Canby Music: A Family Affair

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By Tyler Francke, Active Media Contributing Writer

Chris O’Neil remembers the moment like it was yesterday. He and his family were in downtown Canby doing a bit of shopping. They found their way to Canby Music, at its original location on Northwest 1st Avenue.
Chris started chatting with the owner, Brian Haines, and asked in a sort of offhand way if Brian thought that he could teach him the guitar. He’ll never forget the response: “No hesitation, no pause, just ‘Of course I can,’” Chris recalls. Thus began a friendship that has spanned a decade or more, involving multiple generations of both the O’Neil and Haines families. Three generations of the O’Neil family take lessons at Canby Music, covering a wide array of instruments — including guitar, ukulele, flute, violin, drums and saxophone. Every Wednesday night, the family comes together at Canby Music for a group lesson and jam session. “A half-hour lesson can turn into a little bit more, because we have so much fun,” Chris explains. “It’s one of the most special experiences. People say, ‘Oh, I can hardly wait for the weekend.’ For me, it’s Wednesday night. That’s my favorite night of the week.” The journey has also been remarkable and impactful on Brian — a rare gem in his experience as a business owner, musician and teacher.

Canby Music offers a wide variety of instruments for sale or rent, as well as repairs, accessories and lessons (including vocal). The store is located at 590 NW 1st Ave. in Canby. For more information, call 503-263-2263 or visit