has toured the West Coast extensively, playing concerts, theaters and clubs. He also has a rich recording career as an artist, songwriter, studio musician and producer with literally hundreds of recordings to his credit. When I decided to go to school as a music major, my Dad asked me what I would ever do with an education in that field. I told him I intended to perform, compose, record and teach. That is what I've done. I teach my students the value of musicianship and well roundedness as well as working to inspire them to be creative and have fun playing music. When not at Forte, Sam produces multiple genres of music as a Producer/Recording Engineer, and enjoys performing up and down the West Coast in two bands, Silverhawk and The Jeremy Wilson Band.


Andy McElhatton - Instructor - Guitar

Andy McElhatton started out his younger years heavily involved in sports and competition. Though he didn't begin playing guitar until college, he took lessons he learned in athletics and applied them to his study of music. He quickly realized music was more than a hobby; it was his passion. Andy began studying music formally at Portland Community College. Upon receiving his associate's degree in music through PCC he transferred to Portland State University where he continued his musical education and earned his bachelor's degree. Andy has been teaching students of all ages since. He loves sharing his musical knowledge and passing along the joy one can achieve from learning to play music. Andy's long term goal with each of his students is to prepare them for the ability to teach themseleves how to analyze and approach a new song or musical style. When he is not playing guitar, Andy enjoys reading, exercise, and visiting with family and friends.


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Mahroo Hamedani - Instructor - Piano

Mahroo received her masters in piano performance and pedagogy from Portland State University, after getting her Bachelor of Arts in music with influence in Persian Folk instruments and Piano from University of Tehran.  She also attended post-baccalaureate studies at the University of Oregon in music composition and accompaniment. 

She has been teaching piano for the last 20 years, in addition to being an active performer and accompanist.  Some of her achievements include: Winner of Olsen scholarship at Portland State University - for her level of performance.  And honors and a 3rd place win at the collegiate national piano competition in Iran. 

As an active accompanist, she works with several choirs and instrumentalists.  With Jackson Middle School choir, she has attended choir festivals and national competitions or the last 5 years.  They have performed nationally, at places such as Nashville symphony concert hall.

Mahroo is a certified suzuki teacher, and also works with students who are interested in studying OMTA syllabus. Her students think of her as funny, full of energy and enthusiasm.


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David Shin - Instructor - Drums & Piano

David Shin received his Bachelor of Arts degree in music at George Fox University in 2014. His passion lies in teaching the fundamentals of musical instruments so that his students are well equipped to perform at a high level. He has taught many students in the past 10 years and can proudly say that one of his students has gone on to win the district Solo and Ensemble Competition and onto compete at the State Solo Competition as a freshman in high school for percussion. He hopes to inspire his students to become a lifelong student of music and to become the best they can be.  When he's not teaching music at Forte Music School, he's working as a dedicated financial representative helping business owners and families plan for their retirement and protecting them with catered insurance products.