M.U.S.I.C = Musicians Using their Skills to Inspire Change

MUSIC to the Ears Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization serving in-school and out of school youth and young adults in Los Angeles County and surrounding communities. Our mission is to eliminate all barriers to creative and economic opportunities for underrepresented communities by providing specialized education, career training and mentoring programs. Our goal is to increase opportunities, diversity, equity, and inclusion across all sectors of the music, media and entertainment industry. We are an approved vendor of the County of Los Angeles and Los Angeles Unified School District.


K-12 Digital Music & Media Arts Education

Creative Entrepreneurship Training

Music Arts Therapy


Economic Opportunity

Los Angeles is the music, media and entertainment capital of the world! The U.S. media and entertainment (M&E) industry is the largest in the world, generating over $700 billion in annual revenue, and is expected to reach more than $825 billion by 2023 (according to PriceWaterhouseCoopers PwC).

Unfortunately, many students in Los Angeles may never have the opportunity to qualify for a career in this industry, due to a lack of funding, education, apprentice, mentoring and career training programs in K-12 public schools.

Creative Opportunity

The U.S. media and entertainment industry is comprised of businesses that produce and distribute motion pictures, television programs and commercials, streaming content, music and audio recordings, broadcast, radio, book publishing, video games, and ancillary services and products.

The current generation has grown up in a world defined by technology and creativity. They don’t need to go to school to learn the latest dances, how to play video games or use social media apps. They naturally excel at music, social media, gaming, technology, and other forms of entertainment, but they aren’t being taught how to turn their creativity into a career.


The M&E industry lacks diversity, but it’s not because of a lack of talent. There are plenty of talented creatives…they just lack the resources and opportunity!

Talent is not restricted to any ethnic or economic demographic, but the lack of opportunity is a direct result of not providing adequate support to low income and minority communities.

Industry Sector Partners and Advisors

Justin Bua

Artist, Author, Entrepreneur


Darin Earley, Ed.D

(fmr.) Dir. Family of Schools


Robeson Taj Frazier

Associate Professor


Dion Harris

Sr. Product Marketing Mgr.


Tony Burrus

Founder and CTO



Creative Dir., Designer, Artist


James Ingram

Field Deputy, Producer, Songwriter


Lauren Fletcher

College & Career Counselor


Richard Achee

Enterprise Partnerships


Kiki Miller

Academic Advisor


Lila Mendoza

Assistant Director


Dr. James Norris

Assistant Professor


Community Partners

Music Industry Supporters


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MUSIC to the Ears Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Los Angeles, CA.

M.U.S.I.C = Musicians Using their Skills to Inspire Change

Approved vendor and LA County designations:
1. Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD)
2. City of Los Angeles
3. County of Los Angeles
4. County of Los Angeles DBCA Social Enterprise

In 2021, we partnered with LAUSD to provide paid internships for high school students in Los Angeles County. Students were paired with various entertainment employment partners based on their creative skillset and interests.

Our Spring 2021 Employment Partners include:
Pioneer DJ, Justin BUA Gallery, UCLA Studio 22 and iHeart Media “Homegrown Radio” with DJ Hed and Chuck Dizzle, as heard on Real 92.3 in Los Angeles.

Our programs help promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the entertainment industry by preparing students for  paid internships, youth apprenticeships and career training opportunities in the music, media and entertainment industry.

PROJECT ENGAGE LA is a Youth Engagement and Empowerment initiative aimed to provide students with the skills needed to become confident self-advocates and future leaders. This program provides high school students in Los Angeles County with paid internship and volunteering opportunities for academic credit. Our mission is to help students explore pathways to positive change through meaningful civic and community engagement experiences.

In 2019, we partnered with Academix BEAT Lab and the Microsoft Store (Cerritos, CA) and Microsoft Education to offer a “Back To School Coding Class”, where students learned Coding through Minecraft. We offered (2) seperate workshops (10 students each, ages 8-16) at our Downtown LA location. The class was taught by a MIE Certified Microsoft Trainer.

In 2007, what started as a student field trip to a local radio station (100.3 The BEAT) in Los Angeles, developed into a 14 year education and mentoring relationship, including a annual Career Day guest speaker series, and eventually a weekly Music Education afterschool program at 54th Street Elementary, located near the Crenshaw District of Los Angeles, CA. We continue to support 54th Street Elementary in various capacities, including a virtual Career Day in 2020. (Due to Covid-19)

Attached Examples:
Audio – Custom School Anthem Written and Performed by students
Video – Career Day recap (Video: Hen Gee URBN247)
Pictured – DJ Dense visit
Pictured – Student hand made custom DJ bag

Previous Guests Include:
DJ Dense (Clippers Official Team DJ), Harry Shum (Glee), Devi Dev (Radio and TV Personality), Big Les (Dancer and Choreographer), Tawala Sharp (Music Director, 92.3 and 100.3 The Beat), Hen Gee (DJ and Producer), Chef Das, Lee Gaither (Entertainment Executive), Def Jam Records, Jive Records, and Interscope Records representatives.

LAUSD School Contact:
Mrs. Story-Wilkins

We offered a BEAT Lab DJ and Music Production afterschool program at the DaVinci RISE High Hawthorne location from Fall 2018 – March 9, 2020 (until Covid-19).

In the Summer of 2019, we also offered a 2-week Summer BEAT Lab to (2) cohorts of DaVinci RISE High students at our Downtown LA location. Students participated in work based learning and work based training programs in music, media, art and video content.

Special guest speakers included representatives from West LA College (Film School Professor), Universal Music Group (Label Executive) and Havasole Foundation (Founder).

Da Vinci RISE High seeks to create a highly responsive, holistic, and integrated model that meets the unique needs of youth navigating foster care, housing instability, probation, and/or other circumstances that have caused disruptions in their academic journeys.

RISE High, incubated at Da Vinci Schools, was 1 of only 10 schools in the nation to win a prestigious ‘Super School’ grant to reimagine high school in connection with XQ: The Super School Project, funded by Laurene Powell Jobs.

DaVinci Science High (El Segundo Campus) in partnership with DaVince RISE High (Hawthorne) created a “Tiny House 1.0 and 2.0” to serve as a satellite room for student counseling and support services.

In 2019, in partnership with Academix, we proposed a Portable BEAT Lab concept, which would be a self powered wifi enabled music production and recording studio. The concept was approved. The working project title “Tiny House 3.0”, was scheduled to be completed by Summer 2020, but was delayed due to Covid-19.

Reference Assets:
Portable BEAT Lab/Tiny House 3.0 planning session
DaVinci RISE Tiny House 1.0 recap video
DaVinci RISE Tiny House 2.0 recap photos (2x)

In 2020, we hosted a group of local students at our Downtown LA location for an interactive workshop called “MEET THE DJ”, where students got a chance to learn about the creative and business aspects of the DJ profession. Our first guest was DJ Roueche (Los Angeles Lakers Official Team DJ and AVP Pro Volleyball DJ), who spoke with the students about his career journey to becoming a full time professional DJ.

After the workshop, we surprised the students by taking them to  the Lakers vs. Memphis Grizzlies NBA Game at the Staples Center to watch DJ Roueche in his work environment, while enjoying the game.

The game passes were provided courtesy of the Los Angeles Lakers Youth Foundation.

In February 2020, we served as one of the community partners for the Destination Crenshaw groundbreaking event in the Leimert Park area of Los Angeles in partnership with the City of Los Angeles. MUSIC to the Ears set up a satellite Academix BEAT Lab 10×20 music education activation to expose students to the Art of DJ culture. The event was hosted by Issa Rae, with special guest musical performances and elected City officials.

Destination Crenshaw is an under-construction 1.3-mile-long open-air museum along Crenshaw Boulevard in Los Angeles, California, dedicated to preserving the history and culture of African Americans. The project includes new pocket parks, outdoor sculptures, murals, street furniture, and landscaping.

We hosted a series of music education workshops at the Downtown Los Angeles Job Corps location for students to explore their music creative interests.

Job Corps is the largest nationwide residential career training program in the country and has been operating for more than 50 years. The program helps eligible young people ages 16 through 24 complete their high school education, trains them for meaningful careers, and assists them with obtaining employment. Job Corps has trained and educated over two million individuals since 1964.

At Job Corps, students have access to room and board while they learn skills in specific training areas for up to three years. In addition to helping students complete their education, obtain career technical skills and gain employment, Job Corps also provides transitional support services, such as help finding employment, housing, child care, and transportation. Job Corps graduates either enter the workforce or an apprenticeship, go on to higher education, or join the military.

We hosted a series of youth development education workshops in partnership with Fresh Empire.

Fresh Empire launched in 2015 with the goal of preventing and reducing tobacco use among at-risk youth ages 12-17 who identify with hip-hop culture, specifically African American, Hispanic, and Asian American/ Pacific Islander youth.

When the campaign launched, nearly 5 million multicultural youth were open to smoking or were already experimenting with cigarettes—meaning they had already smoked up to 100 cigarettes in their lifetime1 —highlighting a group that could greatly benefit from stronger, more targeted youth tobacco prevention efforts.

To reach this niche group of teens, the campaign associated living tobacco-free with desirable hip-hop lifestyles through a variety of interactive marketing tactics including the use of traditional paid media, engagement through multiple digital platforms, and outreach at the local level.

The target audience was developed using a segmentation approach that focuses on youth who share the same core ideals, have similar life experiences and common interests, and are at higher risk for tobacco use.

In the Summer of 2019, we hosted Girls Make Beats for a  week long Summer Music Camp at our Downtown Los Angeles location.  In this workshop, students learned about the fundamentals of DJing and Music Production and was taught by Tiffany Miranda, the founder of Girls Make Beats.

Girls Make Beats is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers girls by expanding the female presence of music producers, DJs, and audio engineers.

GMB works with girls ages 5-17 and hosts educational seminars, summer camps, industry panels and networking events. GMB helps girls further their careers as music producers, DJs, and audio engineers by providing courses on industry leading hardware and software. GMB also serves as an outlet for girls to unite and collaborate within the music industry. ​

Attached is the GMB commercial featured on iHeart Radio Real 92.3 in Los Angeles, which promoted the week long workshop at Academix BEAT Lab.

In 2019, we hosted a group of over 30 students from the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, who were interested in music, arts, technology and culture.

This was the start of a planned partnership between (IDEA) at Annenberg, MUSIC to the Ears and Academix, whereby we would collaborate on music, arts and culture classes, workshops and events. Our Downtown LA facility would be used as a satellite location for offsite USC-related meetings, events, and classes, starting Fall 2020 and Spring 2021. This program has been temporarily placed on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

A letter of support is available upon request.

The USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism comprises a School of Communication and a School of Journalism at the University of Southern California (USC). The Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism was established in 1971 through the support of United States Ambassador Walter H. Annenberg. The USC Department of Communication Arts and Sciences and the School of Journalism became part of USC Annenberg in 1994.

The Institute for Diversity and Empowerment at Annenberg (IDEA) explores the redemptive and transformational capacities of media, the arts, and culture, with specific attention to what they illuminate about identity, difference, and power. We organize and facilitate media, critical theory, and art-based interdisciplinary education, research, and programming.

In 2019, we participated in the Compton Unified School District’s 3rd Annual STEAM Fest, where students, educators, stakeholders, and partners join forces to bring Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math to life. The many activities and exhibits throughout the event will highlight the innovation achievements of our students and our partners who are at the forefront of their field.

MUSIC to the Ears Foundation and Academix set up a DJ workstation to provide music and hands on tutorials for students interested in digital music education and creative career pathways.

Compton Unified School District is located in in the south-central region of Los Angeles County, California. CUSD encompasses the city of Compton and portions of the cities of Carson and Los Angeles. The district currently serves nearly 26,000 students at 36 sites with a focus on STEAM throughout all school locations.

In partnership with Pacifica Radio 90.7 KPFK FM Los Angeles and MUSIC to the Ears Foundation, Academix Beat Lab Radio was established as a weekly 2-hour radio dedicated to music, arts, education, culture and community.

The show aired weekly every Friday 6:00pm – 8:00pm from September 2019 to September 2020 and featured special guest celebrities who shared their professional and personal experiences in music, arts, entertainment and education.

90.7 KPFK FM – Los Angeles, is a listener-sponsored radio station based in North Hollywood, California, United States, which serves Southern California, and also streams 24 hours a day via the Internet. With its 110,000-watt main transmitter atop Mount Wilson, KPFK is one of the most powerful FM stations in the western United States. The station can be heard from the California/Mexico border to Santa Barbara to Ridgecrest/China Lake.

Attached is a sample of the Kobe Bryant Tribute, which aired January 31, 2020. Academix BEAT Lab radio was produced and co-hosted by SCETCH.