Stig Mathisen (Guitar Program Chair) with Thawng Mung

The winner of the Fall 2018 Seymour Duncan Guitar Scholarship at Musicians Institute is the talented Thawng Mung who comes to MI from Burma, with a specialization in performing worship music.

Thawng explains that he chose to study in MI’s Guitar Program because “the school opens up many opportunities for the students.”  During his studies at MI, he will focus on “learning how to play all kinds of music, especially jazz, fusion, and country styles.”

Thawng describes his longterm goals and aspirations as follows : “My dreams are to be a successful musician, to share my knowledge with other musicians who can’t afford to go to school, and to glorify God with music.”

Everyone at MI congratulates Thawng on this achievement, which marks a great beginning to his studies. We look forward to seeing him reach his full potential while at MI.

Special thanks to our very special industry partner, Seymour Duncan for generously sponsoring this scholarship, which helps to provide talented students like Thawng with the support, tools and recognition they need to launch successful and creative careers in the music industry. The scholarship was created thru the generous support of Seymour Duncan Pickups and Pedals to honor innovative guitar legend Seymour Duncan.

To learn more about the full line of Seymour Duncan Products click here



Celebrating up and coming talent- our scholarship winners from Fairfax High and Hollywood High School!

The Musicians Foundation is proud to support the education of two talented, local LA area LACER program high school music students; by co-sponsoring a full-ride tuition scholarship for each of them to attend the week-long summer programs at Musicians Institute!  

Omar Matias (Fairfax High) performs on MI’s Concert Hall stage. June 28, 2018

Fairfax High School LACER Program music student Omar Matias just completed a fantastic week in MI’s “Summer Shot Music Performance” program culminating in a successful final performance with his band.

The Omar Matias Band

Hollywood High School LACER Program music student Tyler Medrano, also had a stellar week, building his own custom guitar during his week in MI’s Guitar Craft Academy “Summer Shot Guitar Builder” program!

Tyler Medrano (Hollywood High)

Supporting scholarship opportunities for students to get inspired, get educated and get experienced in today’s music industry is what we’re all about!

Congrats to Omar and Tyler!

-The Musicians Foundation





In celebration of the important ongoing work of our foundation, we’re featuring the achievements, exploits and adventures of our illustrious Board of Directors across the music industry.

We know you’ll enjoy getting to know them as much as we have!  For this snapshot, we’d like to introduce you to our newest board member, Nashville-based: Ellen Truley.

Ellen’s resume and exceptional professional achievements are far too numerous to list here, but highlights include: Forming and serving as CEO of her own music industry marketing consulting company Ellen Truley Consulting, and her highly successful 22 year tenure as a music industry executive at the Music Rights Organization SESAC Holdings, Inc.; most recently as Senior Vice President of Corporate Relations.

For three consecutive years, Ellen was named one of Billboard Magazine’s Women in Music and commemorated at Nashville Business Journal’s Women in Music City Awards for three consecutive years.

We wanted to share a few photos and highlights of Ellen in action “doing what she does” so well.

Reba and Ellen Truley celebrating at the Nashville Business Journal’s Women in Music City Awards. The awards celebrate women working in the music business who are making a creative and economic impact on the industry.

In addition to her service as a board member of The Musicians Foundation, Ellen also generously serves on the boards of the T.J. Martell Foundation and the Library of Congress’ National Recording Preservation Board and serves on the communications committee for the Copyright Alliance. She is also a member of The Recording Academy, The Americana Music Association, CMA and ACM.

Peter Frampton and Robin Rains with Ellen and Todd Truley at the Best Cellars Dinner hosted by the TJ Martell Foundation, a non-profit organization supported by the entertainment industry which funds innovative cancer research.

During her stellar career, as a star among stars…Truley has had the opportunity to work alongside some of the industry’s most prolific songwriters and composers, as well as their teams, including Bob Dylan, Adele, Neil Diamond, R.E.M., Mariah Carey, RUSH, Lady Antebellum, Green Day, Charli XCX, American Authors, Zac Brown, Jonathan Wolff, Randy Newman and more.   

Ellen Truley, ET Brown of SESAC and Songwriter and pop star Kesha catch up before her show at the legendary Ryman Auditorium in Nashville on Sept. 27

Ellen is a champion of songwriters, and has also supervised participation at countless songwriter showcases and festivals to continually raise awareness of company brands. In addition, she served as the executive producer for all SESAC productions, including the Pop Music Awards, Nashville Music Awards, Film/TV Music Awards, Christian Music Awards, and Latina Music Awards.

Ellen Truley, Peter Asher, Shun Ng (fingerstyle guitar virtuoso who was presented with Songmasters’ prestigious 2016 Holly Prize at the Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on June 9), music executive Linda Lorence Critelli.

Ellen recently attended the 2018 Songwriters Hall of Fame 49th Annual Induction and Awards, inductees included: Bill Anderson, Steve Dorff, Jermaine Dupri, Alan Jackson, Robert “Kool” Bell, Ronald Bell, George Brown & James “JT” Taylor p/k/a “Kool & The Gang,” John Mellencamp and Allee Willis, plus honorees Sara Bareilles, Neil Diamond and Sir Lucian Grainge

Linda Moran, President and CEO of the Songwriters Hall of Fame and Ellen Truley attend the Songwriters Hall of Fame 49th Annual Induction and Awards Dinner After Party at Marriott Marquis Hotel on June 14, 2018 in New York City.

In her 22 years at SESAC, Ellen wore several leadership and executive hats; most recently as Senior Vice President of Corporate Relations, overseeing global marketing initiatives for the music rights organization.  We also think that she probably knows “EVERYBODY” in the music industry!!

Ellen Truley and Marcie Allen, President of MAC Presents at the SESAC Pop Music Awards at Cipriani 42nd Street NYC.

If there is a music conference, a songwriters festival, an awards show, or any music industry event- then Ellen Truley will be on the scene. 

Music executives Ellen Truley and Dennis Lord give Paul Shaffer a warm welcome prior to Shaffer’s (and The World’s Most Dangerous Band) performance at the Ryman Auditorium on Friday, June 9, 2018.

Recently, Ellen led a mentoring session at SXSW 2018 in music industry marketing, PR, sponsorships, digital strategies, performing rights and more.  Clearly, she has a tremendous wealth of professional marketing expertise and global business acumen to offer.  Notably having spearheaded the development, strategy and execution of partnerships including City National Bank, Delta Air Lines, Luxury Resorts & Hotels, Netflix, Maker’s Mark, Icelandic Glacial Water, Red Bull, ReverbNation and so much more.

Music Executive Trevor Gale, SESAC Vice President (and Musicians Foundation Board Chair)James Leach, George Clinton, Ellen Truley and Sony’s Liz Cost catch up before Mr. Clinton’s show at SXSW.

We look forward to working with Ellen, and are honored and thrilled to welcome her to the Board of Directors for The Musicians Foundation!


Takamine Generously Donates Two Nylon String Guitars to Musicians Institute


Gaby Galvez and Charvez Eaddy road test the new Takamine guitars

Students and staff at MI were thrilled to receive two brand new nylon string cutaway Takamine G Series GC3CE guitars today!

MI Student Library Staffers say: “Thanks Takamine!!”

Both instruments will go into immediate circulation at the Musicians Institute library for all students to check out on two hour loan.  This fulfills a long time request of the students to have access to nylon string guitars for use in multiple genres, recording and performing at the college.

We thank our longtime industry partners Takamine and ESP Guitars for their amazing support of music education, and the students of Musicians Institute!





The Musicians Foundation, Musicians Institute (MI) and The Grammy Museum are proud to present the 2018-2019 series of co-sponsored Grammy Museum Music Education classes for LA Unified School District high school students in the Museum’s intimate Clive Davis Theater.

The Grammy Museum has become an important gateway for supporting and preserving music education as a major sponsor of school tours and music classes for LA area middle and high school students who are suffering from severe cuts in arts education in their own school’s budget.

During 2018-19, the classes are taught exclusively by MI’s world-class faculty, and MI/The MF will be the Museum’s sole education class sponsors for the months of November, March and April.

This unique hands-on MI course series (now in its 11th consecutive year), has inspired and delighted thousands of high school students while imparting valuable knowledge and experience that are at the heart of making, understanding and appreciating both music and the music industry.  

Some classes may be available to the public, contact The Grammy Museum directly for more details.  All classes start at 11am.

Introduction to Today’s DJ Techniques: Charlie Sputnik

Tuesday, November 6, 2018 AND Tuesday, March 12, 2019

International DJ and musician Charlie Sputnik will demonstrate hands-on DJ techniques as well as discuss the various modern tools available to today’s aspiring DJs. Other important areas including obtaining gigs, promotion and contracts will be covered.


Introduction to Foley Recording and Editing:  Mehdi Hassine

Tuesday, November 13, 2018  AND  Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Using professional sound libraries and movie scene analysis, veteran Musicians Institute instructor (and top studio engineer and industry consultant in production and post-production) Mehdi Hassine will demonstrate and introduce students to the recording and editing techniques involved in synchronizing background and sound effects as well as what is involved in Foley sessions (footsteps and props) for film.


Beat Making and Samples: Darryl Swann

Tuesday, November 20, 2017 AND  Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Join veteran instructor Darryl Swann as he gives students a hands-on demonstration of sampling techniques, mixing principles and how to use an old-school drum machine and vinyl records to create beats. Starting his career in a metal band, Cleveland-born Swann has worked with artists such as Mos Def, Rick Rubin, Will I Am, Raphael Saddiq, Stevie Wonder and Macy Gray (producing her triple platinum smash hit album On How Life Is, featuring the Grammy Award-winning song I Try, and her follow-up record The Id).


Today’s Drummer: Creating Ableton Live Loops and the Drum Set:  Ronen Gordon

Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018   AND  Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Many of today’s biggest rock, pop, R&B and hip hop acts use laptops, loops and Ableton Live to augment their live stage performances. Today’s high-profile drummers are emulating, embracing and working with DJs and newer technologies. This workshop will demonstrate how to create loops and backing tracks within Ableton Live. Students will participate interactively by recording hand claps, voices and various sound EFX into the instructor’s laptop and be shown how to make great loops out of these “on-the-spot” textures.


Hook, Lines and Sinkers- A Pop Lyric Writing Workshop: Anika Paris

Tuesday, April 2, 2019  AND Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Learn about lyric writing, using metaphors, similes, rhythms and rhymes in your lyrics, casting your song like a movie, creating story lines and characters and more as Anika Paris, a published songwriter with Universal Polygram and Warner Bros., leads students in exercises that will challenge them to begin their songwriting process. Students will be given a songwriting overview before being asked to pen their own creation to share with the class.


Networking Strategies: Dan Kimpel

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Success in a changing music industry is determined by the strength and longevity of personal contacts: who you know, what you know and, most important, who knows you. Join Musicians Institute professor (and leading authority on popular music) Aaron Meza for this practical course, in which students will learn about different types of communication, social techniques, and presentation skills important to making personal contacts in all strata of the music business and building a professional support network.


Music Business CareersDan KimpelAaron Meza

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Want to learn how to “put your best foot forward” when entering a career in the music industry? Join Musicians Institute professors Dan Kimpel and Aaron Meza as they discuss a wide range of music career opportunities with students. Kimpel, author of the best-selling Networking in the Music Business and Meza, author of You’ve Written a Song So Now What? Both have a long history in the music industry and are considered leading authorities on popular music.


Musicians Institute has been a major sponsor of The Grammy Museum Education programs since 2008, and is a proud Grammy Museum College Affiliate.

Spring 2018 AIMP Music Business Scholarship Award Winner: Desirae Raceanu

Stacy Turner (Music Business Program Chair) with Desirae Raceanu (rt)

Desirae Raceanu is the winner of the AIMP Music Business Scholarship at Musicians Institute.  The current Music Business Program student, and Southern California native received the prestigious award having clearly articulated her professional goals and outstanding dedication to achieving a position in the music industry.

Upon learning about her award, Desirae explained that she chose to study at MI because “it is simply the best music school around. I previously graduated from MI’s Audio Engineering Program, but before I ever enrolled I definitely did my research. I toured similar schools such as LA Recording School and even contemplated going to Full Sail in Florida, however after my Campus tour at MI, I was completely sold. The instructors at Musicians Institute, (for every program) are just incredible people. They are working professionals in the industry who choose to share their passion for music by teaching on the side. The credentials of the staff collectively would blow anyone away and they do the most wonderful job at paying attention to the specific needs of each student.”

During her studies, she plans to focus on “fostering the necessary skills and education needed to be successful in this industry.  There are a ton of people in the world who are great at music, and who want to work in the field, but what sets someone apart is a combination of their work ethic and professional assets. During my time at MI, I am striving to capitalize on my strengths, and improve my professional weaknesses.”  

Desirae describes her current experience in the MI Music Business Program as phenomenal…the program provides students with much information and so many helpful resources to assist them in meeting their goals. The broad spectrum of classes in the program ensures students graduate as professionally well-rounded as possible. I have nothing but great things to say!”

After MI, her primary career aspiration is to: work in A&R, which is absolutely the foundation of any record label. That said, those positions are highly coveted, and generally given to people who have spent years giving their blood, sweat & tears to their career. The best executives are those who have worked every position in the company, from the bottom up, and that is the model I plan to follow as well. I truly want to try it all. I will continue this journey with an open mind and a dedication second to none. I am so excited for the future… Stay tuned!”

Everyone at Musicians Institute congratulates Desirae on this achievement. We look forward to seeing her reach her full potential while at MI, and in the future.

Special thanks to Association of Independent Music Publishers (AIMP) for generously sponsoring this scholarship, which helps to provide talented students like Desirae with the support, tools and recognition they need to launch successful and creative careers in the music industry.  We’d like to specifically thank Frank Handy, Steven Ambers and Tim Cohan for their generous donation of speaker’s fees from the panel on Music Business Publishing held for the MI Music Business Program in Nov. 2017, (Teri Nelson Carpenter was unable to attend); as well as the invaluable assistance of Liz Redwing.



ESP Rock Guitar Scholarship @MI Winner Seyoung Park (aka Loody Bensh) receives new guitar!

Seyoung Park (aka Loody Bensh) at MI shows off his new ESP LTD EC-1000

Musicians Institute Guitar Program student Seyoung Park (aka Loody Bensh) is the recipient of the spring 2018  ESP Rock Guitar Scholarship; which generously includes a tuition discount and a new ESP guitar!  

Special thanks to our longtime industry partner, ESP Guitars for generously sponsoring this scholarship, which helps to provide talented students like Seyoung with the support, tools and recognition they need to launch successful careers in the music industry.

Be sure to visit ESP Electric Guitars, and their industry partner: Takamine Guitars  to learn more their full line of guitar products. 



Exciting Donation to Musicians Institute from PRS Guitars!


Thursday April 19th had the distinct air of a guitar player’s dream birthday party at Musicians Institute as six brand new top of the line PRS guitars arrived at MI!  The guitars new home is MI’s award-winning library, going into immediate circulation (and into student”s hands) for check out on 2-hour loan.

Students and faculty alike were ecstatic and excited to “get to know” these amazing instruments; take a look below:

Thanks PRS, you rock!