Columbus couple starts music lessons students in the Golden Triangle

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – A couple in Columbus started a music business 12 years ago, and some of their students from the Golden Triangle have grown into professional music artists.

“It was a vision and it started small and just kind of grown over the years,” said McKay.

Dennis Mckay always wanted to teach music to people in his community.

Mckay is the owner of Studio 115 A in Columbus. He started his business back in 2010, for years he hosted music classes for citizens around the Golden Triangle.

“I wanted a way to give back to the students and show them they’re progressing and that they’re doing this. I bought a small track recorder and started recording students so we could document their success and the whole studio thing just grew out of that decision to do that,” said McKay.

Some of those students would later pursue professional music careers.

He’s worked with contestants from American Idol, even artists from Nashville.

“They asked, ‘who is your biggest influence, and he said PaPa D my former guitar instructor in Columbus MS.’ All of these people around and he called me by name as his biggest influence and that was very rewarding,” said McKay.

Although Mckay can reflect on the good memories, there were times he was met with challenges.

The COVID-19 pandemic took a toll on his health.

Mckay was diagnosed with Covid and pneumonia.

At one point, family members feared the loss of their business.

“We didn’t know if he was going to make it and we didn’t know what that was going to mean for us for the business or for anything,” said McKay.

Over several months, Mckay started to recover from his illness.

And soon, music lessons would pick back up.

The duo continues to teach students across the region.

“Its like anything that we do. The better we get sometimes we don’t realize how far we’ve come. A lot of times its more than just playing an instrument. Its more about life lessons that go along with it. We can’t always do the things we want to do. We can’t always quit when you want to quit, and things don’t always go the way you want them to go, ” said McKay.

Even during hardships it’s important to keep striving.

Mckays teaches over 60 students each week.

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