Month: March 2020

2020 President’s Award Vocal Scholarship at Musicians Institute Winner: Stephanie Howie

Stephanie Howie

The 2020 President’s Award Vocal Scholarship has been awarded to Musicians Institute Vocal Program student: Stephanie Howie.  She comes to MI by way of Chennai, India, having earned the prestigious award with a strong demonstration of her many years of singing and performance experience with a specialization in Soul/Neo Soul/ Rhythm & Blues genres.

Describing her reasons for coming to MI, Stephanie states: “after months of research I found that MI was the only school that could offer me exactly what I was looking for which was to work on my vocal skills and ability as well as my performance skills. I was particularly drawn towards the live performance workshops. Also, being located in the epicenter of the entertainment industry I felt like it would be an ideal stepping stone to a career in the field of music and entertainment.”

While at MI, she hopes to focus on: “improving my vocal ability and training, I hope to learn as much as I can from MI to improve my technique, work on my tone and my stage presence and also gain all the confidence I need to be a performer.”

She sees her education as an important pathway to achieving her career goals to: “first and foremost, be able to penetrate the industry using the skills that I adopt from my time at MI to become an active performer and an established recording artist in the entertainment industry. My second career goal is to combine my what I’ve learned at MI along with my past degrees in Psychology and find avenues in the field of Music Therapy.”

Stephanie shared her feelings about winning the scholarship as follows: “I consider myself extremely lucky and thankful for my mum who having raised me single handedly has always taught me that if I work hard enough towards something that I want that I’ll get what I deserve. She has been the most supportive of my decision to pursue music (it did take some convincing) and is now financially supporting this move as well. This scholarship not only helps me in my first steps at repaying her and making her proud(er) but also gives me the confidence boost I need knowing that there are others in the industry who believe in me and my talent and in turn pushing me to work even harder than before.”

Everyone at MI would like to congratulate Stephanie on winning this prestigious award.

Special thanks to MI’s longtime owner Histake Shibuya for generously sponsoring this scholarship, which helps to provide talented students like Stephanie with the support, tools and recognition they need to launch successful and creative careers in the music industry.

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2020 President’s Award Music Business Scholarship at Musicians Institute Winner: Devin Birden

Devin Birden

The 2020 President’s Award Music Business Scholarship at Musicians Institute has been awarded to newly enrolling Associate of Science in Music Business Program student: Devin Birden.  He comes to MI by way of Lancaster and Long Beach CA, earning the prestigious scholarship award after clearly articulating his vision and career goals within the music industry.

Describing his reasons for coming to MI, Devin states, “a friend of mine attends MI currently and is in the music production program. He has had nothing but positive reports about his experience. Also, the information I received at the MI Open House, and my frequent dialogue with my Admissions counselor have all been determining factors that lead me to wanting to enroll at MI.”

In giving a bit more background about his motivations to enroll at MI and to excel in the music industry, Devin stated: “in addition to being an independent Hip Hop artist and songwriter, I am a business owner myself. I run a full spectrum entertainment studio where we offer recording and production services, in addition to graphic design, photography and videography. I hope to be able to learn all the current business practices in the music industry while also learning how to navigate more efficiently all the pitfalls and road blocks that I have had to traverse throughout my career. In addition, I am interested in music supervision for film & tv, as I have landed a couple big placements in the past, I want to continue to pursue my career in that arena as well.”

Devin sees his education as an important pathway to achieving his career goals as an artist, multi-genre songwriter and multi-dimensional music industry executive: “I want to remain independent and achieve global success doing so. The more I know how to do myself the less I have to depend on anyone else’s expertise. As an executive, I’d like to operate my own entertainment company, develop artists underneath my imprint and put them in position to do great things in music as well. I also feel I have a future in music supervision in film & tv, so I want to land more placements both nationally and internationally. One of my current specific short term goals is to be a part of Disney’s The Proud Family reboot, as it is of one of my favorite childhood shows.”

He shared his feelings about winning the scholarship as follows: “this scholarship means everything to me. At this juncture in my life I am choosing to make a major change and sacrifice in order to attend MI.  This scholarship will be a tremendous help to me in pursuing my career goals in a myriad of ways and I am thankful you all saw something in me that proved deserving of it.

Everyone at MI would like to congratulate Devin on winning this prestigious award.

Special thanks to MI’s longtime owner Histake Shibuya for generously sponsoring this scholarship, which helps to provide talented students like Devin with the support, tools and recognition they need to launch successful and creative careers in the music industry.

Congratulations to our slate of Board of Directors 2020-2022!

Congratulations to our Board of Directors 2020-2022!


BOARD CHAIR 2019-2021 Hunter Scott   Head of Marketing & Publicity @TREND. Established LaFamos- a full-service PR firm in 2008. Head of Brand Development for High Q Digital,  Public speaker, panelist.

Andrea Bari, JD  Expert adviser in intellectual property rights, music publishing contracts, business law.  Researcher for the UN Special Rapporteur in Cultural Rights. Law and Business professor at Musicians Institute.  *NEW*

Andy French  SVP sales and marketing for DMI Music, and has previously held positions with the GRAMMY Foundation and A&M Records *NEW*

Anika Paris  CEO Alaya Productions; WB Composer, Songwriter, Author, Educator in Artist Development *NEW*

Steve Sherr  Independent music executive. Former music marketing executive at Disney Music, Universal Music Group, Interscope Records, MCA Records, Hollywood Records, Former Artist Management at The Artists Organization. *NEW*

Ellen Truley  Music Business Brand Strategist I Corporate Marketing I Partnership Integration I Digital Marketer I Entertainment Relations



Beth Marlis (Foundation Executive Director), Vice President at Musicians Institute, musician, educator, author, Chair Emeritus of Hollywood Chamber of Commerce

Kathleen Clark (Foundation Secretary), Professional Photographer. Former Director and Partner in SPOT Photo Works, and Clark | Oshin Gallery LA.  Longtime Photo Director of Los Angeles Magazine and LA Weekly

Kyle Denne, (Foundation Treasurer), Accounting Manager at Musicians Institute


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