Archive for June, 2009

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.

The Kindness of SoCal Music Live.

June 26, 2009
I have to say, I love the concept of social networking. I’m glad to know that PM has other friends on MySpace besides Tom. One of our best new friends is SoCal Music Live and its founder, Bob Leggett. Bob reached out to us on a social network. He became an instant fan of PM and our mission to support youth through music education. Thanks to Bob and the So Cal Music consortium, we were designated as their chosen charity and gifted with a donation that will help us with our summer music program, Camp CASM.

If you haven’t done so – go to MySpace and check out SoCal Music Live. This organization has some of the most amazing unsigned singer/songwriters and performers on the planet!

Thanks to Bob, Chelle and all the gang at SCML!!! See you this summer at Camp CASM!


June 26, 2009

Charyn Harris of Project MuszEd has been invited to represent A Place Called Home (APCH) in The Quincy Jones Musiq Consortium on Wednesday, April 29, 2009 in New York City. Through Project MuszEd, Ms. Harris oversees activities of the APCH music department, a learning site for the The Berklee City Music Network. The Quincy Jones Musiq Consortium is uniting leaders in music education, the music industry, corporations, foundations and philanthropists to share resources, networks, ideas and their passion to make music education an ongoing part of the lives of children in the U.S.

Berklee’s support of APCH has benefited hundreds of youth by providing free cutting-edge learning materials via the PULSE (Pre-University Learning Experience) website. PULSE provides an engaging interactive learning experience for the students. 15 students from APCH have attended Berklee’s summer program on scholarship while 3 students have been accepted fulltime; 2 with full scholarships to the prestigious institution. Under the direction of Ms.Harris, the program has been recognized by the City of Los Angeles and is lauded as one of the most comprehensive free music programs in Los Angeles in bringing cultural enrichment and diversity to the inner city community. Ms. Harris credits her educational experience at Berklee with preparing her to successfully meet the demands of professional and personal pursuits. “Attending Berklee gave me a competitive advantage. I’m excited to be able to pass this knowledge to my students. The venture with APCH, especially with the support of Berklee, is vital since it makes such a measurable difference in the lives of youth who may not otherwise have a positive or productive outlet of focus and expression .”

Project MuszEd is a nonprofit organization providing resources in music education and consultation to organizations and individuals. PM facilitates exciting opportunities that foster personal and academic growth for students who otherwise would not have access. With the support of PM, students have opened for The Black-Eyed Peas, performed with The Isley Brothers, Ozomatli and others. Prior to transitioning into Music Education, founder Charyn Harris, MBA, toured for nearly a decade as keyboardist for legendary R&B maestro, Barry White and performed with The Cranberries, Jonathan Butler, Al B. Sure!, Luciano Pavarotti, and others. Project MuszEd is dedicated to inspire youth while cultivating achievement and success through music.

For additional information, interviews, please contact Project Muszed (818) 985-6110 or

Inner City Music Students Hang with Rodney ‘Darkchild’ Jerkins

June 26, 2009
Since 2000, Project MuszEd has provided music education services to the Los Angeles youth center, A Place Called Home. Check out what happened when we were invited to spend the day with Rodney ‘Darkchild’ Jerkins for National Take A Youth To Work Day. A special thanks to John Byrd and Kat Perez-Fraga of Mogul Music for facilitating this wonderful opportunity!
Photo 1: APCH member Stefon Ginn takes direction to Rodney Jerkins in song production.
Photo 2: John Byrd, Miguel Nunez, Charyn Harris, Rodney ‘Darkchild’ Jerkins and Kat Perez-Fraga

When nine APCH families arrived at Rodney Jerkins’ Mogul Music complex, they had no idea what was in store for them. Rodney has produced a myriad of artists including Britney Spears, Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez and others. Today, unknown to our students, they were about to join the ranks of music royalty. Upon entering the complex, we were greeted by Rodney and the Music Mogul staff. Rodney was incredibly gracious and enthusiastic about inviting us into ‘his house,’ in which he urged us to be comfortable and have a good time, and we certainly did!

Rodney started the afternoon off by telling us his story. At age 14, Rodney was producing demos and handing them out to record label executives, only to have them thrown into the trash countless times. He had family members tell him he would not amount to anything. Yet and still, he pursued his dream and worked harder on his craft. Through the story, Rodney credited his faith, his belief in himself and his hard work ethic in achieving his success. He encouraged our members to do the same and to not give up on their dreams, but to remain focused and dedicated. His story was truly inspirational and was the perfect prelude to the proceeding events.

The members were split into two groups. Each group took turns going into Rodney’s personal studio and participating in creating their own tracks. Rodney guided the students in creating a beat, adding additional parts and even going into the sound booth to rap and sing! Actor/Recording Artist Justin Martin was also on hand and provided extra support to the project. Justin, age 14, is now appearing in the ‘The Soloist’ with Jamie Foxx and has also appeared in ‘High School Musical 3’ and others. Also visiting that day was actor, Miguel Nunez!

As if that were not enough, Rodney then presented each member with the most incredible gift bag. Among the goodies were books, DVDs, CDs, and an ASUS computer! After a round of photos, Rodney then presented APCH with one of his first platinum records which he produced for R&B vocalist, Joe. We are honored that Rodney and the Mogul Management team thought of us and extended such incredible hospitality to our members and their families. The event was truly inspiring. Who knows, Rodney’s next artist may be among one of our APCH students!


Link to NBC News Story:

Project MuszEd: Cultivating Achievement and Success through Music

June 26, 2009

We decided to put out this blog since so many of you have expressed interest about what is happening with Project MuszEd and our kids. Project MuszEd provides resources in music education to organizations and individuals. One of our most notable clients is the South Los Angeles youth center, A Place Called Home. We also provide free and low cost music instruction to a host of wonderful and deserving families throughout Los Angeles

Students benefit by being offered special performance opportunities, scholarship support, raising funds and just about anything that we can do to help them fulfill their goals and keep them involved in a positive and nurturing activity.

You will learn more about who we are and what we do, as well as read blogs highlighting our students. You will soon truly understand why we do what we do, and why we are so dedicated.

Hello world!

June 26, 2009

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