About Keys To The Studio

Original music from people diagnosed with developmental and intellectual disabilities is virtually absent in the world of the arts. To begin filling this void, we created Keys To The Studio in 2007, a music program designed specifically for this group of emerging musicians.

Keys To The Studio was formed to:

  • provide access to music creation to an under served community
  • appreciate talent separately from disability
  • facilitate the musical expression of the emerging musicians by matching each with a professional to develop skills in singing, musical instruments, improvisation and composition
  • integrate the emerging musicians and their music with the public
  • raise awareness throughout society, including at the family and caregiver levels, of the capabilities and contributions of persons diagnosed with intellectual and developmental disabilities

Keys To The Studio gives emerging musicians the opportunity to collaborate with professional musicians in one-to-one sessions, rehearsals with bands made up of peers, workshops, recordings, public jam sessions and concert performances.

Professional musicians are trained in the Keys To The Studio approach:

  • exploration of each emerging musician’s interests, talent and abilities
  • encouragement of play and improvisation without judgment
  • support for skill development at a pace tailored to the emerging musician
  • emphasis on the importance of unique personal expression, creativity and artistic voice

Key Music Director John Jowett (40 year career as a performing, conducting, composing and recording musician with the last 17 years teaching music to students diagnosed with developmental and intellectual disabilities) and Key Advisor, Specialized Services Salina Eldon (25 years experience in the treatment, assessment and education of people with special needs, including 9 years of program supervision/management) support emerging and professional musicians in the project.

To participate in Keys To The Studio as an emerging musician, professional musician, volunteer or donor, or for more information, please contact us.


(416) 532-8480
1481 Queen Street West No. 26, Toronto ON M6R 1A1


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