Forte Music Studios
"Lessons for All ~ Learn to Play"
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THANK YOU for visiting Forte Music Studios online! We strive to provide a positive environment where "Lessons for All ~ Learn to Play" is more than a casual phrase. Music at Forte is taught by expert, professional instructors to students of all ages who learn through both study and performance. (Click on the Instructors link above.)

FORTE is located in "The House on the Corner at the Crossroads of Music" where Route 3 and Highway 1 meet in Fredericksburg. We are open regularly from 3:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday. Our phone number is 540-899-6787 (540-899-OPUS).  We cordially invite you to stop by and see what we do! 

OUR GOAL is to share our knowledge and love of music with each student in an individual setting. At Forte Music Studios our experienced and enthusiastic instructors teach bass, cello, Chapman stick, clarinet, drum, flute, French horn, guitar, music theory, oboe, piano, recorder, saxophone, trombone, trumpet, tuba, viola, violin and voice lessons.  Whether you have a musical background -- or have never before taken a music lesson -- there is a place for you at Forte.  

"Dude, it's time you
learned how to play
that thing. You need
to call Forte."
"So Dude, you wrote a country song about your poor grandma, to the tune of 'On Top of Old Smokey,' and it starts like this: 
She jumps like a rabbit, She stinks like a skunk. 
Whenever she has it, Poor Grandma looks drunk." 
... "Yeah, sweet isn't it?" ... "And I'm guessing there's a second verse." . . . "Absolutely! Ready to hear it?" . . . "Oh yeah, I can hardly wait. Hit me with it." . . . "OK, here goes:
We don't know what ails her, We don't know what's wrong.
We feel like we failed her. It's gone on so long." 
... "And tell me again. What are you trying to accomplish with this song?" ... "It's to convince Forte to keep me on their website. I hear a few uncultured folks want to kick me off. Can you believe that?" ... "Oh, man, words are failing me right now." ...   (to be continued)

    " The House on the Corner ...
  ... At the Crossroads of Music"

    Where Route 3 Meets Highway 1 in Fredericksburg

    540-899-OPUS     (540-899-6787)

THE POPULAR "ROCK FOR STRINGS" class, led by nationally acclaimed bassist Brittany Frompovich, will continue this summer at Forte, beginning June 23. Sessions are held on Monday evenings at 7:30. The experience is open to students of all ages, who will have the opportunity to learn theory, orchestration and arranging, select pieces to work on, and then arrange them for groups as small as a duo or as large as the entire class. Students work on practicing pieces and getting a "rock edge" to their sound. Ms. Frompovich has a library of rock tunes, already arranged for orchestra, from which students will be able to select pieces. She adds: "We also look at electric string instruments, the use of effects, setting up a pedal board and the effects chain. We are working to plan a performance before the end of the class."

For more information about "Rock for Strings," you may call Forte at 540-899-6787, email Brittany Frompovich directly at  Click here to see a recent newspaper story about the class that appeared in the Culpepper Times. "The class does require some work and practice time," says Ms. Frompovich. "It is also a lot of fun for everyone involved!"

FORTE IS PLEASED TO WELCOME five instructors who have begun teaching with us over the past several months.  They -- and the instruments they teach -- are:

Mike Dougherty (Guitar)
Jeff Gordon (Introductory Violin and Viola)
Luke Gray (Guitar, Violin, Viola, Chapman Stick, Bass)
Ashland Hoover (Piano, Viola/Violin)
Aaron Noe (Trumpet)

These new teachers are highly qualified, experienced and well known in the Fredericksburg area music community. We are fortunate that they have chosen to bring their exceptional talents to students at Forte. To read biographies of each new teacher, as well as all other Forte instructors, please go to the Instructors page on this website.

As we welcomed four new teachers, we also said good-bye to four instructors who have made numerous contributions to the music education of their students for a number of years. Ed Dickerson has moved to Texas to explore opportunities in the vibrant music environment of Austin. Jason Lewis accepted a short-term Christian teaching position in South Korea. He has now returned to the U.S. and is teaching strings in Washington, D.C. Elizabeth Piller recently married. She and her husband first moved to Wisconsin and have now settled in New Jersey. Reba Winstead accepted a full-time job in Northern Virginia, closer to her home in Alexandria. All of us miss these four "Forte veterans," and we offer them our heartfelt appreciation and enthusiastic best wishes!
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BRIGHT BEGINNINGS MUSIC TOGETHER -- music and movement classes for infants, toddlers and preschoolers -- offers the opportunity to sing, dance, play and have fun with your child in an informal environment. Classes are offered four times each week in Fredericksburg, with one additional weekly class in King George. 

Weekly, 45-minute classes include songs, rhythmic rhymes, movement, and instrument play. These activities are presented as informal, non-performance-oriented musical experiences – developmentally appropriate for children (ages 0-5) and easy for parents and caregivers – regardless of their own musical ability.
Robyn Bauer, Center Director, has enjoyed teaching Music Together® since 2008 and started Bright Beginnings in 2013. She was a Suzuki violin student starting at age six, and also teaches the Suzuki method professionally. She performs regularly in several different orchestras and ensembles in the Fredericksburg area and works as a freelance violin soloist. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music from James Madison University, and has also taught Elementary School music and worked at a local radio station. In addition to the violin, Robyn loves to sing and play the guitar, piano, ukelele, blades of grass, and any other instrument she can get into her hands!

This summer, a shorter-than-usual session begins on July 8 and continues for seven weeks.  No classes will he held the week of August 11-17. Classes at Forte Music Studios are held on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays.  There is also a class on Fridays in Stafford County. For more information about Bright Beginnings Music Together, you may call Robyn Bauer at 540-315-1039 or email her at: For a link to the Bright Beginnings Music Together website (, click here.


LANE DRUM, highly respected and popular Forte guitar instructor -- in cooperation with Rappahannock Big Brothers Big Sisters of Fredericksburg -- is teaching guitar lessons to several young people once monthly at Forte. Roberson's Music and Forte Music Studios are assisting Mr. Drum by providing guitars for the students to use. "We are very proud of Lane Drum for volunteering his time and energy to this program," said Young Devereaux, Forte instructor-owner, "and we are pleased to partner with Roberson's in supporting what Lane is doing to enhance musical opportunities for youth in our community." The photographs below were taken during the first Big Brothers Big Sisters guitar class at Forte on January 26.

CAROL JENSEN has recently begun greeting students and visitors with a warm and friendly smile at the Forte front desk two days each week. Carol was born in West Virginia, grew up mostly in Delaware, and has lived in Virginia since 1990. She retired in 2010 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, having worked 30 years for ASCS (Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service) in West Virginia, Virginia and Washington, D.C.  Carol has two daughters, two granddaughters and two grandsons. She and her husband, who also retired in 2010, live in Hartwood with their two dogs. We are very happy to welcome her to Forte!
"GRADUATING SENIORS ~ A MUSICAL SHOWCASE" was presented by Forte Music Studios on Sunday, May 4, at 2:30 p.m. at Peace United Methodist Church in Fredericksburg. The program featured solo selections by several Forte students who are graduating from high school this year, plus presentations by the Virginia Cello Ensemble. "We also recognized Matthew Zisi as this year's recipient of the Christine D. Hartigan Senior Scholarship," said Young Devereaux, Forte instructor/owner. Matthew is a home school graduate who will attend the University of Oklahoma at Norman.  Ms. Hartigan, for whom the scholarship is named, founded Forte Music Studios in 2005 and continues as a Forte cello instructor and director of the Virginia Cello Ensembles.  

The program was followed by an informal reception with light refreshments and an opportunity to greet the performers.  "All the performers worked very hard to prepare for this occasion," added Devereaux. In addition to Matthew Zisi, other graduating performers were: Dylan Cloyd, a cellist who is graduating from Colonial Forge High School and will attend Virginia Commonwealth University; Tatiana DeRieux, a flutist and home school student who plans to attend Old Dominion University; Mary Engbert, a pianist and home school student who will attend Christendom College; and Madeline Southall, a cellist who is graduating from Fredericksburg Christian School and plans to attend Liberty University.  At Forte, Madeline and Dylan are students of Christine Hartigan, Tatiana is a student of Tina Christie, Mary is a student of Wesley Hockaday, and Matthew is a student of Ron Barricklow.
Pictured at left, following the Forte Music Studios recital program at Peace Methodist Church on May 4, are graduating seniors (standing from left) Madeline Southall, Tatiana DeRieux, Dylan Cloyd, Matthow Zisi and (seated) Mary Engbert. Shown above are Matthew Zisi (right) and his Forte Music Studios violin/viola instructor Ron Barricklow, who is also Orchestra Director at Brook Point High School and Stafford Middle School in Stafford County.  For more recital pictures, see the Calendar/Pix page on this website.
MATTHEW ZISI, recipient of the "Christine D. Hartigan Forte Music Scholarship" for 2014, will enroll this fall at the University of Oklahoma in Norman. He plans to major in music (piano performance) and political science. Matthew grew up in Rockville, Maryland, and moved with his family to Fredericksburg in 2005. He is a home school student and has studied piano since the age of four.  He began violin lessons at Forte in early 2010 and added viola last year. Ron Barricklow has been his instructor for almost four years. Matthew has performed with the Fredericksburg Area Young Musicians, the Forte Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Rappahannock Pops.  He also serves as pianist at Bethel Reformed Presbyterian Church. In 2012, Matthew won the Mary Smart Competition for piano students from throughout Virginia. About two years ago, Matthew began composing music, and he finished second this year in the Virginia Federation of Music Clubs Junior Composers' Contest. Two of his compositions were performed during the May 4 Forte recital. Matthew is the son of Christopher and Jeanine Zisi. His sister Victoria will be a tenth-grade student next year.

When asked about his lifelong interest in music, Matthew responded: "I plan to study music in college because I love it so much. I'm not exactly sure if I can put the reason into words. Perhaps the best way to understand this is to listen to a piece by a great composer, such as Chopin, or Beethoven, or Tchaikovsky. You may not be able to say exactly what you like about the music you hear. But you will enjoy it, nonetheless. The only way to truly understand what is so great about music is to listen to it."  But in addition to his passion for music, Matthew is interested in government and politics. He enjoys watching various sports, and he is the author of six mystery books that are available for purchase on
BRITTANY FROMPOVICH, organizer/founder of the Virginia Bass Forum, will join a group of talented musicians for a concert at Forte Music Studios in Fredericksburg at 5:00 p.m. this Sunday, July 13.  

The concert line-up features bassists from throughout the country, including Darren Michaels, of Atlanta, who is known for his funky grooves and original songwriting. Scott Griffin, a performer and music teacher from Virginia Beach, will feature the four-string bass. Ben Titus, of Milwaukee, will showcase rock, jazz and fusion to original and cover songs on both electric and upright bass. Frompovich, of Fredericksburg, will offer poignant and earthy performances of original and cover songs on both electric bass and the electric upright bass.  

A music teacher at Forte Music Studios, Pickers Supply and her private studio, Lady Bass Music, Frompovich graduated Cum Laude from Bloomsburg University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Applied Double Bass and Audio Recording. She has performed on double bass and electric bass for orchestral music, Celtic rock, jazz, rock, rhythm & blues and funk in several area bands. She is also a highly regarded solo artist. Frompovich performs throughout the country and has participated in clinics, including Gerald Veasley’s Bass Boot Camp, Bass BreakLive, The Bass Coalition’s Summer Workshop, Adam Nitti’s Music Dojo, the Rappahannock Music Summer Camp, the Washington Music Bass Day Camp Summit, Deep Groove Bass Day and the Virginia Bass Forum.

The Virginia Bass Forum concert on July 13 is open to the public. Interested persons can visit for tickets in advance ($10 recommended donation). Tickets are also available at the door.  (Thanks to Lenora Kruk-Mullanaphy for providing this article.)