Music Schools Toronto

7 specialized music schools in Toronto

Music schools in Toronto are certainly available in abundance, with the majority offering a smorgasbord of musical pursuits and instrument instruction. With so many schools in Toronto, from the Royal Conservatory of Music to nearly every grungy guitar shop basement, there are those that emerge to distinguish themselves by virtue of the lessons they offer or the mantra they tote. So if you've ever yearned to participate (musically, that is) in Toronto's Caribana parade, start your own rock band, or mix to the likes of Pauly D (God help you), the following may be the music schools for you. Here are seven specialized music schools in Toronto.

On the Off Beat Music School
On the Off Beat is an ensemble-based school, meaning participants must play well with others (pun intended). Located in Leslieville and operated by a husband and wife musical pair, students who come for one-on-one lessons are eventually encouraged to join a group once they reach the appropriate skill level. Ensembles at On the Off Beat include everything from Latin percussion to jazz trios, and, of course, pop and rock bands.

Ukulele High School
For those to yearn to recreate Zooey Deschanel and Joe Gordon-Levitt's aww-inspiring "New Year's Eve" rendition. Ukulele High School is more of a workshop hub than a regular music school, hosting "uke-centric" events including three-hour introductory workshops and multi-session kid and adult paired classes. Most workshops are either held at Evergreen Brick Works or in Corktown, with an option of buying your first uke from the school for $50.

Toronto School for Strings
No harp or mandolin, but just about everything else. Toronto School for Strings offers lessons in violin, viola, cello, bass, piano, guitar and electric bass, and the occasional flute instruction — but don't say that last one out loud. With programs for kids and adults, the school offers private, half-hour lessons starting at $26, a cost that won't hurt at all compared to the calluses you are sure to develop. Most classes are held at the school's studio off Yonge and Bloor.

Toronto Flute School
Here, we can talk about the aforementioned flute. Perpetually the nerdy (nerdiest?) kid in the band, flautists can flourish at the Toronto Flute School. Offering instruction for kids as young as four, students of all ages can learn to play through individual or group lessons, in English or en français. Nothing nerdy about that, right? Lessons are held at Toronto Flute School's studio on Castlefield near Eglinton and Allen Road.

Ontario College of Percussion and Music
From the nerdiest to the notoriously most badass, the Ontario College of Percussion and Music is where many Toronto drummers learn to hone their skills. Because there's nothing more badass than formal training, right? The college does offer other music instruction including guitar, keyboard, and electric bass, though drums are its main beat, so to speak. For the casual student, the school has instruments available for rent and private lessons that can be scheduled on a weekly basis.

Off Centre DJ School
Some simply call it "noise," but the DJ community (and beyond) would certainly assert that scratching is a musical art. Plus, if you do it live, you usually get free drinks. Off Centre at Gerrard and Jones hosts DJ workshops, camps, and full DJ courses, breeding future DJ pros, and, at the very least, converting a few skeptic friends. The school runs regular weekend workshops where students can try out their mixing skills for $100.

(Steel Pan) Treble Clef Music School
Not a specialized school, per se, but Treble Clef does offer an unusual realm of music study among a few other typical options — steel pan lessons. The not-for-profit school in Downsview Park offers classes for child and adult would-be steel pan players, as well as technique classes for advanced players. You'll leave with the ability to play way to play Arrow's "Hot Hot Hot" in the only way that won't sound totally ineffectual and lame.

Photo by ~EvidencE~ in the blogTO Flickr pool

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