Music lessons in Toronto
Music lessons in Toronto are available in such a diverse spectrum of styles, instruments, methods, and of course neighborhoods that aspiring musicians can count themselves among the luckiest in the world. While we've made special picks for guitar lessons and piano lessons, here we've assembled our best bets to learn drums, string and wind instruments, accordion, harmonica, lute (yes lute) — you name it, you can probably find an instructor who will teach it. The hills are alive with the sound of music, and of course by hills I do mean gentle slopes and inclines of the GTA (this might be the right time to mention that song writing classes are available, too).
The Royal Conservatory of Music
Founded in 1886 by Edward Fisher as The Toronto Conservatory of Music The Royal Conservatory of Music, here you can learn guitar, opera singing, Broadway singing, composition, saxophone, piano, violin (to name a few) in a building designated a National Historic Site of Canada. Beginners are welcome.
Long & McQuade
Long & McQuade offer private music lessons as through their stores/rental shops. Beginners, intermediate players and hopeful professionals can study piano, guitar, various brass and woodwind instruments like trumpet and flute, violin and viola, drums, cello, saxophone, clarinet, double bass, and singing. Group instruction is available to as well. Students can generally select one of an array of musical styles such as rock, classical, jazz, blues, and pop, and lessons can be customized to each students' skill level. Various locations.
Toronto Institute for Enjoyment of Music
Try saying (or singing) "Toronto Institute for Enjoyment of Music" fast five times -- bet you can't do it, but I bet you'll remember it now. This hip school near Trinity Bellwoods Park lets you get to know each of their instructors online, and offers lessons on the basics like guitar, piano, and voice, plus banjo, harmonica, ukulele, saxophone, brass instruments, violin and viola, drums, and more. They'll instruct you just on theory, composition, or digital music, and turn the fun up to the max with group ukulele classes, youth band, choir, adult string ensemble, and drop in guitar group lessons. Students of all ages are accepted.
Girls Rock Camp
This day camp takes place every summer at the Tranzac in the Annex. Girls aged 8 - 16 can spend a week learning various instruments, playing in a band, writing songs, and performing in a final concert. Plus, programming also touches on zine making, media literacy, and more. It's a pretty rad, fun way for girls to learn new skills, gain confidence, and make friends who love music as much as they do. More girls in the pit, forever!
Drums don't get enough love. This 30 year old family-run business in North York is all about love for drums: they sell drums, they teach drums, and they probably drum on stuff when they're out running errands. Individualized private lessons in their studios cover "practical technique, music theory, rhythm studies, stick control, rudimental training, and endless drumming patterns."
Bloor West Music Studios
This school near Bloor and Jane offers private lessons in piano, guitar, electric guitar, voice, drums, flute, saxophone, clarinet, recorder, electric bass, classical guitar and French horn. Students have a huge range of choice in styles, between classical, jazz, rock, pop, Broadway musical, gospel, and blues. They'll also prep you for the Royal Conservatory of Music exams, and the first lesson is free.
These classes are just for kids — tiny kids, we're talking ages 0 - 5. Parents get involved, playing games, clapping hands, singing songs, and learning instruments like bongos, tambourines, clave sticks, maracas, and drums along with the tots. They have locations all over the GTA.
Toronto Music Academy of Canada
Toronto Music Academy of Canada offers private lessons for piano, violin, cello, flute, and clarinet in North York. You won't find any rock band programs or pop sheet music here: music theory is a major player, and the teachers stick to baroque, classical, romantic and modern styles in a conservatory like experience. They'll prep you for your Royal Conservatory of Music exams, or help you get into music schools of your choosing around the world.
Beyond the Beat
Just north of the Beaches, Beyond the Beat will give you private lessons for guitar, bass, drums, piano and vocals. They also have a band performance program, group theory training, song writing courses, and a state of the art recording studio. Students of all levels can get their start or continue their education here.
Cosmo is a "musical instrument superstore," but it's also one of the best schools you can find in Richmond Hill. Their School of Music offers private and group lessons. Styles they cover include classical, rock, blues, jazz, celtic, flamenco, metal, country and pop, so you're sure to find something you're into. Instruments they offer private lessons for cover everything from guitar to tuba and from recorder to mandolin. Music therapy is available too.
Find a Way
Find a Way Recording Studio & Music School sells instruments and teaches bass, brass (trumpet and trombone), drums, voice, guitar, piano, strings, wind (flute, sax, etc) and other cool stuff like song writing, recording and engineering, and song writing. Private lessons and group rates are both offered, and they'll give you a rebate if you take the TTC, bike or walk to your lesson. They have three locations around the city.
On the Off Beat
For ages 5 to adult, On the Off Beat will teach private lessons for bass, cello, drums, flute or fife (fife!), guitar, piano, violin, and voice. Cool ensembles are available from this east end school as well, such as youth rock band, 4 - 8 hand piano, jazz trio, latin drumming, and chamber ensemble. All their teachers are professional musicians.
Toronto Singing Studio
Stephen Malkmus once said quite wisely "a voice coach taught me to sing, he couldn't teach me to love" — but we're not here to learn loving. If you want to get your voice in tune, Toronto Singing Studio can help you through lessons, choirs or group classes. Styles range from pop, jazz, musical theatre, folk, classical and sacred. Choirs rehearse at Bloor Street United Church. Various locations.
Lippert Music Centre
With 50 years in the business, this East York school has the basics down, from piano and voice to guitar, drums, and bass to woodwind and string instruments. They offer high school credits, and tax deductions, and home lessons are available too. Various musical styles can be selected (pop, rock, classical) for most instruments and theory and masterclasses take place too — if you're looking to take Royal Conservatory of Music Exams, they'll get you ready. While all ages are welcome, students under 18 years of age with 1 year experience or more can "learn the art of creating a rock band" in the School of Hard Rock.
Canada Music Academy
Canadian Music Academy has a huge repertoire of teachers, meaning you have a lot of lessons to chose from. For instance if you like your instruments with strings, you'll have to decide between guitar, bass, upright bass, mandolin, lute, oud, harp, banjo, ukulele, dobro, and autoharp. What else can you learn? Accordian, piano, voice, brass, woodwind, DJ-ing, song writing... yeah, they've got it all covered. Teachers are divided into neighbourhoods such as The Annex and The Beaches (or Hamilton), and you can decide if you'd like to study in your home, or the home of the instructor. Group lessons are often available depending on the instrument. Various locations.
Red House Music Academy
This school at Ossington and Dundas offers "School of Rock" style lessons on a month to month basis for guitar, piano, voice, drums and percussion. They also have a beginner and an intermediate practice session called "The Band" where faculty members and students play together, jam, and create a live set.
This Danforth academy offers tons of eclectic lessons including Greek bouzoki, Turkish saz, and Arabic oud — but of course standard lessons like piano, drums, guitar and bass, voice, sax, and violin are available too. All levels of experience are welcome. They offer consultations, performance and recording opportunities, song writing instruction, rock band programs, greek band, and summer camps.
Photo by jer1961