Tyler McGill Music Program

Experience the passion and freedom of music!

Music Program – Temporarily on Hold

tyler McGill program is temporarily closed due to COVID-19

Featured on Global News

See the interview by Susan Hay on Global News from June 2019.

Global News Interview, June 2019




High notes

What you need to get it
Who is this program
What does it offer? For how long? Which YouthLink
address is it at?
form to be
registration required
Any youth age 12 to
24 with an interest
in learning music
Free weekly music lessons
and use of an instrument
for as long as you are in
the program
Every Saturday, 11am to
2pm, year-round
3595 St. Clair Avenue East Yes, see
“Get started”
No Yes No Free

Introducing free music lessons for youth aged 12 to 24

Get everything you need to be in a band and play an instrument of your choice!
• An electric or acoustic guitar, keyboard, drums, bass, alto or tenor sax, violin, trombone or trumpet
• A case to carry and protect your loaned instrument
• Voice training and recording on professional equipment also available
• The support of 2 expert coaches
• The tunes you want to learn

Tyler McGill concert 2018


Get linked

• Every Saturday year-round, 11 am to 2 pm
• Start when you wish, come as you can
• Stay tuned for our new location coming soon

Get started

  1. Check out the program on any Saturday of your choosing. Just call ahead of time at 416-967-1773, ext. 213 to arrange your visit.
  2. Fill out the application form available HERE.
  3. Attach a reference letter.
  4. Return both to YouthLink (
  5. We’ll look them over to be sure your time with us can meet your goals and expectations.
  6. We’ll call you with our response.
  7. After that, you can begin as soon as you wish. 

Shout out!

Sincere thanks to the following people and organizations who make this program possible:


Long & McQuade

The Tyler McGill connection

Tyler McGill, better known as T-Lar, was an avid guitar player and lover of music from Scarborough. Sadly, in the summer of 2007, his life came to a tragic end from a senseless act of random violence. Rising above the pain of their loss, his family and friends sought to remember him for what he loved. They have created the chance for other Scarborough youth to learn to play a musical instrument, play their favourite sounds and enjoy music just as Tyler had.

The group took a chance on organizing a fundraising concert in Tyler’s name at Scarborough’s Queen Victoria Pub. So encouraged were they by the results that they organized another concert the next year and every one since.

In the beginning, the money raised went to community-based music programs for at-risk youth. With time there came to be enough money to launch an entire program in Tyler’s name. That’s when the group approached YouthLink to run with the idea. In January of 2014, the Tyler McGill My First Guitar Program was born. That brought even wider support, from Tyler’s family and friends, their friends, MUSICOUNTS and, in 2017, the TD Bank. As a result today, many young people have the chance to choose from a variety of instruments and learn to play their favourite popular music in a group setting led by a recognized musical instructor. Tyler would be touched.


To support this group
Purchase a ticket for the next Tyler McGill Fundraiser
Donate to YouthLink, directing your money to this program. Donate a gently used instrument, contact us at


Hear from a recent Tyler McGill Music Program participant:

“I am passionate about music. Not having the financial means to buy a musical instrument or take lessons, I could not miss out on this opportunity! When I got the call that I was accepted, I was so happy. When I went there, it was such an amazing group of people. I learned so much in a short time and have been there ever since. I believe many youth, like myself, could benefit from it.

Originally I saw this program as a way to build my passion for music. After a few lessons though, I felt this sense of community with the others taking part. And having an instrument to play at home gave me this ability to cope with all the stress of life, as a youth. Learning how to play a few notes on the guitar has helped me enjoy myself, to feel free.

Music changes me in such positive ways. It makes me feel happy. It gives me a sense of belonging. I feel empowered. It also helps me deal with things that only playing music can.

I highly recommend this program to other youth.  This is a perfect resource to meet new people and build new skills while moving forward in your music journey. It will help you deal with the stress of everyday life. It will make you feel happy when you’re sad or take you away from those stresses in the world. This program is perfect for any youth who is looking to explore music and have fun.”

Rocky Mountain High

An Evening of John Denver

Our house band got the chance to play with John Denver’s internationally acclaimed composer/conductor/arranger Lee Holdridge as he conducted the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra in an incredible music tribute to the legendary singer-songwriter at Roy Thomson Hall back in June 21, 2019.

The show featured a few of the YouthLinks Tyler McGill Foundation music students performing a song with the Orchestra.

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, our What’s Up Walk-In services are now being offered online through video-conferencing. We know this is a stressful time for everyone, and we want you to be able to continue to access our counsellors and clinicians in a safe and secure way so we are now offering you online video-conferencing counselling and support.


Our E-Counselling What’s Up Walk-In service will be open Monday – Friday until further notice. If you would be interested in booking one of our daily video-conferencing appointments for a counselling or support session with a clinician, call 416-967-1773 extension 222 and you will be connected to our Intake department. E-Counselling and support is also available for many of our other programs. Intake staff can provide you with more information if you are interested.


Although many of our staff are temporarily working off-site, all of our housing and residential programs continue to operate as usual.