Local music school expands and launches new classes

Forté Music School, serving the community for over 15 years, has opened a second-floor expansion, adding eight more spacious studios. The school now serves over 700 students and families, with 43 teachers, in a space of over 6,000 square feet with 22 spacious studios.
For the past two years, Forté Music School director Virgil Lupu has been working to expand the school.
“I never thought it would take us this long. It was not easy to find contractors to get the job done during a pandemic. Most everything was on backorder, overpriced, delayed, or postponed, but we somehow pulled through.”

Music FunTime Pre-School students Nia Ball on the triangle, Sophie Espinosa on wood tone block, and Myla Orns on drum sticks with teacher Ms. Chelsea are exploring rhythms.

“When everything shut down we lost over 100 students in 30 days when several families lost their jobs. We were able to keep going through online lessons, and slowly we were able to rebuild back to where we were two years ago. We transitioned back to in-person lessons, but it was not easy. When we reopened, we went far and beyond to ensure the safety of our teachers, students, and parents.” In addition to following all guidelines, UV lights and MARV 13 air filters were installed in the HVAC systems and extra air purifiers were added in waiting areas.

The school has not only expanded but also added a new program. Forté Music School is now the licensee of the internationally acclaimed program, Music FunTime. “For many years, we’ve gotten requests for lessons for 2- to 5-year-olds, and we didn’t really have any options for them except telling them to wait until they turn 5 or 6,” said Lupu, “Now we have options for them. After they complete the Music FunTime curriculum, they will be equipped with the proper tools and ready to start private lessons. They will already know how to read music, understand rhythm, have a general understanding of several instruments, and most importantly, discipline.”
Music FunTime is a year-round curriculum derived from Johns Hopkins Research exploring the connection between math and science through music for children, newborns through 7 years of age.  Small groups of four to six kids per classroom focus on singing, movement, instrument play, nursery rhymes, games, crafts, worksheets, stories, and ear training activities. “We selected this program after carefully looking into all kinds of programs available out there. The word FunTime is attractive to kids, who go to class to have fun, not realizing how much they are actually learning. This program is very hands-on; kids learn music by doing crafts and fun activities,” Lupu explained.
Director Virgil Lupu is an accomplished violinist who started his musical journey at age 5, with a similar early music program and started playing the violin at age 7. He holds a bachelor’s degree in violin performance from Bowling Green State University, and a master’s degree in violin performance from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, earning both degrees while on a full talent-based scholarship. “I myself went through a similar program growing up in Romania, and when I finally found the Music FunTime system, I immediately recognized the value and decided right away to implement it here in the Toledo area.”

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