Meet Mark – Trumpet, Trombone, Euphonium and Tuba teacher

Mark Needs teaches brass instruments here at The Arts Music Store, specializing in Trumpet. His experience and love of music is felt through the walls of our music school. Mark shows immense dedication to his craft and to his students. His passion for music education has resulted in some amazing musical growth in students of all age groups.

We asked Mark a few questions about music, check out what he had to say below:

1.) What impact has music had on your life?
“I have experienced great joy and personal satisfaction through music. I have learned the value of hard work through music. I have shared deep connections with musicians I have played with, ensembles I have conducted and productions I have directed. I have learned how to communicate, collaborate, take risks to produce something great. I have seen the world because of music. I met my wife in music class and we still play in community band together. My children’s lives have been impacted by music and I have been part of their musical journey which has been so special for us. I have made great, lifelong friends through music. I developed transferable skills that have enhanced my work off the stage, outside the rehearsal hall and practice studio, enhancing relationships with the people I work with, opening doors of opportunity and so much more.”

2.) Why is learning music valuable?
“Music is Art and so is valuable on its own. It is a form of expression for the artist and has an aesthetic impact on the listener. The popular quote from William Congreve’s play, “The Mourning Bride” (1697) – “Music hath charms to soothe the savage beast” – captures some of the value of music for our well-being and our community. Beyond the aesthetic value of music, studying and playing music is known to activate multiple areas of our brain including, for example, areas that fire when we are doing math. Just think about how much the brain needs to activate to play a musical instrument, read music, practice, perform, think critically, self assess etc. I tell my students that when sitting down to do homework or study, practice your instrument first to get the brain firing on all cylinders. Don’t lose this opportunity by relegating your music practice to the lowest priority on the to-do list. And, you might expect I’m going to add that basically we need music in our lives as part of a well-rounded education. And that’s not just my opinion.”

3.) What do you do that is unique with your students?
“Well, I hope it’s not unique but I like making connections between playing an instrument (and making music) and Life.”

4.) Who is your favourite artist and why?
“I have so many favourite artists and really, there is something unique about the way they all make music. Obviously, I have trumpet players I love to listen to and Wynton Marsalis and Chris Botti are always on my playlist. I must say though that my favourite artist is Sting. Sting has not only written great songs which he constantly re-works, but he is a great performer and a very humble musician. Sting continuously strives to grow as a musician, learning from those he plays
with and collaborates with. Just watch the Youtube of him playing “Fragile” with Stevie Wonder (another favourite of mine) to see how inspired Sting is by this great musician. Sting is a lifelong learner and I admire that a lot.”

5.) What do you love most about teaching?
“I think helping others achieve that “Ah-ha” moment when, through practice and hard work, they finally
nail that new bit of technology that helps open up so many new possibilities for them musically. Then
there’s the smile on the face. Yes, the smile on the face is pretty special.”


Sign up for lessons with Mark >>HERE<<

Our extremely talented guitar instructor, John Mossop, plays a fingerstyle version of White Christmas on a Fender Ultra Series Stratocaster. If you’re interested in taking lessons with John, Please visit:


Don’t Wait FOREVER! Beat the Black Friday rush with our “Why Wait for Black Friday” sale here at The Arts Music Store! Up to 50% off on select items and we’re giving away 2 TAYLOR SOLID BODY CUSTOM GUITARS!! Hurry in between November 21st and December 2nd! Click >>HERE<< for all of the sale details!

The Elwins are an Indie/pop/rock band from the northern GTA. With hits on popular Toronto radio stations as well as a Juno nomination, The Elwins have travelled the world with their music, inspiring others and keeping the good vibes alive.

“The lyrics to ‘Grind You Down’ have significant meaning to myself and the members of The Elwins,” says singer Matthew Sweeney. “Mental illness health and the stigma surrounding it are very serious subject matters that can affect anyone. We are doing our best to address the topic, and trying to encourage dialogue, support or anything else we can to encourage people to seek assistance if they require it. We’re very fortunate that there are many incredible organizations that offer services in Canada and while it’s sometimes a difficult bridge to cross we want people to feel as comfortable as they can.”

For more information about the work CAMH is doing to help those affected by mental illness, please visit or email

For more on The Elwins, check out their media below:

Check out this great live session featuring our resident rock star, Julian DelGrosso on guitar!

Click below to follow Hunni on Instagram for more great musical content:

Click below to follow Julian on Instagram to see more including some great guitar playing:

Click below or more from Home Sweet Sessions:


Popular Canadian artist, Lights, sat down with Puppet Jack and The Arts Music Store for brief a chat about the NAMM show as well as her newly acquired Taylor endorsement. Have a listen to her latest track, “Long Live” featuring Blink 182 drummer, Travis Barker. Also, don’t forget to catch her on her American 2019 tour with DeadMau5.

Check out Lights music online by visiting her many media outlets:


Apple Music:






The Vidos rocked the crowd at The Arts Music Store with two new songs Boomshakalaka and Ice Cream Dream!
Ice Cream Dream is now streaming on all platforms.

Check out @thevidosband wherever you find your music online!

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Humidity and your guitar. It is a really important discussion, and it’s not complicated. When the furnace goes on, you need to humidify your guitar. Humidity is vital to its health and longevity.
Wood responds to changes in both temperature and humidity. When the furnace goes on, humidity levels in your home can drop below 20%. That dry air draws moisture out of your guitar causing the wood to shrink. Cracking, frets protruding along the neck, bridge lifting, warping, string buzz as well as compromised playability and sound are the result.
Your guitar needs to be kept between 45% and 50% humidity. The only way to do that is by using a guitar humidifier. The humidifiers that are installed on your furnace do not raise the humidity levels high enough to protect your guitar. Our Repair Department regularly sees guitars with problems resulting from low humidity. Don’t let yours be one of them.
We carry several kinds of humidifiers. Two that are recommended by Taylor and Martin Guitars are the Oasis Plus and the D’Addario Humidipak. We also strongly encourage you to purchase a digital hygrometer which lets you monitor humidity levels to ensure you’re between 45% and 50%. Both of these together can be purchased for under $55.
If you’re experiencing cracking, checking or any of the other humidity issued listed above, give us a call and we will assist you. Our onsite Repair Department can help with a guitar that has been exposed to low humidity conditions. Please keep in mind that not humidifying your guitar may void the manufacturer’s warranty.
A humidifier, a hygrometer and your guitar kept together in the case will protect it from our long, dry Canadian winters – a minimal investment to extend the life of your guitar and keep it playing and sounding great for many years to come.
Please give us a call or send us an email if you have any questions.

Not only do we employ great musicians on our sales floor, we have incredibly talented people making music in all areas of our business! Jennifer Miles (right) from our accounting department is joined by her twin sister, Julia Miles in this stripped-down cover of “I’m like a bird” by Nelly Furtado. This amazing video was recorded at The Arts Music Store with gear from our sales floor! If you like what you hear, click the links below to check out The Miles Twins, The Arts Music Store or any of the featured products in this video!

Connect with The Miles Twins:




Connect with The Arts Music Store:




Featured Products:

Fender Acoustisonic Telecaster:

Rode NT2A Condenser Mics:

Yorkville MS206B Mic Stand:

Kyser Quick-Change pink Capo: