John Grant was born and brought up in Ayrshire, Scotland and began his formal musical studies at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music & Drama (now the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland) in 1977 where his achievements included winning the Governors' Recital Prize, the Chamber Music Prize and the Subject Prize for Flute. Having already been a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, John continued to establish himself as an orchestral musician by becoming a founder member of the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland, with whom he later appeared as a soloist.

In 1981, John began his professional career first freelancing with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Scottish Ballet and Welsh National Opera, then holding posts with the Hallé Orchestra, Scottish Opera and from 1987 to 2000, was Principal Flute with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. During this time, John also made many solo appearances, performing concertos by Mozart, Bach, Nielsen and Ibert and was a member of a number of chamber ensembles, including Paragon, the Chamber Group of Scotland and the Allander Ensemble. He also played as guest principal with the London Symphony Orchestra, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Throughout his time with the RSNO, John also taught at the RSAMD

Following studies with Maestri Jorma Panula and Benjamin Zander, John now dedicates his working life to conducting and music education, giving him the opportunity to work with many orchestras and bands, including the London Soloists Chamber Orchestra, Camerata Caledonia, West of Scotland Schools Symphony Orchestra, the National Children's Orchestra of Scotland and is currently conductor of both the Strathclyde University Symphony Orchestra and the Kelvin Ensemble (the orchestra of the University of Glasgow).

John is also an adjudicator member of The British and International Federation of Festivals.