Make a Notable Difference with Teddy Riley and Project MuszEd

April 14, 2011

By Katrina Brooks, L.A. Examiner, April 7, 2011

Join music producer Teddy Riley and nonprofit organization Project MuszEd in honoring three exceptional businesses and their leaders as dedicated supporters of Project MuszEd.

On Sunday, May 15th, 1– 4:30pm Project MuszEd will host its signature “MAKING A NOTABLE DIFFERENCE” Awards Brunch at the Los Angeles River Center & Gardens. This year’s event will recognize leaders in music and music technology including Daisy Rock Guitars, Los Angeles Women in Music and Smule. Proceeds will benefit Project MuszEd’s music education initiatives.

Project MuszEd provides resources and opportunities in music education to populations that are underserved in an effort to cultivate achievement and success. Over the past year, Project MuszEd has served over 200 youth, offering them access to free and low cost music instruction, instruments and a myriad of opportunities that many of these youth only dream of.

Project MuszEd has facilitated many life changing opportunities for inner city youth including scholarships to Berklee College of Music, opening forThe Black Eyed Peas andOzomatli, recording with Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, performing withThe Isley Brothers and more! They take an organic approach to working with each youth ensuring that they make a measurable difference on the lives of the students they serve. Teddy Riley Project MuszEd Promo


Project MuszEd Attends GRAMMY SoundCheck with JASON DERULO!!

October 18, 2010



PM visited Jason Derulo's soundcheck for a lesson in show production


20-year-old Jason Derulo has quickly become the music industry’s latest triple, maybe even a quadruple threat or more.  The talented vocalist, dancer, songwriter, producer, etc…… has been building his career literally all of his life.  Our students had an amazing opportunity to spend some time with Jason and his crew as they prepared for a performance at the world-famous House of  Blues, Sunset Strip in Hollywood, CA.  Here, students were able to see the nuts and bolts of a stage production from the choreography of the dancers to the intricate production of the sound and lighting producers.   “It’s amazing to see how much hard work and detail goes into a show.”  exclaimed one of the young students.  Everyone was extremely candid about what it takes to put all the moving parts together.  This was an awesome opportunity that will help inspire our students as they define their career goals. This event was made possible by the GRAMMY Foundation. Make sure you check out the GRAMMY Foundation online  as well as the GRAMMY In the Schools program .  These are amazing resources for youth.


Project MuszEd Links:

Black Eyed Peas Pod Benefit:
Performance/ ‘Livin’ for The City’ – peopletree benefit:
Project MuszEd on Ladies Behind The Beat:
Project MuszEd promo video on Youtube:
Project MuszEd Website:



GRAMMY In The Schoools:

GRAMMY Foundation:


Continued Inspiration: Fender Music Foundation Visits Project MuszEd

October 8, 2010

We always love to have visitors pop in on our programs.  Last week, a very special visitor came in.  Moriah Harris-Rodger, Executive Director of  The Fender Music Foundation (FMF) spent a few hours with us during the first day of our CASM Saturday program.  Through the CASM component, we offer low cost music instruction.  The FMF is responsible for gifting us with much of our equipment. Foundations such as FMF are extremely important, especially to smaller nonprofits such as PM.

Almost everyone in the nonprofit world has felt the shift in the economy.  We expressed to FMF how we have had insurmountable challenges, but are dedicated to seeking solutions that allow us to continue our services.  Our goal is to be able to offer free music instruction and resources as we were able to in the past and to expand the services we provide to more youth and agencies in need.  Even in these tough times, we are proud to say that we have been able to continue serving youth.  We have also looked in out own backyard (literally) and found many treasures that have helped our survival. In the picture above, Danny Villa (pictured above seated first row, right) was a PM student.  Today, Daniel is a college student and one of our most valued instructors.  Through offering low cost music instruction, we can provide Danny and our other instructors with a stipend.  We are so appreciative our instructors and volunteers.

One of our volunteers, Sam Lyons (pictured below second from the left), was my former student.  Today Sam is in high school  and he enthusiastically looks forward to working with us to support our program.  In having to close our office space due to the economy, the program was relocated into my backyard, and it is a huge hit with our parents and students!  We have a studio space that houses our piano and vocal ensemble.  Last year,  HGTV’s hit program ‘Over Your Head’  picked us for a back yard renovation.  Our guitar students sit under our new ‘performance pergola’  (see below) for their lessons.  This is also one of the perks of living in sunny Southern California.  We have very few rainy days, even in the winter.

We encourage other nonprofits to look at their resources, especially in considering means to maintain services and reduce expenses.  Times are lean, and very few foundations have cash on hand for grants.  Have you made a list of areas where you need assistance?  How can you reduce your overhead?  What in-kind services can be donated?  Do you have access to students, agencies or organizations that provide volunteers? Can you charge a small fee for your services to help absorb any overhead costs? Can you become a designated charity of an organization?  Do you have parents that can volunteer their services from time to time? Can you partner with another organization or business for space or resources?

With Project MuszEd, we are always willing to seek  solutions that will ensure we are able to keep our students involved in the joys of music education.  In the meantime, we continue to be inspired by The Fender Music Foundation for recognizing us and the work that we do.  We also applaud FMF for the support they give to make a difference in the lives of thousands of youth annually.  Let’s keep the inspiration rolling!

Annual Project MuszEd Holiday Fundraiser Hosted by Eddie Steeples on December 5th, 2009

November 7, 2009
We’re playing Santa to make sure all of our students can continue having access to resources in music education.

Project MuszEd will hold its annual holiday event on Saturday, December 5th, 6:30 to Midnight. This year’s annual holiday fundraiser promises to be even more amazing!  We are partnering with our close friend, Actor/Comedian Eddie Steeples (‘My Name is Earl,” “Akeelah and The Bee”). Eddie is passionate about working with us in an effort to provide music education resources resources to youth afflicted with Sickle Cell Anemia. The evening features a special performance by Eddie Steeples and one of L.A.’s hottest DJ’s, Kiilu GranD.

Eddie Steeples We recently launched our much anticipated CASM Saturday Academy, which provides scholarships to over a dozen students.  We have gifted 4 of these scholarships to to chronically ill youth, including several afflicted with Sickle Cell Anemia.     Consider joining us either in person or making a donation.  The gift of music is priceless and your support will ensure the sustainability of this critical need.

Event Details/Purchase Tickets:

Space is limited; Email us at or call us at 818. 985. 6110 to purchase tickets.

Your donation is tax deductible to the extent as provided by law.

What?:  Annual Project MuszEd Holiday Fundraiser Hosted by Eddie Steeples supporting music education for underserved youth.

When?: Saturday, December 5th, 2009.

VIP Reception 6:30pm-8:00pm (Includes VIP gift bag)
$100 per person/$175 per couple

General Guest: 8:00pm-Midnight
$65 per person/$120 per couple

Can’t Attend? Support Project MuszEd’s mission by making a donation.  Go to our website: and use our ‘Donate’ link.

Where?: Event is being held at a private residence; location will be forwarded upon processing of guest details.  Make sure you contact us at or call us at 818. 985. 6110.

Vlog: More Videos to Come

July 1, 2009

Hi, I’m Phillip, the summer intern for Project MuszEd. Project whoooo…just listen and find out. Stay tuned for more updates and interviews with the kids.

PM Takes Youth To GRAMMY SoundCheck with Yanni

June 26, 2009


Hi, this is Philip again, the Project MuszEd summer intern. Today, Project Muszed coordinated an opportunity through The Grammy Foundation to attend another exciting Grammy Soundcheck, this time with award winning artist, Yanni. The students, ages 13-18 were able to participate in a Q&A session with the amazing artist. The questions were insightful and interesting. Yanni was very genuine and his passion for music shone through when he answered their questions, trying to give them as much information that he could within the allotted time. He was very pleased with the questions as he stated, “You kids are great!” during the Q&A session. In addition, the kids were able to speak with Yanni’s production manager. This gave them additional insight into the music industry beyond the artist’s point of view. After the Soundcheck, the kids were given complementary tickets to the amazing concert. With the support of the Grammy Foundation, Project MuszEd, was able to once again give these fortunate kids an excellent opportunity to speak with Yanni, and an opportunity to see him in concert.

PM takes kids to observe Sound Check with Andre Rieu

June 26, 2009


Hi, my name is Phillip Ragler and I am spending my summer in Los Angeles interning for Project MuszEd. We recently coordinated an opportunity for 30 kids from A Place Called Home to attend a sound check with renowned violinist Andre Rieu, who has been dubbed by media as the “King of Waltz.” It was an amazing experience for the kids to speak to a professional musician. The students asked Rieu questions and listened intently as he expressed the experiences that he has had from many years of being a musician. The students also got to speak with members of the Rieu’s Johann Strauss Orchestra, where they were able to gain even more valuable information and insights into the lives of professional artists.

After the Q&A session , the kids were treated to backstage access and dinner with some of the members of the orchestra. Here, they were able to ask questionson a more personal level. Rieu then treated everyone to tickets to attend the concert later that night! With the support of the Grammy Foundation, Project MuszEd was able to give these kids an excellent opportunity to speak with and see a world renowned musician and his orchestra in concert. Special thanks to The Grammy Foundation for extending this exciting and educational opportunity.

Look out for future blogs from me as we extend resources and opportunities in music education to more kids.

A Project MuszEd Success Story

June 26, 2009

When Laura Padilla was just 14 years old, Project MuszEd gave her an opportunity of a lifetime opening for The Black Eyed Peas at the world famous Key Club in Hollywood, CA. At 16, Laura and her band performed at another PM event opening for All Time Low and other acts from the Hopeless Record label. Now 18, Laura will be heading to Boston MA on scholarship to attend the SYSTEM 5 program at Berklee College of Music. Laura is active in the PM directed program at A Place Called Home. This is yet another PM success story with many more to come! Check out the link to a featured article about Laura in the Long Beach Gazette.

Music + Education

June 26, 2009

MUSIC. It is the rhythm of our lives. For some, it is the melodic vibe that keeps them grounded from day to day. Every culture moves to a beat of its own. Some fast. Some slow. And some at a smooth pace where two worlds collide into one. Music is a creative expression of its authors, yet there is a profound impact of music throughout the world.

EDUCATION. It is the wings of hope that propel us to the future. With it, we are powerful. Without it, we are lost. No matter to subject, education is a crucial thread that weaves our lives together and help us make sense of the world. Psychologist theorize that by the time a child is age six, he/she will have developed the personal character of who they will continue to be throughout their lives. While this may be true, much of what is learned during the educational molding of students in their youth will also be a catalyst of the paths they will take throughout their lives. Children are like sponges, absorbing and extracting from the world around them. With the right education they will become masterminds of their own fate. While ignorance can threaten to smother many of their hopes and dreams.

MUSIC EDUCATION. If you threw a penny in the air anywhere is Los Angeles, you will find a music education program for children and young adults. Conversely, if you threw that same penny in the air and asked a child if he/she was enrolled in one of these programs, you will most likely get a resounding “no”. Although placed in the attics of many parent’s minds, Music Education is an underused compliment to traditional educational studies. Even with a simple hour per week of learning and practicing a musical instrument, children can develop life-skills that transfer to positive everyday behavioral changes.

Through music education, children acquire discipline and structure. Working in groups, they learn their own personal voice in the world around them, in addition to experiencing the courageous benefits of working in groups. Music Education is not about dropping a child off for an hour with an instructor. It is a untapped resource of parent and child bonding, as the students learn to master their instrument.

There is great value in the model of music education. Unfortunately, many school districts have long forgotten the benefits of solid music programs. Existing programming is often severely limited and less likely to be placed in areas demonstrating the greatest need. Therefore, students who would benefit the most are not being reached. With the help of Project MuszEd, music education will continue to be a beacon of hope for families seeking a positive and creative outlet for their children.

Join us in putting the spotlight on Music Education. To find out more about Project MuszEd and how you can support our program, contact: us by calling 818. 985. 6110.

News from The Quincy Jones Musiq Consortium

June 26, 2009

April 29, 2009 marked the date of the first Quincy Jones Music Consortium. The summit featured about 50 outstanding music educators and organizations from around the country. I represented The Berklee City Music Network located in Los Angeles at A Place Called Home. Many have asked me if Q was really involved – or was he there only in name. He certainly was involved! He sat amongst the guests and contributed comments and appreciation to all of us who are out in the trenches. It was so wonderful to meet everyone and to listen to performances by some very talented and hard working students.

It is a complete honor and privilege for me to be involved in this summit and to be recognized for excellence in music education. As I shared with others at the conference, my original aspirations in music were not to be a music educator. After teaching (almost against my will) for a year or two, I realized that not every student would ‘get it.’ I dug deeper to figure out what I had gotten out of my many years of music lessons. Through music lessons, I learned discipline, responsibility, and also excelled academically at an alarming rate. Given such a powerful vehicle, youth involved in music gain focus on positive activities rather than those that could be potentially detrimental.

In advocating and promoting the benefits of music education, there is a huge task of ensuring all youth have access to the arts. Not that everyone needs to become a musician, but understanding the science of music is critical to development in many ways. I will continue to keep you posted and hope you will join in on discussions and events regarding this important developmental component.