About Us

We have been in business for for over 25 years and give high quality music lessons to all levels and ages of students.
We are heavily involved in the music community and hire only professional teachers that understand what it is like to learn an instrument and what it takes to be successful.
We offer Piano lessons, guitar lessons, voice lessons, drum lessons and much more.
Please check out our lessons page for more detail.

CMCLessons

Check out Julie Van Rosendaal’s, a reporter for CBC News, story below about our cafe to learn more!

Eat to the beat at the Cornerstone Music Cafe

They’re seeing a surge of older musicians wanting to scratch an instrument off their bucket lists

sylvia-johnston
There’s a tiny music school in Deer Ridge, near the entrance to Fish Creek Park, that has been in the same spot for 27 years — the first occupant of the strip mall it calls home.

Kids and grown ups have been learning guitar, drums, piano, saxophone and violin and honing their voices in the private rooms in the back ever since.

When Sylvia Johnston came to the studio as a receptionist — an unsuccessful attempt to leave the food industry — she found herself daydreaming about how the space could be better utilized, how it could become more of a community hub.

She and her now-husband, Jim — who was (and still is) an instructor at the studio — took the place over, gave it a makeover and reopened in the fall of 2011.

Cornerstone Music Cafe was born.

Today, there’s a fancy cappuccino machine and Cafe Rosso beans, food made from scratch and beer and wine on offer in the front to make parents’ waits easier.
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On the walls, black-and-white photos show that both music and food run in the family: Johnston at age four, whipping cream with Jetson-esque hand beaters, her grandmother in her cafe in Irvine (a hamlet east of Medicine Hat) and her husband as a toddler playing piano.

Cornerstone music students range in age from 15 months to 75 years — the business is seeing a surge of older musicians wanting to scratch an instrument off their bucket lists and many who’ve been laid off and find themselves with time to kill.

Cornerstone even offers interactive online lessons via your laptop computer or iPad.

All the food is made in-house, from the Gouda mac & cheese and chorizo tacos, to the curries Johnston has become known for.

After living and working in Africa and the U.K., she began learning and honing her curry-making techniques, starting each with her own masala blend, as evidenced by the jars of spices lined up on a kitchen shelf.

Her butter chicken is one of the most popular, and you’re likely to find coconut chickpea, lamb or lentil curry on the menu as well.

This year, Johnston put a freezer in the front foyer and offered up frozen containers of curries and soups for busy families to take out, and they’ve been a hit.

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The entire menu can be ordered gluten-free — including an extensive array of baked goods — with the exception of the individually wrapped sandwiches.

If you stay in, you won’t necessarily be subjected to the sounds of beginner clarinet. The tiny cafe makes an intimate venue for live musicians, and some of Alberta’s best singer/songwriters, Juno award-winners and musicians just starting out play on Friday nights and Saturday afternoons.

There are open jams and sing-alongs, which often double as fundraisers for local causes.

It has become a community gathering place, combining two things that always bring people together — music and food.

Upcoming Music Events

See all upcoming music events →

What We Believe

First, and most importantly, we believe that music lessons should be fun.  A child’s future can be formed by music, whether they play professionally or casually. We strongly believe that playing music makes all of us better, please read this, it will change your mind if you do not already believe how important paying music is.

Open the Door to Music

At all costs, music must be enjoyable.  Stories about kids hating music because of a bad teacher or being forced to take lessons do not happen here. Even if a child only takes for a year, it must be positive. There is a very high possibility that a person will pick up an instrument later in life if they even have a few lessons as a child.

Open the door, see if they walk through it.

What’s Happening

  • Samisongwriters