Workforce + Infrastructure Development
Music has long been an integral part of the Oklahoma experience. Our state is home to many music superstars, including country music’s Toby Keith, Reba McEntire, Garth Brooks, Vince Gill and Carrie Underwood, as well as Tulsa legend Leon Russell, the Queen of Rockabilly Wanda Jackson, folk star Woody Guthrie and indie rock stars The Flaming Lips. Bands, singer-songwriters and performers continue to garner national attention after budding from Oklahoma’s rapidly growing local music scene. Our historic venues, vetted recording studios and talented music business professionals statewide make Oklahoma the perfect place to create your next music project.
Oklahoma has a rich music history with legends generating from every corner of the state. Find memorabilia, artifacts, videos and more at local museums such as the Woody Guthrie Center, home to the Woody Guthrie Archives, preserving Woody Guthrie’s legacy and life story in the Brady Arts District in Tulsa; the American Banjo Museum, a world-class 21,000 square foot facility honoring the rich history, vibrant spirit and unlimited future of the banjo in the Bricktown district in Oklahoma City; the Church Studio, (opening fall 2021), a 100-year-old church converted into a world-class recording studio by award-winning singer/songwriter & producer Leon Russell in 1972 – once complete, it will continue to be a recording studio, and be home to a rare collection of over 4500 items celebrating the history of the church, the Tulsa Sound and Leon Russell in Studio Row in Tulsa; the Oklahoma Museum of Popular Culture (OK POP) (opening 2022), once it is built in the Tulsa Arts District, OKPOP will be a museum dedicated to the creative spirit of Oklahoma’s people and the influence of those artists on popular culture around the world.
Oklahoma has long been known nationally and internationally for its legendary musical talent. With the Oklahoma Music Directory, you can search or join Oklahoma’s official roster of talented musicians of all genres. If you’re a musician looking for new opportunities or a venue looking for quality Oklahoma talent, the Oklahoma Music Directory is a great place to start.
Our historic venues, vetted recording studios and talented music business professionals in all corners of the state make Oklahoma the perfect place to create your next music project. Whether you’re looking for a music teacher or searching for a place to record your next album, the Oklahoma Music Directory can direct you to the resources in your area.
Search for talent, venues and businesses or register in the Oklahoma Music Directory.
Oklahoma’s music industry is thriving with legendary shows offered every night of the week. From outdoor stages, such as Guthrie Green in Tulsa and the Myriad Gardens in Oklahoma City, to stadium-sized shows at the BOK Center in Tulsa, and the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, to more intimate settings such as Ole Red in Tishomingo, Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa and The Blue Door and Tower Theatre in Oklahoma City, the state has over 150 music venues.
From the hearts of cities to backwoods campsites, Oklahoma’s festival scene is growing rapidly. Throughout the year, you can find many opportunities to see local and national artists of every genre hit the stage at popular new events and longtime favorites, such as Norman Music Festival, a free three-day festival with more than 300 musicians performing at more than 20 venues in Norman every April; Hop Jam, a craft beer and music festival in the Brady Arts District in Tulsa every May, started by the Oklahoma pop trio Hanson; Rocklahoma, a camping festival in Pryor serving up hard-rock shows each Memorial Day weekend; OKM Music Festival, bringing classical and contemporary music for a weeklong extravaganza every June in Bartlesville; the Woody Guthrie Folk Festival, featuring more than 90 folk and bluegrass artists on the weekend closest to July 14, Woody Guthrie’s birthday; and many more! Subscribe here or follow us on social media (@okfilmmusic) for more event info.
Rhythm & Routes Oklahoma Music Trail
From the danceable fiddle tunes of the 1930s to the silky jazz melodies of the 1940s to the chart-topping songs that brought Oklahoma to the forefront of the country music in the 21st century, Oklahoma’s music history run’s deep. Whether you want to revisit a time when western swing ruled the airwaves and the electric guitar’s potential was still untapped or see more of the state where the wind comes sweepin’ down the plain, the Rhythm & Routes Oklahoma Music Trail has a trail to suit every musical taste. For more information, visit TravelOK.com/MusicTrail.
Recording and Distribution
Traditional Music Distribution
Once an album, EP or single has been recorded, multiple options are available for the recording to reach the general public. Whether an artist is working independently or with a record label will dictate how funds generated by record sales are distributed.
Digital Music Distribution
Over time, the music industry has migrated towards digital distribution, which now has several outlets:
Music Audience Exchange
YouTube for Artists
According to U.S. Copyright law, a new creative work is copyrighted at the moment of creation and all rights for that work reside with the creators immediately. However, registering your copyrights with the U.S. Copyright office provides a level of proof as to the creation of the work.
Every song contains two copyrights:
1) Musical Composition: consists of music, including any accompanying words, and is normally registered as a work of performing arts. The author of a musical composition is generally the composer and the lyricist, if any. A musical composition may be in the form of a notated copy (for example, sheet music) or in the form of a phonorecord (for example, cassette tape, LP, or CD)
2) Sound Recording: results from the fixation of a series of musical, spoken, or other sounds. The author of a sound recording is the performer(s) whose performance is fixed, or the record producer who processes the sounds and fixes them in the final recording, or both.
Copyright in a sound recording is not the same as, or a substitute for, copyright in the underlying musical composition.
Although they are separate works, a musical composition and a sound recording may be registered together on a single application if ownership of the copyrights in both is exactly the same.
To copyright your work:
All copyright applications are handled through the Library of Congress.
The electronic form eCO is the most current form for song registration.
Please see this list of frequently asked questions regarding copyrights.
Publishing and Liscensing
Music licensing refers to the process of obtaining permission to use a copyrighted work.
More information on music licensing can be found using the resources below:
Indie Slate: Music Licensing 101
The Harry Fox Agency
Performing Rights Resources
Other Music Publishing Resources
HFA is now the nation’s leading provider of rights management, licensing and royalty services for the music industry and issues the largest number of mechanical licenses on behalf of its affiliated publishers for the use of music in both physical and digital distribution formats.
SoundExchange is the independent nonprofit performance rights organization that collects and distributes digital performance royalties to featured artists and copyright holders.
International Standard Recording Code (ISRC)
The ISRC is the international identification system for sound recordings and music video recordings. Each ISRC is a unique and permanent identifier for a specific recording, independent of the format on which it appears (CD, audio file, etc) or the rights holders involved. Encoded ISRC provide the means to automatically identify recordings for royalty payments and is recommended for all music producers by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI).
Music Industry Jobs, Education + More!
- Music Call for Entries
- Educational Opportunities
- Fundraising & Grants
- Associations & Membership Organizations
Oklahoma is known for a prolific musical heritage deeply rooted in the folk, country, and bluegrass genres, but that was just the beginning. Over time, our Americana roots blossomed into a diverse talent base that spans across every genre imaginable, and the state’s music education opportunities have paved the way for new voices to be heard.
Oklahoma City Community College
Oklahoma City Community College’s (OCCC) two-year Associate Degree program in music develops skills in important areas such as theory, performance and individual & group applied music. After completing your Associate Degree, you’ll be able to transfer to a four-year college or university and continue your education as a junior. At OCCC you’ll find modern facilities, which include a Kurzweil Electronic Piano Laboratory with individual MIDI stations, individual practice rooms, and a 250-seat theatre for recitals and ensemble performances. Most importantly, you’ll be taught by faculty who are truly dedicated to helping you achieve your scholastic goals. As a music student at OCCC, you’ll have a variety of opportunities to gain experience through performing. Groups participate in activities both on and off campus throughout the year. Currently, College sponsored performing groups include Chamber Singers, Symphonic Choir, Jazz Ensemble and Guitar Ensemble.
Tulsa Community College
Tulsa Community College’s Music program (Associate in Arts) is designed to create a solid musical foundation in our students enabling them to transfer into four-year colleges and universities to pursue a baccalaureate degree in music. The program is also an appropriate course of study for individuals preparing for one of the many careers in music that do not require a baccalaureate degree or for personal enrichment. Skill enhancement and depth are provided by course work in applied music performance ensembles, music theory, music literature, keyboard, computer music composition and private lessons. Students have the opportunity to broaden the scope of their classroom education by participation in performance groups, including the Concert Choir, Show Choir, Concert Band, Jazz Band, Orchestra and chamber ensembles. The music degree program is supported by a substantial performing arts facility, which includes a music recording studio, practice rooms, a MIDI keyboard laboratory and choral & instrumental rehearsal halls. Most music programs are presented at the state-of-the-art VanTrease Performing Arts Center for Education.
Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma (ACM@UCO)
Through a focused curriculum and real-world experience, the Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma (ACM@UCO) prepares students for careers in the music industry. Offering two fully accredited Bachelor of Applied Technology degrees and three Associate Degrees, the ACM@UCO campus occupies 25,000 square feet with almost 400 full-time students in downtown Oklahoma City’s thriving Bricktown Entertainment District. Additionally, students are mentored by faculty who have toured, recorded and performed with Grammy award-winning artists such The Flaming Lips, Pink, Reba McIntire, Elton John, Aretha Franklin, Zhu and Miley Cyrus. The campus houses four professional recording studios, five large rehearsal spaces, fully-equipped classrooms and practice rooms, two technology labs and a 200- capacity concert venue.
Northwestern Oklahoma State University
The Department of Fine Arts at Northwestern Oklahoma State University prepares students for a career as an educator and/or artist through quality instruction and individualized attention while enriching the campus and community. As the arts center of Northwestern Oklahoma, the department serves to unite and enlighten students and communities through the visual and performing arts. The program welcomes students who are interested in creating music, visual arts, and theatrical productions as a means of enriching their college experience. The department also offers major areas of study in Music and Speech & Theatre, as well as minors in the visual arts, theatre, music, and musical theatre. Music degrees include Bachelor of Arts in Music (B.A) degree, which provides a thorough grounding in music while allowing students to also pursue coursework in a secondary subject area such as social work, psychology, business, or many other areas; Bachelor of Music (B.M.) degree, which prepares students to be performers, studio teachers, church musicians, and for music-related industry or graduate school. This degree does not lead to public school teaching certification; and a Bachelor of Music Education (B.M.E.) degree in Vocal or Instrumental studies, which prepares future educators for a career as a PK-12 teacher in Oklahoma and throughout the country. Although a music education major may select either a vocal or an instrumental option, the music faculty encourages all students to have experience in both vocal and instrumental music, and strongly suggests achieving state certification in both areas to increase marketability after graduation.
Northeastern State University
The Northeastern State University Department of Music is a part of the College of Liberal Arts. Its mission is to provide undergraduate education leading to the Bachelor of Music Education degree (with options in Instrumental and Choral/Vocal music) and Bachelor of Arts degree (with options in Musical Arts, Music-Business, Performance and Jazz Studies & Commercial Music), and to provide coursework directed to the general student population. Through quality teaching, research and scholarly activities, service to local and professional communities, and high expectations, our dedicated faculty and staff provide a friendly learning environment where students are prepared to achieve socially responsible career and personal goals for success in a challenging global society. The Northeastern State University Department of Music offers many opportunities for music majors and non-majors alike.
Oklahoma City University – Wanda L. Bass School of Music
UNDERGRADUATE: The Bass School at Oklahoma City University offers two undergraduate tracks. The performance-intensive Bachelor of Music degree programs are designed to develop comprehensive musical skills and literacy. The Bachelor of Music is offered in instrumental performance, music theater, vocal performance, music education and composition. The Bachelor of Arts with a major in Music is designed for the study of music within a broad-based liberal arts curriculum. The Bachelor of Arts is also the degree for students with an interest in studying music and Pre-Med or Pre-Law.
GRADUATE: The Master of Music degree program is a rigorous, selective course of study for exceptional musicians who have earned a Bachelor’s degree in Music and are committed to excelling in the field. The professional graduate programs integrate performance skills, music scholarship, pedagogy, and professionalism to prepare students for music careers in the 21st century. Students completing this degree may pursue a doctorate, seek and entry level position at a university, teach privately or seek a career as a performer. Graduates of the Bass School of Music leave campus with a discipline and versatility that positions them for successful professional lives. Musicians holding the M.M. from Oklahoma City University include performers Kristin Chenoweth, Sarah Coburn, Lara Teeter, and Roy Bean; Mark Blakeman, vice president and general manager of the Nashville Symphony Orchestra; and Midge Woolsey, radio host of WQXR, the radio station of The New York Times. Recent M.M. graduates in composition have been selected for continued study at schools ranging from London’s Royal College of Music to University of Southern California’s Thornton Scoring for Motion Pictures and Television program.
Oklahoma State University – Department of Music
The Michael and Anne Greenwood School of Music at Oklahoma State University (OSU) offers a four-year curriculum designed to develop not only students’ performance abilities, but also their practical and academic skills. The core undergraduate curriculum includes applied lessons, ensemble participation, music theory, music history, keyboard proficiency and the humanities, preparing students to become music educators, performing musicians, composers, theorists, musicologists and music industry professionals. The School of Music’s new home is a premier music education facility that harnesses the synergy of research, artistry and incomparable hands-on learning experiences available only at OSU. It houses a variety of music laboratories, classrooms, and teaching studios equipped with the latest technology for high-level studio production. Its design encourages collaboration with suites strategically created for specific areas of study and rehearsal spaces that will accommodate varying sizes of music groups. The new facility, plus the opportunities created by the McKnight Center for Performing Arts, positions OSU’s music program to continue to achieve national accolades and prominence.
Oklahoma State University – Music Industry
The Music Industry course track at Oklahoma State University is for students interested in the three music industry income streams: music production, music publishing and live entertainment. The McKnight Center for the Performing Arts has partnered with OSU to offer music industry students with real-world experience in state-of-the-art venues. You will explore courses in musicianship, music technology and music entrepreneurship, as well as classes related to general business. Students graduate from OSU prepared to be successful in a wide variety of musical careers that include performance, teaching, working in the music industry and beyond. OSU graduates have pursued successful careers in a variety of fields, including Music Producer, Songwriter, Sound Design, Recording Engineer and Video Game Composer.
Oral Roberts University
The Oral Roberts University Music Department offers studying in any aspect of music—from composition to performance or worship to music therapy—with a Christian education that focuses on development of the whole person. ORU is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), is an American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) approved university and is an All Steinway School—the first in Tulsa. As an All Steinway School, ORU is a member of a prestigious and select group of only 132 colleges and universities worldwide. Students will have many opportunities to perform through various instrumental and vocal ensembles as well as chapel and special worship services and will gain exposure to strong arts programs such as Tulsa Signature Symphony, Tulsa Ballet and Tulsa Opera as well as the opportunity to learn from visiting artists. The Music Department’s instrumental and vocal applied lesson instructors are accomplished performers and students will train with them in weekly one-on-one lessons. Degree tracks include Music Arts, Music Composition (including Film Scoring Concentration), Music Education, Music Performance, Music Production, Music Therapy and Worship Arts. Admission to the music program requires an audition with the music department. Students must first apply and be admitted to the university prior to auditioning.
Southern Nazarene University
Producing some of Oklahoma’s top Worship Leaders, Southern Nazarene University’s (SNU) Bachelor of Science in Music is a degree that includes a Major in Music with an emphasis in Commercial Music Production or Music Performance. A Music Performance Emphasis offers a choice of Concentration between Vocal, Instrumental, or Keyboard Performance. The School of Music offers you the opportunity to study with credentialed faculty as you journey toward graduation, another step closer to reaching your goals. These scholars with a Christian worldview will mentor and guide you along the way. SNU’s smaller size allows students to interact with faculty — not only in the classroom, but also through impactful mentoring, personal advising, and meaningful research.
Southwestern Oklahoma State University
The Southwestern Oklahoma State University’s (SWOSU) Department of Music prepares students for vibrant careers as music educators, music therapists and arts administrators. The Department of Music offers six different undergraduate degree options, including Music Education (instrumental or choral), Music Performance (orchestral instrument, piano organ or voice), Music Therapy (instrumental or vocal & keyboard) and Music Business, as well as a minor in music; and offers Master of Music Degrees in Music Education, Performance, and Music Therapy. The Music Therapy Equivalency program also allows students without an undergraduate degree in music therapy to pursue certification and a MM degree simultaneously. Graduate teaching assistantships are available to graduate students. SWOSU is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) and is an American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) approved university. All prospective music majors are encouraged to audition for scholarships.
University of Oklahoma – Price College of Business – Gene Rainbolt Graduate School of Business
Located near downtown Oklahoma City, the University of Oklahoma’s MBA program gives you the opportunity to fulfill your potential as a business leader through executive-level business education. Earning your MBA degree in 16 months with the Price College of Business is a solid investment in your future. Students can choose to customize their curriculum through graduate certificates.
University of Oklahoma – School of Music
Established in 1908, the University of Oklahoma (OU) School of Music has been helping students pursue their musical and academic dreams for more than a century. With 60+ full-time faculty members and 450 music majors, OU’s School of Music is the only comprehensive music program in Oklahoma. OU offers degrees at the Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral levels in all areas of music performance, composition, education, history and theory. At the Bachelor level, there are two performance degrees: the Bachelor of Music (BM) and the Bachelor of Musical Arts (BMA); the Bachelor of Music Education (BME) degree in both instrumental and voice; the Bachelor of Arts in Music (BA), a liberal arts degree with an emphasis in music. For students who would like to continue to study music at the university level, but do not wish to pursue a degree in music, OU offers a Minor in Music that can complement any degree offered at the university. Graduate students can follow one of the following tracks: Master of Music, Master of Education, Doctor of Musical Arts or a PhD in Music Education.
University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma
The University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma’s vibrant music program offers a Bachelor of Arts with a major in music and emphasis options in music education, performance and business. Students opting for the emphasis in music education may select either vocal or instrumental music and choose a primary specialization from the areas of brass, percussion, piano, voice or woodwinds. Students selecting an emphasis in performance or business may choose a primary specialization from the areas of brass, composition, guitar, percussion, piano, voice or woodwinds. The Science & Arts music program enhances the arts scene in the area, enriching the lives of both the students and local residents through concerts, outreach, and collaborative events with other university departments and community partners. Career possibilities include Elementary or Secondary Music Educator, Band Director, Choir Director, Composer, Arranger, Studio Musician, Private Instructor, Church Musician and Music Business Manager/Owner.
Oklahoma Arts Institute – Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute
The Oklahoma Arts Institute hosts the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute (OSAI), an intensive two-week residential school at Quartz Mountain State Park and Lodge that provides professional training to artistically talented OKLAHOMA HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS, including graduating seniors, in the visual, literary and performing arts. OSAI offers training in the disciplines of acting, chorus, creative writing, dance, drawing and painting, film and video, orchestra and photography. You’ll join over 250 students from across the state as you study your chosen field and attend or participate in performances, gallery openings, film screenings, poetry readings, and more. Auditions run in the winter.
Artists have a variety of resources available to assist with fundraising for music projects. Depending on the nature and scope of the project, the following are offered as a starting point for artists looking to raise funds for their music projects. Please visit the links below for more information.
Below are some articles on crowdfunding that may be helpful:
Launch and Release
Art Deadlines List
American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers Awards Programs
BMI Foundation, Inc.
Foundation Grants to Individuals Online
Guitar Center Music Foundation
Jazz Masters Fellowship | National Endowment for the Arts
Music Performance Trust Fund
National Endowment for the Arts
New Music USA
Social Services and Financial Assistance | The Actors Fund
United States Artists
Local & Regional Grants
International Bluegrass Festival Scholarship
The Mid America Arts Alliance
Norman Arts Council
The Oklahoma Arts Council
The Oklahoma City Community Foundation
Oklahoma Grant Watch
Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition
OKM Music Scholarships
Paseo FEAST (Funding Emerging Art with Sustainable Tactics)
The Grantsmanship Center
All successful musicians must market themselves to some degree. Whether promoting a new release or upcoming performance, there are several resources that can be considered. Please note that this is not a complete list, but offered as a starting point.
Electronic Press Kit (EPK)
Creating an Electronic Press Kit is the easiest way to compile all the information you’ll need to pass along to venue owners, promoters, producers and agents. Whether you create your own website or use one of the available online templates, your kit could include the following:
- biography or the history of your band
- high quality music samples / downloadable mp3’s (make sure your metadata is complete and correct)
- high resolution color photos
- album cover art
- poster art
- press release (pdf)
- press quote sheet (pdf)
- one sheet (pdf)
- RIYL (“Recommended If You LIke”) list
- contact information for your label, manager, publicist or other representative
Some of the most popular EPK sites include:
Planning a live music event involves plenty of forethought and many communities require permits for such events. See below for permit information in some of Oklahoma’s largest cities. If you do not see your community listed, please contact your local municipality or chamber of commerce for more information.
If you are looking to access or join an organization with ties to the music industry, please visit the links below for more information.
Arts and Humanities Council of Tulsa
Blue Dome Arts District
Country Music Singer’s Association of Oklahoma (CMSA)
Enid Arts Council
Greater Oklahoma Bluegrass Music Society
Norman Arts Council
Oklahoma Arts Council
Oklahoma Arts Institute
Oklahoma City Arts Council
Paseo Arts District
Plaza Arts District
Red Dirt Relief Fund (RDRF)
Songwriters Association of Norman
Tulsa Office of Film, Music, Arts & Culture (TFMAC)
National Membership Organizations
American Federation of Musicians (AFM)
Americana Music Association
Country Music Association
Folk Alliance International
Gospel Music Association
Harry Fox Agency
International Bluegrass Music Association
International Talent Buyer Association (IEBA)
National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM)
National Association of Record Industry Professionals (NARIP)
National Music Publisher’s Association (NMPA)
Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI)
Recording Academy Membership
SAG / AFTRA (American Federation of TV + Radio Artists)
Songwriter’s Guild of America