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Contrary to Pink Floyd's classic chorus which passionately declares, "We don't need no education,"  St. John’s Music believes we most certainly do. The retailer has been espousing this philosophy for more than nine decades, and its Toronto Leaside location is one of nine stores in the Canadian chain that began in St. John’s, Winnipeg.

Primarily, St. John’s supplies elementary and high schools with instruments for their music programs. “We wear a couple of different hats,” explains Andy Coffin, manager of St. John's Music in Leaside. “The face to the public isn’t always as obvious. When people think of a music store, they think of guitars, drums, amps, PAs, etcetera. That’s fine, but that’s not what school music is.”

According to Andy, school music also includes brass and wind instruments like trumpets, clarinets and saxophones, as well as teaching materials for beginners. The retailer has outside sales representatives visiting schools regularly to keep themselves sharp on demand and trends, and maintain relationships with different schools. “We fix their instruments, they buy our instruments and accessories, and we rent them instruments,” Andy says. “We usually have more business going out the back door than the front door.”

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