About

We believe that more music means a better world.

At Forte, we are creating access to education and instruments, breaking down technical and geographical barriers, and empowering a better learning experience. Or rather, doing whatever it takes to inspire more music. With the right teacher, you can reach your goals faster and have more fun getting there. And now, the right teacher doesn’t have to live near you.

Meet The Team

The Forte team has over 100 years of collective experience in music and education.

Members of the team have studied at, held senior positions at, or led major strategic initiatives for institutions such as Juilliard, Berklee College of Music, the Royal College of Music, and The Grammys. Others have held key positions at some of the most innovative technology companies in the world, including Magic Leap and Rosetta Stone. Every member of the team is a musician: some are professionals, some are beginners, but all are passionate about bringing more music into the world.

Bio +
Coming from a traditional finance background, Jeewan has helped build and scale multiple companies by taking ownership of finance, data, and capital raising strategy; he was most recently supporting Infarm’s expansion across North America. While he leads financial planning and data analytics at Forte, he also provides support across all operational verticals.

Jeewan Singh

Head of Financial Planning & Analysis

Bio +
Liam has over fifteen years of experience both teaching and performing at the highest levels. He is a graduate of Juilliard and performs regularly with The New York Philharmonic and The Metropolitan Opera. His eyes, ears, and ideas are what drive the development of Forte into a tool that musicians love and trust. Check out his website at williamblakeday.com

Liam Day

Artistic and Education Director

Bio +
Will is a product designer turned software engineer. He has been playing music since he was a kid and is unbelievably excited to combine his passions for music and code to help build some awesome music education tools. In his free time he produces music, jams on modular synths and spends too much time making hand-pressed espresso.

Will Justice

Software Engineer

Bio +
Lucas has worked for 7+ years in the startup space empowering musicians. He's worked internationally in China and Sweden managing tours and producing events for industry executives. He acts as Head of Community at Forte overseeing growth and retention of music teachers on our platform.

Lucas Carbonneau

Head of Community

Bio +
Mike loves writing software that people love to use. He has been a CTO at some cool companies — including Rosetta Stone and Capital One Labs. Mike is thrilled to be building the products and platforms that will make high-quality, online music education a reality for Forte’s community of teachers and students.

Mike Fulkerson

Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer

Bio +
Mark is a longtime advisor to some of the world’s top music institutions, including the Royal College of Music, Juilliard, Berklee, and The Grammys. He has led the development of music education programs that have reached over 200,000 students across North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.

Mark Murtagh

Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer

Bio +
Andrew is an engineer at Forte. In his free time, he is a violinist in chamber groups and community orchestras around New York City.

Andrew Westling

Software Engineer

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Ashley has spent over 17 years in marketing and development serving organizations in the arts and education sectors, including Alvin Ailey and Stanford. Her main role at Forte is in content creation and management, and she also consults on marketing strategy.

Ashley Pitman

Marketing Strategy Consultant

Bio +
Dan comes to Forte with a background in music education and arts administration, having taught K-12 music for several years and worked at various institutions, including Berklee and MIT. At Forte, he oversees the daily operations and customer service for the company, and manages Forte's educational programming with institutional partners, like the Royal College of Music, Boston Conservatory at Berklee, and the Curtis.

Dan Fryburg

Director of Operations and Partnerships

Bio +
Chandler is a marketing professional that has worked in the nonprofit, start-up, and education sectors. She's a member of the growth team, focusing on direct outreach to musicians and music-focused organizations.

Chandler Pettigrew

Marketing Project Coordinator

Bio +
Matt discovered programming in middle school, where it quickly became a passion. After graduating with a major in Computer Science, he worked at two startups and then co-founded a boutique software development studio where he worked for seven years. At Forte, he uses this experience to define, design, and develop the technical solutions that make the Forte platform run.

Matt Jeanes

Software Engineer

Bio +
Hunter started Forte with the dream of empowering more people to become musical. He has experience advancing music through technology at CAA and Magic Leap.

Hunter McGranahan

Co-founder and Chief Product Officer

In early 2020, Mark Murtagh received a phone call from Hunter McGranahan wanting to catch up on the current landscape of music education. An hour later, Forte was born. Mark was a strategic advisor helping top-tier music schools like Juilliard, Berklee, and the Royal College of Music expand their global reach. His goal was, and still is, to create more access to high-quality music education. Hunter was leading the development of a tech startup’s music education platform which aimed to create a more impactful learning experience. He dreamed of empowering more people to believe they could learn to play an instrument. Together, these two non-musicians leveraged their shared dreams, industry experience, and love of music to create a first-of-its-kind online music education platform.

While the need for better access has always been present, in 2020 it was acute. Forte shared its genesis with the rise of the Covid-19 virus. Around the globe, musicians were silenced. Performing income disappeared, and teaching income became reliant on video calling tools built for business meetings. Struggling to hear students’ instruments through these platforms left teachers grasping for a way to make teaching work online. In this time of need, Forte got to work: They went to the leadership at the world’s top music schools to discover what would help them sustain their educational mission.

To make online music lessons effective, Mark and Hunter first had to perfect Forte’s audio. Liam Day, a performer with the New York Philharmonic, Juilliard alumnus, and the now Artistic and Educational Director at Forte, was brought on to be the set of musician ears that the founders lacked. With Liam on board, they began the rigorous testing and fine-tuning that led to the development of Forte Pure Audio. They then began testing their new audio software in pilot programs with The Curtis Institute, Royal College of Music, and Berklee College of Music. If it worked for those demanding institutions, it could work for everyone. Six months later, with excellent feedback from their conservatory partners, Mark and Hunter began sharing Forte with teachers around the world.

Since video calling through a computer is a recent and rapidly-evolving phenomenon, the team needed a technical leader with deep experience growing a tech platform. Mike Fulkerson soon joined as Forte’s Chief Technology Officer. Formerly the CTO of Rosetta Stone, Mike helped build the world’s first trusted language education software. He now aims to do the same in music education.

Today, Forte is being used by thousands of music teachers and students across the globe and is committed to continuing to innovate in partnership with music teachers.

The idea

In early 2020, Mark Murtagh received a phone call from Hunter McGranahan wanting to catch up on the current landscape of music education. An hour later, Forte was born. Mark was a strategic advisor helping top-tier music schools like Juilliard, Berklee, and the Royal College of Music expand their global reach. His goal was, and still is, to create more access to high-quality music education. Hunter was leading the development of a tech startup’s music education platform which aimed to create a more impactful learning experience. He dreamed of empowering more people to believe they could learn to play an instrument. Together, these two non-musicians leveraged their shared dreams, industry experience, and love of music to create a first-of-its-kind online music education platform.

The challenge

While the need for better access has always been present, in 2020 it was acute. Forte shared its genesis with the rise of the Covid-19 virus. Around the globe, musicians were silenced. Performing income disappeared, and teaching income became reliant on video calling tools built for business meetings. Struggling to hear students’ instruments through these platforms left teachers grasping for a way to make teaching work online. In this time of need, Forte got to work: They went to the leadership at the world’s top music schools to discover what would help them sustain their educational mission.

The launch

To make online music lessons effective, Mark and Hunter first had to perfect Forte’s audio. Liam Day, a performer with the New York Philharmonic, Juilliard alumnus, and the now Artistic and Educational Director at Forte, was brought on to be the set of musician ears that the founders lacked. With Liam on board, they began the rigorous testing and fine-tuning that led to the development of Forte Pure Audio. They then began testing their new audio software in pilot programs with The Curtis Institute, Royal College of Music, and Berklee College of Music. If it worked for those demanding institutions, it could work for everyone. Six months later, with excellent feedback from their conservatory partners, Mark and Hunter began sharing Forte with teachers around the world.

The future

Since video calling through a computer is a recent and rapidly-evolving phenomenon, the team needed a technical leader with deep experience growing a tech platform. Mike Fulkerson soon joined as Forte’s Chief Technology Officer. Formerly the CTO of Rosetta Stone, Mike helped build the world’s first trusted language education software. He now aims to do the same in music education.

Today, Forte is being used by thousands of music teachers and students across the globe and is committed to continuing to innovate in partnership with music teachers.