Forte Music School fosters up-and-coming musicians ages 5–adult with its experienced staff, technologically savvy facility, and modern take on musical instruction. In each 30-minute private lesson, neo-noisemakers conquer not only the pillars of traditional music education––including sight reading and music theory––but also their applications to the contemporary worlds of jazz, country, and autotuned college lectures. After mastering the basics of playing chords or improvisation at the hands of their supportive and motivating instructor, students also get to critique their own performances thanks to Forte's in-house recording equipment, which––much like a polygraph-tested Liza Minelli––provides a truthful and unbiased account of both positive and negative musical moments.
Fresh off a hit debut album—which saw airplay in the US and 11 other countries—and a recent sophomore album, Ryan Meagher (pronounced “Marr”) is making serious waves in the jazz community. Lauded by publications such as JazzTimes and Cadence Magazine, Meagher fills his compositions with traditionally jazzy melodies and contemporary rock influences. He honed his chops with a music scholarship to San Diego State University, as well as by playing with legendary jazz musicians such as Wynton Marsalis. He proceeded to earn a Master of Music from the University of Nevada–Reno, and now splits his time between the East and West Coasts where he teaches and focuses on creating what he describes as “jazz music for the indie rocker.”
Blue Room Music Lessons teaches potential Neil Youngs and even smaller Lil' Waynes, ages 4 and older, how to be the best guitar player, bass player, violinist, singer, pianist, or composer they can be. Toe-tappin' tutelage unveils the star strummer within, enlisting the expertise of the academy's arsenal of teachers, comprised of skilled music producers, published songwriters, and experienced performers. Classes can focus on basics, including music fundamentals and avoiding hearing loss while smashing guitars, or work on original music composition.
Christopher Hayes' two decades of guitar playing have been kind to him: he received an endorsement from P.K. Thompson Guitars, and his recordings have been used on TV shows such as Dawson's Creek and Army Wives. During private lessons, he passes his skills onto beginner and intermediate players, imparting the particulars of everything from acoustic folk and finger style to ragtime and Celtic music.
Owner Mike Urquhart takes his business's name to heart: the learning center draws on the talents of three generations of Urquharts, from his business-manager father all the way down to his grade-school-aged daughter Julia, who assists with piano lessons and administration. Signs bearing messages such as "No practicing: only play for fun" and "Mistakes are always welcome" embody the teachers' philosophy that no amount of technical skill can substitute for the sheer joy of playing, singing, and finally figuring out how to snap the fingers on both hands at once. The school's specialty group classes—some held in the new, 2,500-square-foot piano learning center—foster self-confidence with weekly performance opportunities, and the curriculum of songs can include anything from classical compositions to classical rock.