An Albertville couple is hoping a new business venture can complement the St. Michael-Albertville community’s expanding interest in music and the arts.
Lynn and Brad Cedegren are busy working on opening Forte Music Academy, which will premiere later this month, right next to Kremer’s Toy and Hobby in the mall just off County Road 37, west of Culver’s.
“We’ve been residents here since 2007, and had always wanted to establish a business closer to home, and the timing seems about perfect,” Brad said. “We’re really seeing a growing interest in arts with some of the other community theater and music groups here.”
“There’s a definite need,” Lynn added. “With the number of kids in the community and options they have, it’s tough to find lessons.”
Brad was one of the chief members of the Riff Factory in Roseville, a popular destination for guitar players across the Twin Cities metro. The business model changed a few years ago, Brad said, partly due to a need to expand to new musicians, beyond just guitar players.
“I think we probably changed a bit too fast, and we lost everyone,” he said.
That, and a trip overseas (Brad, an Elk River grad, was in the Army National Guard) really paved the way for change, the Cedegrens said. And in December of last year, a Realtor Brad was introduced to sent him over to meet Ruth Kremer, co-owner of Kremer Toy and Hobby.
“She was just so helpful. We told her about the idea and you could see how excited she was about the possibility,” Brad said. “Once we knew it was going to go forward, she promoted it via her Facebook page and people just started coming to our page and asking questions.”
That Realtor was Sheila Zachman of CRS. She helped ink the deal that made Forte and Kremer neighbors.
Most, if not all, of the details are getting ironed out this spring. Forte will offer voice, instrument (violin, drum, bass, mandolin, guitar and viola) and piano lessons. Music theory will be taught. Everything will be coordinated by Lynn and Brad, but there will be plenty of help from teachers who are, essentially, working as contractors for Forte Music.
“They’ll pretty much be able to set it up and do it how they are comfortable with it, and that’s OK with us,” Brad said. “We have people who have a lot of experience here in STMA. One is a recent graduate of the high school who is wrapping up college We want this to be a community place that really feels like it’s ours.”
Lessons will be geared, mainly, for those age 6 and up. Voice lessons are best for those 9 and up, but it will be up to each individual voice coach on what age they want to get started.
A grand opening week will coincide with Albertville Friendly City Days weekend, starting June 9 (AFCD starts the 11th). Hours will be Monday through Thursday from 3 to 8 p.m., but some instructors will have differing schedules, Lynn said.
“We’ll work with the schools in the fall, as well; and also get times that work with charter school kids and those that are home schooled,” she added.
For more, check out Forte Music Academy on Facebook, where you can follow the renovation of their space next to Kremer Toy and Hobby in the mall.