Musicians Institute

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Musicians Institute
Musicians Institute logo.png
Former names
Guitar Institute of Technology
Musicians Institute of Technology
Established 1977[1]
Type For-profit education
President Hisatake Shibuya
Born 1937
Dean Thomas Patrick Engfer
Born 1967
Dean of Compliance
    and Assessment
Academic staff
Students 1,425
Location 6752 Hollywood Blvd
, California, United States
Campus Urban

Musicians Institute (MI) is a private college of contemporary music that offers a variety of educational programs in Hollywood, California. MI students can earn Certificates and — with transfer of coursework taken at Los Angeles City College — Associate of Arts Degrees, as well as Bachelor of Music Degrees in either Performance or Composition. The School of Performance Studies includes Bass, Drums, Guitar, Keyboard Technology and Vocals; while the School of Entertainment Industry Studies features Audio Engineering, Guitar Craft, Independent Artist and Music Business. Founded in 1977, MI is focused on building creative skills and providing all the tools students need to develop careers as musicians and music industry professionals.


Founders Howard Roberts and Pat Hicks

Musicians Institute was founded as The Guitar Institute of Technology in 1977 as a one-year vocational school of guitarists and bassists. Its curriculum and pedagogical style was shaped by guitarist Howard Roberts (1929–1992). Pat Hicks (né Patrick Carroll Hicks; born 1934),[2][3][4] a Los Angeles music industry entrepreneur, was the co-founder of Musicians Institute. He is credited for providing the organizational structure and management that rapidly transformed Howard Roberts' educational philosophy into a major music school.[5][6][7]

Programs added under Roberts and Hicks
1978: Bass Institute of Technology (BIT)
1980: Percussion Institute of Technology (PIT)
1987: Vocal Institute of Technology (VIT)
1991: Keyboard Institute of Technology (KIT)
1993: Recording Institute of Technology (RIT)
1994: Bachelor of Music Degree
Early curricular offerings

At the time of its founding, formal education in rock and roll at institutions of higher learning was limited mostly to universities and conservatories offering jazz studies, which were few. At the founding of the Musicians Institute, Jazz studies was, and is today, a strong component of the curricular offerings. In early days of the Musicians Institute, the demand for musicians and music industry professionals with comprehensive collegiate credentials in the field of contemporary music was low. Yet, the demand for contemporary music professionals was high. Roberts, when he founded the school, wanted to give aspiring rock and roll musicians a conservatory experience. Nowadays, comprehensive music education in higher education, from bachelors to doctorates, covers rock and roll from several perspectives, including literature, musicology, history, performing arts, technology, business, and law. For musicians working towards degrees in performance, proficiency in rock and roll is standard, particularly for aspiring session musicians.

The rise of contemporary musicians holding comprehensive academic credentials over the last 50 years is partly the result of more universities offering programs in the field, which, in turn, has increased the demand for contemporary oriented music educators with academic credentials at universities. Because the Musicians Institute was an innovator in rock and roll in higher education — and twenty-one years ago began offering bachelor of music degrees — its alumni are well-represented as educators of contemporary music at institutions of higher learning.

Current owner Hisatake Shibuya

Japanese businessman Hisatake Shibuya (born 1937)[8] bought the school in 1994 and Musicians Institute began developing new programs to keep abreast of the modern music industry.

Programs added under Shibuya
2000: Recording Artist Program (RAP)
2000: Audio Engineering
2000: Guitar Craft Academy (GCA)
2002: Music Business Program (MBP)
2005: Film Program

Musicians Institute is currently developing DJ technology courses to train students in modern electronic music-making.

Notable faculty[edit]

Faculty — current and former
Guest instructors — current and former

Notable alumni[edit]


Language codes
de = German
el  = Greek
es = Spanish
fi   = Finnish
fr   = French
ja  = Japanese
it   = Italian
nl  = Dutch
pt  = Portuguese
sv  = Swedish
tr   = Turkish
zh = Chinese

Former institutional and division names[edit]

Active names
  • MI College of Contemporary Music™ (service mark & trade mark)[Trademarks 1]
  • MI Connects™ (service mark)[Trademarks 2] – online talent resource for students and alumni
  • MI Musicians Institute™[Trademarks 3]
  • Guitar Craft Academy™ – for the design, construction, and maintenance of guitars and basses
Trademark names of Campus Hollywood, Inc.
  • Tricycle Entertainment™ (service mark — abandoned in 2004)
Former names
  • Guitar Institute of Technology (service mark – became inactive June 22, 1990)
  • Vocal Institute of Technology (service mark – became inactive May 19, 1989)[Trademarks 4]
  • Bass Institute of Technology
  • Percussion Institute of Technology
  • Keyboard Institute of Technology
  • Recording Institute of Technology (trademark – became inactive December 5, 2005)
  • Film Institute of Technology (trademark – became inactive December 5, 2005)
  • Encore Program
  • World Institute of Percussion (launched in 1987)


Trademark notes
  1. ^ "MI College of Contemporary Music™," United States Patent and Trademark Office
        Reg. No. 4662703, December 20, 2014
        Reg. No. 4659008, December 23, 2014
  2. ^ "MI Connects™," United States Patent and Trademark Office
        Reg. No. 4056217, November 5, 2011
  3. ^ "MI Musicians Institute™," United States Patent and Trademark Office
        Reg. No. 3630659, June 2, 2009
        Reg. No. 3630655, June 2, 2009
        Reg. No. 3380297, February 12, 2008
        Reg. No. 3380290, February 12, 2008
        Reg. No. 1598974, May 29, 1990
  4. ^ "Vocal Institute of Technology™," United States Patent and Trademark Office
        Reg. September 6, 1988
        Abandoned May 19, 1989

Musicians Institute Press[edit]

The Musicians Institute Press is a division of the Musicians Institute, and is focused on instructional publications — print and video — by instructors of guitar, bass, drums, vocals, and film editing, audio engineering, composition, arranging, musicology, music theory, sight reading, sight singing, and the entertainment business. The publications are distributed by the Musicians Institute and Hal Leonard Corporation Performing Arts Publishing Group.[10] Since 1997, the publishing imprint has been the "Musicians Institute Press." Before that, from about 1982 to 1997, the imprint was "Musicians Institute Publications."


Degree and certificate programs[edit]

Associate degrees
  • Associate of Arts in Performance
  • Associate of Arts in Performance — Combined Emphasis
  • Associate of Science in Guitar Electronics, Amplification, and Effects
  • Associate of Science in Music Business
  • Associate of Science in Live Music Event Production
  • Associate of Science in Post-Production Audio
  • Associate of Science in Studio Recording
Bachelor's degrees
  • Bachelor of Music in Composition (Scoring for Visual Media)
  • Bachelor of Music in Performance
  • Bachelor of Music with a Minor in Audio Production
  • Bachelor of Music with a Minor in Music Industry Studies
  • Certificate in Music Video, Film, and Television Production
  • Certificate in Audio Engineering
  • Certificate in Audio Engineering — Live Sound Production
  • Certificate in DJ Performance and Production
  • Certificate in Audio Engineering — Post Production Audio
  • Certificate in Guitar Craft
  • Certificate in Guitar Craft — Acoustic Guitar Design
  • Certificate in Music Business
  • Certificate in Music Business — Entrepreneur
  • Certificate in Performance

The Musicians Institute offers instrumental performance programs for bass, drums, guitar, keyboard technology, and vocals. Music industry programs include audio engineering, Independent Artist Program, the Guitar Craft Academy and Music Business. The school is focused on building skills needed for careers as musicians and music industry professionals.[a][11]

Ranking, state registration, NASM accreditation, and city of Los Angeles commendation[edit]


The Institute of International Education, in its assessment of "Top 40 Specialized Institutions, 2009/10," from its publication, International Students: Leading Institutions by Institutional Type, ranked Musicians Institute 13 in the United States out of 40.[13]

State of California registration

Musicians Institute and its programs are registered by the state of California by the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education.[12]

NASM institutional accreditation

National Association of Schools of Music: Musicians Institute has been an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) since 1981.[14][15]

Representative commentary about accreditation

In 1992, new musicologist Robert Walser cited the Musicians Institute as one of the best-known schools for guitarist, one that has flourished outside the ivory tower, offering students broader professional training.[16] But a trade-off, according to a review in the October 2012 issue of Performer Magazine, is that a lack of academic accreditation — specifically from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges — can make it challenging for students to transfer credits from MI to academic institutions.[17] To meet the academic criteria for a Bachelor of Music Degree — 45 quarter units or 30 semester units in liberal arts — the Musicians Institute has a partnership with nearby Los Angeles City College (LACC) to study English, mathematics, natural science, social science, and humanities. LACC is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges [b] The Carnegie Foundation has designated the Musicians Institute as a "Special Focus Institute in Music."[18]

City of Los Angeles commendation

On August 25, 2007, the Los Angeles City Council adopted a resolution declaring August 25, 2007, "Musicians Institute Day in the City of Los Angeles" in recognition of its achievements over three decades during its 30th year anniversary celebration. The resolution was presented by Eric Garcetti, seconded by Tom LaBonge, and passed by a vote of twelve to zero out of fifteen, three being absent.[19]

Facilities and constituent institutions[edit]


When MI celebrated its 30th Anniversary in 2007, its facilities included over 75,000 square feet of studios, performance venues, classrooms, and practice rooms across several blocks in central Hollywood. As of 2013, the Musician's Institute Stage was added as a venue for the Annual Mayhem Festival. December 2013, The ESP Company, LTD, unveiled plans to expand its Campus Hollywood complex of schools in Los Angeles. From 2010 to 2013, ESP invested $47 million in new property and will expand its facility to exceed 180,000 square feet of adjoining buildings on or near Highland Avenue between Hollywood Blvd. and Sunset Boulevard. The expansion is part of a reorganization and upgrade of existing Campus Hollywood properties that accommodate the Musicians Institute, Theatre of Arts, International Dance Academy, and Elegance International. The new facilities will include a performance venue, student dormitory, and parking lots. The Hollywood Campus constituent institutions will become more integrated with one another.[20]

Constituent institutions of Campus Hollywood, Inc. — Hisatake Shibuya, President
  1. Musicians Institute — Hisatake Shibuya, President
  2. Theatre of Arts, 1536 N. Highland Avenue, Hollywood, an acting school founded in 1927 — Hisatake Shibuya, President
  3. Elegance International, 1622 N. Highland Ave., a school for professional makeup artists — Hisatake Shibuya, President
  4. Los Angeles College of Music, 300 South Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena, California — Hisatake Shibuya, President
  5. International Dance Academy Hollywood, 6755 Hollywood Blvd., Suite 200 Hollywood — Hisatake Shibuya, President
International sister educational institutions
  1. MI Japan (ja)Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Sendai and Fukuoka — Hisatake Shibuya, President
  2. UTB Video Academy (ja), Chiyoda, Tokyo, founded in 1998 under the auspices of United Television Broadcasting Systems, Inc. (ja)
  3. ESP Entertainment, Kita-ku, Osaka — Hisatake Shibuya, President
Other entities closely held by Hisatake Shibuya
  1. Hollywood Entertainment ESL, founded as a California corporation in 2012, active (as of 2015) — Hisatake Shibuya, President
  2. ESP Investment Holdings, Inc., founded as a California corporation in 2010, active (as of 2015) — Hisatake Shibuya, President
  3. ESP Gakuen, founded as a Japan corporation in 2001, registered as a foreign non-profit corporation in California, active (as of 2015) — Hisatake Shibuya, President
  4. Schecter Guitar Research, acquired by Shibuya in 1987 — Hisatake Shibuya, President
  5. ESP Company, Limited, doing business as ESP Guitars, founded by Shibuya in 1975 — Hisatake Shibuya, President
  6. United Television Broadcasting Systems, Inc. (ja), a Japanese language television station based in Los Angeles and syndicated in Japan
  7. E.S.P. Shibuya Enterprises, Inc., founded as a California corporation in 1998, active (as of 2015) — Hisatake Shibuya, President
Inactive entities that were closely held by Hisatake Shibuya
  1. Tricycle Records, Inc., founded as a California corporation in 2001, dissolved — Hisatake Shibuya, President
  2. ESP Co., LTD., doing business in California as ESP Real Estate Investment, Inc., registration surrendered — Hisatake Shibuya, President
  3. Entertainment Enterprises Hollywood, Inc., founded as a California corporation, dissolved — Hisatake Shibuya, President
  4. CHMG, Inc., founded as a California corporation, no longer active — Hisatake Shibuya, President
  5. Hollywood Pop Academy, Inc., founded in 2003 as a California corporation, no longer active — Hisatake Shibuya, President


Biographical citations and external links
  1. ^ "Ron Eschete Interview,", by Doug Perkins, Jazz Guitar Society blog (, September 12, 2014 (retrieved 2 January 20145)
  2. ^ a b "Henderson, Scott," Oxford Music Online, Oxford University Press (retrieved January 5, 2015); OCLC 5576124099
  3. ^ "'Voice' Coach Debra Byrd Named Vocal Chair at Musicians Institute," by Michele Amabile Angermiller, Billboard, October 4, 2013
  4. ^ Sharon Agular[dead link]
  5. ^ Howard Alden (DVD), Hamilton College Jazz Archive (2003); OCLC 55628013 and 895054200
  6. ^ "FAQ – Musicians Institute". 
  7. ^ "David Becker". 
  8. ^ "Jean Marc Belkadi has written 11 instructional book/CD sets published by Hal Leonard /Musicians Institute Private Lessons/Press]". 
  9. ^ "Norman Brown bio". Norman Brown. Retrieved 2011-09-13. 
  10. ^ The International Who's Who in Popular Music 2002, Andy Gregory (ed.), Europa Publications (2002); pg. 65; OCLC 50172992 ISSN 1740-0163
  11. ^ "Extract from Dream Brother: The Lives And Music Of Jeff And Tim Buckley," The Guardian, December 16, 2000 (Retrieved September 13, 2011)
  12. ^ "Michael Campese: Artist-Composer-Arranger". Retrieved 2011-09-13. 
  13. ^ "Douglas R. Docker Official Biography". Retrieved 2013-04-30. 
  14. ^ "About". Retrieved 2011-09-13. 
  15. ^ "Frank Gambale". 
  16. ^ "Gambale, Frank," Oxford Music Online, Oxford University Press (retrieved January 5, 2015); OCLC 5576125358
  17. ^ "Avenged Sevenfold - Synyster Gates Guitar Gear Rig and Equipment". 
  18. ^ "Gewelt, Terje," Oxford Music Online, Oxford University Press (retrieved January 5, 2015); OCLC 5576124406
  19. ^ Herring, Jimmy (2008). "Biography 1980". Official Jimmy Herring Website. Blueback Music. Retrieved 2009-07-26. 
  20. ^ "Matt Mcjunkins (About)". 
  21. ^ "Christopher Maloney". 
  22. ^ "Rafael Moreira (GIT '98) | Jan 01, 2005 | Success Story at Musicians Institute". Retrieved 2011-09-13. 
  23. ^ "Warwick Basses Amps & Rock'n Roll". Retrieved 2011-09-13. 
  24. ^ "Eric Vandenberg website". 
  25. ^ The Ultimate Breathing Workout (rev. ed.), by Jaime J. Vendera (born 1969), Jaime Vendera Publications (2009), pg. 73; OCLC 252975393


Inline citations from primary sources


General inline citations
  1. ^ a b c d "Guitar School Opens March 7," Billboard, January 22, 1977, pg. 97
  2. ^ "Trading Licks At The School of Rock: Musicians Institute Is Noisy And Counts Prof. Van Halen Among Its Visiting Lecturers. School's Mission is to Help Students Make Careers in Music," by Josh Meyer, Los Angeles Times, June 7, 1990
  3. ^ Secrets from the Masters: Conversations With Forty Great Guitar Players From the Pages of Guitar Player Magazine Don Menn (ed.), Backbeat Books (1992), pg. 208; OCLC 47008282
  4. ^ "Higher Ground: A Look at Guitar in Higher Education," by Jason Shadrick, Premier Guitar August 1, 2012
  5. ^ Book review: "Trading Fours: The Golden Years of Musicians Institute," Bass Musician Magazine (, June 8, 2011 (accessed September 13, 2011)
  6. ^ "Musicians Institute Founder Highlights Famed Facility's Beginnings" (Press release). Archived from the original on March 20, 2012. 
  7. ^ Trading Fours: The Golden Years of Musicians Institute, by Pat Hicks (né Patrick Carroll Hicks; born 1934), Sedona, Arizona: Crystal Sky Books (2011); OCLC 875427203
  8. ^ "Meet the Founders: Hisatake Shibuya, ESP Board Chairman," Tokyo: Japan Music Trades (, April 5, 2011
  9. ^ a b "Musicians Institute," by Niyaz Pirani, March 1, 2005, Campus Circle ( Los Angeles: Campus Circle, Incorporated, March 1, 2005
  10. ^ Musicians Institute Press through Hal Leonard
  11. ^ a b "Accredited Institutional Members: Musicians Institute". National Association of Schools of Music. 
  12. ^ a b "School Detail: Musicians Institute," California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education
  13. ^ "Top 40 Specialized Institutions, 2009/10," from its publication, International Students: Leading Institutions by Institutional Type
  14. ^ "College Navigator - Musicians Institute". National Center for Education Statistics. 1980-01-09. Retrieved 2011-09-13. 
  15. ^ "GIT Accredited," Music Educators Journal: Bulletin Board, No. 67, No. 7, March 1981, pg. 100; ISSN 0027-4321
  16. ^ "Music Education 101: Intro to Higher Learning," Performer, Vol. 22, No. 10, October 2012, pg. 46
  17. ^ "Musicians Institute," Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education (retrieved January 6, 2015)
  18. ^ "Musicians Institute Day in the City of Los Angeles," 07-2693, Los Angeles City Council, August 17, 2007
  19. ^ "ESP Set to Expand Campus Hollywood," Vintage Guitar, December 10, 2013

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 34°06′03″N 118°20′14″W / 34.100796°N 118.337297°W / 34.100796; -118.337297