About

Our story

The Michael Johnston Music Studio – located at 119A Roncesvalles Ave. in Toronto – 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, a new chapter began for the Michael Johnston Music Studio, with a dedicated music studio open at 119A Roncesvalles Avenue.

Our 7th-annual Michael Johnston Music Studio Student Recital and Spring Celebration, held over four Sunday afternoons in April/May 2014, featured over 170 student performers playing piano, guitar, bass, drums, accordion and singing on stage at Hugh’s Room in Toronto.

We love what we do!

Our philosophy

“Keep playing.”

(We’d trademark it if we knew how)

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 Beatles song? A Beethoven composition you’ve always wanted to try? Adele? 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.

“…a community within a community...a place where people come together to share their gifts and celebrate all things music.  We most certainly are grateful for what you have given to our each of our girls and brought to our family and home – a place where the music and the singing never stops!!”  – Brigeen, parent