Our story

The Michael Johnston Music Studio teaches and celebrates music rooted in traditions of diverse Canadian communities. We are comfortable working in many musical styles: folk, pop, jazz, classical, blues, rock, country, indie, and various world musics.

Founded in Toronto in 2006 by Michael Johnston and his wife, Annie McDonald, the Michael Johnston Music Studio provides a wide range of music lessons to people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds.

The Michael Johnston Music Studio started with a handful of students taking lessons in our apartment on Geoffrey Street in 2006.

From 2007 – 2010, hundreds of students came to our home studio on Ridley Gardens for lessons on piano, guitar, accordion, voice, songwriting, recording, and theory.

In September 2010, we opened our music school on Roncesvalles Avenue with four dedicated teaching rooms and space for our March Break and summer music camps.

In February 2018, a new chapter begins for the Michael Johnston Music Studio as we move into our brand-new renovated studio HQ at 2176 Dundas St. W.

We love what we do!

Our philosophy

“Keep playing.”

We believe that music lessons should be, above all, fun.

Challenging, inspiring, eclectic, reflective, engaging, disciplined – yes! – but isn’t it time we all accepted that music-making should be, at its very core, joyful!

Over the years, we have made a simple but powerful discovery: if a student enjoys playing, playing (and progress) will continue.

We believe that feeling comfortable with the fundamentals is the first step on the road to a lifetime of musical enjoyment. We encourage our students to be involved with making decisions about what songs and artists they’d like to study; we supply arrangements and instruction based around that material.

Your favourite Taylor Swift song? A Beethoven composition you’ve always wanted to try? The Beatles? 80s hits from Stranger Things? The snippet of a tune that you made up yourself, that you think might make a great song? All are good starting points! Of course, we have our own suggestions and favourites that we’re happy to share.

We welcome everyone; our only pre-requisite is a love of music, and a desire to learn.