Month: December 2013

Our Music IS our Future. Happy 2014!

Happy Holidays and New Year!

H and H 1950

Hollywood and Highland – 1950



As 2013 comes to a close, (and we’re about to celebrate our 10th anniversary next year)…I’m reminded on a daily basis of all the ways that the students of Musicians Institute and our Grammy Museum Programs rely on the support of those who understand the power of music education and the important role it plays in our lives.

Personal donations, sponsored music industry scholarships, alumni donors and friends like YOU can make professional, college level music education possible for many deserving and talented students.  We’ve awarded over $250,000 in scholarships since 2004, and over $73,000 in scholarships to 44 students during 2013.

If you haven’t yet made a contribution to our scholarship fund, I invite you to join us by making a tax-deductible donation NOW to the Musicians Institute Student Scholarship fund administered by The Musicians Foundation.

Click here to donate:

Together, we can accomplish the extraordinary, and make a lasting investment in our future, our culture, and ourselves.

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Beth Marlis, Executive Director, The Musicians Foundation
Hollywood, CA

Celebrity Guest Blog: Jody Watley GRAMMY Award Winning Pop/R&B Icon

We are extremely excited and proud to present the first in a series of posts written by our extraordinary Board of Directors for The Musicians Foundation.

We’ve asked Jody to share her very unique perspective and words of wisdom on being an artist in our ever-changing industry. Enjoy!

Jody Watley is a GRAMMY Award Winning Pop/R&B Icon, Songwriter, Producer, Label Owner

Jody Watley: GRAMMY Award Winning Pop/R&B Icon, Songwriter, Producer, Label Owner

7  Effective Tips for Musicians and Aspiring Artists

by Jody Watley

Being an artist for decades, I continue to learn, grown and evolve. The process never ends and it keeps me from becoming jaded or bored.

There are different levels of artistry and musicianship from the; hobby, casual, local, independent to the aspiring superstar. There is no “one size fits all” for any musician or artist. What worked for someone else might not work for you. You have to find what works for you every step of the way – remember it’s your journey. Be fearless, know and define yourself. If you allow others to do it – you’ll be trapped in their box and definition and not the one you created.


1. Be Prepared.

Be prepared to work hard, for opportunities that you will have to create for yourself as well as be prepared when they present themselves. Be prepared to be professional remembering a first impression can be a lasting one.  Be prepared to wear multiple hats and never assume (even with a manager) that anyone will look out for you more than you will for yourself. 

2. Be Flexible.

Have your goals and plans in place so you have some sort of navigation on what and where you’re going in your field.

3. Build Relationships.

Don’t burn bridges – it’s a large industry but a small business. People move around and you never know how paths will cross.  Build a good reputation and goodwill that can last throughout your career. Be punctual, professional and never spam a contacts inbox with unsolicited mailing lists. Establishing relationships takes time.

4. Research, Read and Be Responsible. 

Learn about the business in your chosen field and stay current on laws, copyright, publishing, new services for artists, writers and musicians, branding, effective marketing and promotion in all areas. Read books and blogs where you can learn about building a fan base, effective social media practices, live concerts, selling merchandise and beyond. It’s a never ending process. Read and understand your agreements, even when seeking legal counsel. There is no failure unless you never try.

5. Invest in Yourself.

You will have to spend money; be it for a professional bio, public relations person, graphic design, merchandise, etc. Budget and plan.

6. Consistent Imaging.

It’s important to have continuity in all that you do, as it represents you and what impression you’re giving fans, colleagues and industry professionals.

7. Be patient.

Nothing worthwhile happens overnight. Expect obstacles, turn them into stepping stones. Believe in yourself when it may feel like you’re the only one. Keep pushing forward and always be your own biggest critic – this will keep you from becoming complacent.

The NEW Single “NIGHTLIFE” – ‘It’s In The Music!”

Ross Bolton Memorial Funk Guitar Scholarship at Musicians Institute Announced for Spring 2014

Ross colorRoss Bolton

The Musicians Foundation is pleased to announce the renewal of this very special scholarship to be awarded to a currently enrolled student in the Guitar Program at Musicians Institute for spring 2014.  

The Ross Bolton Memorial Funk Guitar Scholarship was created to honor the memory, exceptional talent and artistic career of longtime MI Guitar Program (GIT) faculty (1986-2013) and alumni (MI class of 1980) Ross Bolton; and is provided to encourage and support the educational growth of a currently enrolled Guitar Program student.

The scholarship will be awarded on February 14th, 2014 to a currently enrolled student (US or non-US citizens) in the Associate of Arts in Performance (Guitar) Program who demonstrates overall outstanding musicianship, and the potential for developing their own individual sound or unique voice on the instrument in the Funk and/or R&B style. The scholarship is also designed to support students who are financially challenged, and are able to clearly articulate the basis of their financial need.

The scholarship award of $1,000 will be applied as a tuition discount for the Winter 2014 (Jan. 2014) quarter. 

For complete scholarship details, and scholarship application, click HERE.  

The deadline to apply is January 31, 2014.

The scholarship is generously sponsored by the friends and family of Ross Bolton from the proceeds of the Ross Bolton Tribute/Fundraiser Concert held on June 13, 2013 at Musicians Institute Concert Hall.

OneDaniel Gilbert (g.), Gary Hess (d.), Dave Hill (g.), Alexis Sklarevski (b.)


The performers featured MI Faculty: Daniel Gilbert, Scott Henderson, Dave Hill, Masta Edwards, Alexis Sklarevski, Christian Klikovits, Gary Hess, Scott Parker, George Lopez, with special appearances by the MI Gospel Choir, Dave Koz, Euge Groove Band, Peter White et al, a video tribute and more.  Special thanks to Yamaha Musical Instruments and MI for generously helping to sponsor the event!

To learn more about Ross Bolton click HERE

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Announcing The Ryder Buck Memorial Independent Artist Scholarship

Ryder Buck

Ryder Buck (1990-2013)

The Musicians Foundation is pleased to announce the creation of the Ryder Buck Memorial Independent Artist Scholarship at Musicians Institute in honor of the memory and creative talents of MI student Ryder Buck.

The scholarship is provided (by the family and friends of Ryder Buck) to encourage and support the educational growth of a newly enrolling Independent Artist Program student for Spring 2014.

The scholarship will be awarded in spring 2014 to a new student (US or non-US citizen) enrolling in the Independent Artist Program who demonstrates overall outstanding musicianship, and the potential for developing their own unique voice as an original singer/songwriter in the blues-rock genre.

The scholarship award of $1,000 will be applied as a tuition discount for the Spring 2014 quarter.  

Deadline to apply is Feb. 28, 2014.

For complete scholarship details, and scholarship application, click HERE


Happy 10th Anniversary to The Musicians Foundation, and we’re celebrating a little early!

6a00d83451ccc469e2019affdcd505970bscreen-captureOn behalf of The Musicians Foundation, I am thrilled to announce that 2014 marks an important milestone for us: our 10th Anniversary!

First established as a non-profit in 2004 by a generous gift from the David Geffen Foundation, The Musicians Foundation continues to provide powerful educational tools (thru our numerous music education scholarships at Musicians Institute) to talented, deserving music college students.  We’ve awarded over $250,000 in scholarships since 2004, and over $73,000 in scholarships to 44 students during 2013 alone.

From our scholarships to our dynamic class series with music industry professionals (reaching thousands of LAUSD students) held at The Grammy Museum since 2008, the foundation has been an important beacon and support system for creativity, education and the power of music to inspire.

So today, I ask that you consider supporting our continued efforts by making a gift directly to the 10th Anniversary Musicians Foundation Scholarship Fund:


All donations are 100% tax deductible, secure, and can be directed to the specific program of your choice.

A donation of any size will make a difference in the lives of the music students of today, and supports the next generation of the music industry.

-Beth Marlis, Executive Director


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