13-year-old musician excels at Paseo Academy of Fine and Performing Arts

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13-12 months-previous Oskar Ryan-Garrard’s father to start with purchased him a guitar when he was 1 12 months old, not realizing his son would later be considered a musical prodigy.

Oskar, who is now in the 8th grade, is the direct guitarist of the substantial university jazz band at the Paseo Academy of Fine and Undertaking Arts. Outside the house of college, he’s portion of the Kansas Metropolis Jazz Academy with the American Jazz Museum.

He also has weekly non-public lessons with Will Matthews, the lead guitarist for the 18-time Grammy-award winning Count Basie Orchestra.

“When I began actively playing guitar, I basically started off with punk rock, and that features classics like The Ramones, Weezer, The Pixies, My Chemical Romance, Green Day, Nirvana,” Oskar said.

To best off Oskar’s capabilities, he has excellent pitch and sings “catchy pop” music he writes “in about 5 minutes.”

“I mean, Oskar is outstanding,” Willie Thornton, Oskar’s mentor and audio trainer at Paseo, mentioned. “Everyone to have absolute pitch is like just one out of 10,000 individuals that have complete pitch. And the age he is, I am just fearful to see him at 16, due to the fact he is unbelievable now.”

Oskar discovered his excellent pitch when he was just five many years-old and commenced getting his very first non-public music classes for both equally guitar and piano. These days, Oskar closes his eyes although Thornton plays random notes and chords on the keyboard, and Oskar by no means misses a beat when recognizing the notes.

Oskar transferred to Paseo in 2022 to particularly concentrate on tunes. Ever considering the fact that, Thornton and Oskar have created a distinctive pupil-trainer partnership. Thornton goes as significantly to explain Oskar has a “prodigy” and “genius.”

Oskar was diagnosed with high-working autism at 5 yrs-aged, and he also has “excessive” interest-deficit problem (Include).

In spite of his diagnoses, Oskar excels in audio, and is also put in 9th grade math. Thornton is effective with Oskar to be certain he carries on to improve as a musician.

“I feel Mr. Thornton understands musicians simply because he is a musician,” Oskar’s mother, Julie Garrard, claimed.

Oskar lives in Midtown with his mother. His father, Paul, who was also a passionate punk-rock guitarist, handed away when Oskar was two many years-outdated. Oskar states he will get his enthusiasm for audio from his father, and toys with the notion that his skills are genetic.

“I mean, when executing guitar, some men and women consider I am possessed by the spirit of Jimi Hendrix. If ghosts were being serious, that would be the situation,” Oskar stated.


Brian Luton/KSHB 41

Oskar Ryan-Garrard

Previous yr, Paseo put on ‘High University Musical,’ and not only was Oskar the only boy or girl actively playing an instrument in the pit, but he memorized the complete two-hour-additionally functionality.

Thornton, who reported he’s under no circumstances taught a university student like Oskar in his 15 to 16 years of educating, said Oskar has matured immensely as a musician and vocalist considering that last college 12 months.

“He has allowed me to be a greater trainer, he has designed me be a far better teacher,” Thornton claimed. “I thank him for tough me as a teacher. I may well be teaching him, but he doesn’t know he is instructing me.”

As considerably as Oskar’s long run, Thornton believes he will attend a prestigious tunes-centered university, these kinds of as The Julliard College or Berklee University of Tunes. Oskar reported practicing will support him get there, together with sharpening his technique and probably starting up a band.

“Thirteen many years outdated and he’s actively playing like this, can you just picture what he’s going to, I mean he’s likely to be famed a single day there is no question in my mind,” Thornton claimed.

The home, comprehensive of school employees and students, erupted in laughter when Oskar responded, “I signify, he is acquired a point.”