Tulsa World gives OMA a shoutout

Individual lessons are another crucial part of that continuing education. Mac Ross, the instructor and director of enrollment at Oklahoma Music Academy, holds an intensive summer program that puts students together in bands with the ultimate goal of a concert at the end of the year. The Oklahoma Music Academy, at 81st Street and Sheridan Road, has operated in Tulsa for eight years and focuses on guitar, piano, drums, percussion, voice and bass guitar, with lessons for all ages and skill levels.

Though at an individual lesson recently, Ross went over the rudimentary jazz scales with Carter McCullough, a sophomore at Lincoln Christian School. McCullough had already made progress as a jazz guitarist and placed in state competitions. But the individual instruction has helped him understand the intricate nature of music, particularly jazz.

“It’s a lot more difficult, the way it all fits together,” McCullough said. “Like a puzzle, you have to get different pieces.”

Together, they went through the scales, with McCullough struggling to keep up the first few times across the neck of the guitar. After a few more times, he picked it up — and picked up important skills for jazz improvisers.

“Carter came in and he had the feel together,” Ross said. “I’m helping fill in the blanks as far as chords and melodic ideas.”

McCullough started guitar at a young age when he started playing around with his dad’s guitars. He was frustrated at first but stuck with it. He’s working out the puzzles of music, and finishing a puzzle is always rewarding.

“The success and feeling of this made you want to do more,” McCullough said.

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Nathan Wright