FAQ – Musicians Institute

Can I get a degree?

Musicians Institute offers a wide variety of degrees and areas of concentration in the field of contemporary music. Program options include:

Bachelor of Music in Performance (180 credit units, twelve quarters): a unique degree program combining contemporary music performance with rigorous training in such traditional music disciplines as theory, arranging, and music history.

Associate of Arts in Performance (90 credit units, six quarters): provides comprehensive instrument skills, musical knowledge and practical performing experience preparing you for the challenges of professional and creative contemporary performing careers. AA options also include combinations of instrument study and music-industry specialties (audio engineering, music business, independent artist development, film, guitar-making).

What Certificate Programs do you offer?

At Musicians Institute you can receive focused instruction leading to the following certificates:

Certificate in Performance (60 credit units, four quarters): provides a solid, intensive foundation in instrument technique, musicianship, and contemporary music performing experience.

Music Industry Certificate Programs (30-45 credit units, two-three quarters): focused, intensive instruction in non-performing fields including audio engineering, independent artist development, music business, film, and guitar-making.

What short term programs do you offer?

MI Select Program: (non-certificate training in music; one quarter): customized programs in performance – create a personalized ten-week schedule of classes and lessons on your instrument.

Musicians Institute Extension: Online courses in music business. Watch this site for new courses to be added soon in recording, independent artist development, and music video & film production.

Summer Shot: A series of intensive one-week programs in Performance, Songwriting, Music Production, Guitar Building and more.

To find out more about each program, available options, and how to apply, contact an Admissions Representative.

Is Musicians Institute accredited?

Musicians Institute is an accredited member institution of the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), a national accrediting agency recognized by the Council of Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and the US Department of Education.

What are the requirements to get in?

Criteria for admission vary according to the particular program. An Admissions Representative will answer all of your questions and tell you exactly what you need to do to apply to the program of your choice. Once you’ve made a decision, the first step toward applying to any program is to fill out an application form. To request an application:
Telephone: From the Los Angeles area or from outside the U.S.: 323-462-1384 | From other U.S. phones: 1-800-255-7529
Email: admissions@mi.edu
Write: Admissions Department | Musicians Institute | 6752 Hollywood Blvd | Hollywood, CA 90028

What classes should I take in High School to prepare?

While you are not required to take specific High School courses to be admitted to MI, we strongly recommend that you take advantage of any music-related studies available to you. Relevant classes would include Music Appreciation, Music Theory, Ear Training, Music Reading, Music Industry Studies, Ensemble, Choir, Band, Chorus, Computer Skills and Keyboard Skills.

Outside of school, private lessons (for performance students) are also very important. An additional source of preparatory information is available through MI Press, Hal Leonard Publishing, the official publications of Musicians Institute. Over 100 publications, books, CDs and DVDs are available on a variety of subjects related to MI programs that can also be used in conjunction with private lessons.

Do I need a formal education in music to get in?

Admission requirements vary by degree level and subject area.

Bachelor Degree students are required to submit a letter of recommendation from a music teacher (private teachers are acceptable), but you are not required to show that you have taken specific courses or attended a certain type of school. You will be evaluated according to the criteria most relevant to the program to which you are applying and based on the level of skill and knowledge you demonstrate in your application. Acceptable skill levels can be acquired through any combination of training including self-study, private study, live performing experience, online study, workshops, classes, or formal training.

How much experience do I need on my instrument?

There are many factors that enter into determining your qualifications to enter a specific MI program. Skill, knowledge, and experience all play an important role, but so do focus and dedication.

We consider not only whether you are prepared to begin a program, but also whether you’re prepared to finish it.

Most programs begin by teaching fundamentals but also move very quickly into more advanced areas. A less-experienced musician with a high degree of discipline can complete a program with great success, whereas a musician with more experience who is not prepared to put in the necessary effort may wind up struggling.

It’s not so much a matter of how long you’ve been a musician, but more about how dedicated you are to moving forward with your musical development

Before you apply, an Admissions Representative can give you an idea of whether your level of experience appears to be high enough for you to apply. After you submit your application, senior instructors will carefully review it and determine your ability, skill level, and overall qualifications for acceptance into the program. In some cases, they may recommend that you re-apply after further study, or that you consider entering a different program or at a different degree level. If you are accepted, when you arrive to register for classes you will be evaluated again and placed into course levels appropriate to your current level of skill, knowledge and experience.

Do you offer job placement?


The Student Support Center on campus provides information, resources and networking opportunities to help students create and meet personal career goals. Counselors provide individual, one-on-one attention or group sessions during scheduled appointments that can cover tutoring, résumés, EPK’s (Electronic Press Kits), audition preparation, music industry internships and more.

For details on Professional Development services, Audition Training, Career Mentors, Internships, Career Workshops & the MI Connects online talent resource, visit the Student Support Center’s Career Development page.

What’s your placement percentage?

The California Bureau of Private Post-Secondary Education has recently revised its policies about how placement statistics are reported. Updated information regarding the number of students who have been placed as well as the starting salary you can earn after finishing a specific educational program is available. Please see this document for current information – School Performance Fact Sheet

What famous people went to your school?

MI’s mission is to provide students with the tools to achieve their highest creative and professional potential. The real measure of success is what former students accomplish in the years after MI. We are proud to be part of their development, but their success, whether in or out of the public eye, is the result of individual dedication and tenacity. To mention only a few, former MI students who have gone on to public recognition as recording artists include Keb’ Mo’, Jeff Buckley, Norman Brown, and Brooke White; instrument virtuosos include Paul Gilbert, Scott Henderson, Jennifer Batten and Frank Gambale, and members of internationally-known bands include John Frusciante (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Rivers Cuomo, Brian Bell and Scott Shriner (Weezer), and Dave Kushner (Velvet Revolver).

Other grads are found on stage or in the studio with artists ranging from Nine Inch Nails, Paul Stanley, Chris Cornell, Paul Stanley, Stone Temple Pilots, Steve Vai, David Lee Roth, and Korn to Mariah Carey, Pink, Christina Aguilera, Jordin Sparks, Rihanna, Melissa Etheridge, and the late Michael Jackson.

Check out “Success Stories” on MI’s website to see examples of hundreds of grads who are working in every part of the music industry.

How much does MI cost?

Tuition varies by program type and length. Contact your Admissions Representative, see the current Course Catalog or the “Tuition” link in the Admissions & Aid dropdown menu for complete description of tuition and fees, as well as estimated budget costs.

Do you offer financial aid?

Musicians Institute is authorized to provide aid for U.S. Citizens and permanent residents under various federal and state financial aid programs. Each type of aid has specific eligibility requirements and the amount you qualify to receive will vary according to your individual circumstances and the program to which you are applying. If you qualify, you may be eligible for one or more types of aid. However, it is important for you to know that financial aid usually does not cover all of your tuition costs.

How do I apply for financial aid?

The first step in applying for financial aid is to complete your FAFSA application and enter the MI school code (015238). By filling in your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online, you ensure its accuracy and the information goes directly to the federal processor, which means you receive your Student Aid Report sooner. It’s fast, convenient, and user-friendly. If you require a paper application, you may call 1.800.4FEDAID and one will be mailed to you. Upon request from the Financial Aid Office, you may need to provide additional documents such as student and or parent tax returns, verification of untaxed income, or other documents required to determine eligibility. The Financial Aid Office will mail your award notification approximately 3-6 weeks after receipt of your Student Aid Report (depending on the time of year) only if you have already been accepted for admission to MI.

Do you have scholarships? How do I apply?

Musicians Institute offers a variety of scholarships designed to provide tuition assistance to students during their enrollment at MI. Information is available on the web site and in our Scholarship Guide for a list of current scholarships, how to apply, and the deadline for submission. Refer to each scholarship application for specific details; for all additional questions about scholarships, please contact the Admissions Department.

How do I receive a tour of the campus?

Tours are conducted between 9am and 6pm each weekday by appointment with your Admissions Representative. Another great opportunity to tour the campus is to attend a Hands-On Open House. These events are scheduled throughout the year; contact the Admissions department for details, dates and to make a reservation.

Are my credits transferable to other schools?

Every college sets its own requirements for accepting credits from other institutions. These requirements vary widely based on program content, institutional accreditation, and other factors and are determined case-by-case by the receiving institution. MI cannot guarantee in advance that any specific institution will accept your credits, but should you need to transfer, we are prepared to help you through the process.

Are my credits from another college transferable to your school?

As with transferring to other institutions, the question of which or how many of your prior credits are transferable to a specific program at MI must be handled on a case-by-case basis (see the current Course Catalog for more information on transfer of credits into MI’s Bachelor of Music program). However, if you have successfully studied at another institution of higher education and seek to enter a similar program at MI, you may qualify for advanced placement in certain areas; this will be determined based on your placement interview at the time of registration.

Where are you located?

Hollywood is known as the entertainment capital of the world, and MI’s main entrance is right in the center, on legendary Hollywood Boulevard just blocks from locations such as the Dolby (Academy Award) Theater, Grauman’s Chinese Theater, and with clubs, recording studios and entertainment industry headquarters in every direction. For more information on Hollywood, Student Housing, transportation, and living in LA, contact an MI Admissions Counselor.

See the Google map for address and directions.

Do you have Housing or Dorms?

MI does not own housing, but the surrounding neighborhood contains many apartments and other housing options. Thousands of MI students have moved to Hollywood from all over the world and found safe, clean, convenient housing. MI’s on-campus housing coordinator will provide you with information based on neighborhood, affordability, and features. You can also reduce costs by getting referrals for roommates who are also attending MI. A Housing Guide will be sent to you automatically upon acceptance, the Housing Coordinator will provide information before you arrive in LA, and during registration week you can meet potential roommates at special housing meetings.

Is Hollywood safe?

Hollywood has received quite a makeover in recent years, sparked by new businesses and attractions such as the Academy Awards Theater. During the day, streets are crowded with tourists from all over the world, and at night a thriving club culture fills venues on the Boulevard and side streets. The local business improvement district provides private security patrols in addition to the normal police presence. Aside from MI, thousands of students live and study at schools throughout the Hollywood area. MI provides a door-to-door free shuttle bus service at night for students living within two miles. However, Hollywood and Los Angeles are large urban areas and common-sense precautions are important. Don’t walk alone at night on deserted streets, especially carrying expensive equipment, and stick to well-lighted, well-traveled areas whenever possible. Tens of thousands of young men and women from all over the world have lived and studied in Hollywood over the past three decades and consider it to have been the best time of their lives – we think you will, too.

Musicians Institute has a secure campus. MI operates on a closed campus, meaning only current students, employees and those with official business with Musicians Institute are allowed on campus or in any Musicians Institute facilities or buildings. Visitors must check in with Security upon entering the MI campus or any MI buildings or facilities. In fact, students must scan in their MI ID card immediately upon entering or exiting MI facilities or buildings.

Download the latest Crime Statistics Report.

What kind of clothes should I bring?

LA has a moderate climate, but it can get surprisingly chilly in the winter and the temperature can drop quickly at night. In the winter (Dec-April), a medium jacket, long pants (and occasionally, an umbrella) will be enough. Summer can be quite hot, but shorts and t-shirts are acceptable attire for almost any occasion.

How close are shopping centers?

There are numerous grocery stores within a one-mile radius of MI and larger stores such as Kmart and Target are a short bus ride away.

How do I get from the airport to Hollywood?

Various shuttle companies offer one-way service to Hollywood for around $25. If you are staying at local hostels they may reimburse you for your shuttle fee.

Should I bring a car to LA?

Unless you already have a car and plan on driving it to California as your means of getting here, it’s not vital to have a car while you are at school. Contrary to popular myth, you can survive in LA without a car. You can go almost anywhere you want to go either by bus, taxi or the rapid transit rail system. Having a car can be nice, but insurance rates in LA are high and parking can be very expensive.

Are there training materials, such as books and videos, that you recommend I use on my own?

There are many resources available to support personal efforts in skill development. One source of preparatory information is available through MI Press (Hal Leonard Publishing), the official publications of Musicians Institute. Over 100 books, CDs and DVDs are available on a variety of subjects related to MI programs that can also be used in conjunction with private lessons.

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