Sam Dickinson was born in Toronto, began playing guitar at the age of eight. He studied jazz during high school at the Humber College Community Music Program, followed by studies at New England Conservatory, Humber College, and McGill University. Dickinson received his Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Miami in 2019. These formative years included guitar instruction from Mick Goodrick, Lorne Lofsky, Ben Monder, Joe Morris, John Hart, Ted Quinlan, and Brad Shepik, as well as composition/arranging lessons from John Hollenbeck, Christine Jensen, and Joe Sullivan. Sam maintains an active schedule performing, composing, and teaching in the Toronto and Detroit areas.