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Meet Michelle Edgar of Music Unites in Westwood

Today we’d like to introduce you to Michelle Edgar.

Michelle, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Music has always been my passion. I started learning the piano at the age of five and trained as a concert pianist studying at Manhattan School of Music, followed by Northwestern University studying with Ursula Oppens. I combined my passion for business and marketing together with music and saw an opportunity in the music business to build talent brands and business’ through strategic partnerships.

As an entertainment and marketing executive for over a decade, I’ve experienced and managed all facets of the entertainment business. I’ve held positions as an agent, a record executive, artist management and currently at Epic Records as VP Brand Marketing pairing emerging and renowned talent with Fortune 500 brands and startups. Through these positions, I learned all facets of the business from the inside out. I’ve helped market and align my artists with meaningful and innovative creative campaigns and partnerships involving their philanthropic passions – which is super important as authenticity and giving back is key.

At the time, I was a beauty editor at WWD and realized that music was missing from my life. By day, I would write my beauty features and loved when I had the opportunity to profile artists from Itzhak Perlman to Lang Lang, Ashanti and Lenny Kravitz. I remember learning about El Sistema and Gustavo Dudahmel’s journey and that’s when I got inspired to launch Music Unites to empower youth through music and provide the best-in-class music education and after-school programs along with teaching students about the careers in the business through our Music-Versity programs. I am inspired by all the students who have been impacted through our programs and been inspired by their tremendous growth watching them blossom in high school through college and pursuing their dreams as an artist or music executive.

From having our Music Unites Youth Choir perform for the first time at Carnegie Hall to going into the studio to record with Swizz Beatz, to workshops at the Harlem Jazz Museum with Jon Batiste to performing for Quincy Jones at the Tribecca Film Festival and having our students perform at the Annie premiere have all been highlights. Most recently, we had Aloe Blacc visit our Music Unites Compton Unified School District program and have him creating a special graduation song. In partnership with the Compton Unified School district, we’ve launched an 8-week Music-Versity program on Zoom to teach students about the careers in the music business during these difficult times. We are currently building out a summer Music Unites Music Academy Summit for students across the U.S. to be empowered and learn music as well as provide them access to the industry’s top leaders and mentors to help educate them on the different careers in the business.

Has it been a smooth road?
The journey of one’s career is always evolving. Passion, perseverance and execution is key. You have to find what you love and eat, sleep, breathe it. It’s important to continue growing and learning – always be a student! It’s important to find inspiring role models and mentors to help guide you and be honest with your career growth and trajectory is very important.

I’ll never forget the very start of Music Unites when we selected our first after-school music program. I signed a document that I would raise over $25K to fund our first Music Unites Youth Choir program bringing students from across the NYC boroughs together for three years. I had zero fundraising and events experience and remember my dad asking me why I would sign a legal document committing to that as I only had a year. I told him, not to worry I will figure it out and our very first fundraiser with Sting and Trudie tied to their “Twin Spirits” project. Few months later, our students were asked to perform at Carnegie Hall at The Who tribute. I was a risk taker and had a vision. I was unstoppable but found other amazing team members who believed in my mission and together, we united through the passion of music and education – inspiring youth through music and we made it happen. It’s not just a vision and passion, but the execution and finding the right team to help scale is top priority. Teamwork makes the dream work.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Music Unites – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
As Founder and Executive Director of Music Unites, a non-profit funding after-school music education programs to empower youth through music – I am most proud of the students who we impact and inspire through our programs.

Music Unites funds after-school music education programs across New York, Los Angeles and Chicago by creating custom programs whether choir, instrumental, beats production in partnership with the schools. Our goal is to build Music Unites Academy’s and educate students on the different careers in the music business through our Music-Versity programs. To inspire students through music and mentors transforms their lives. Music Unites is focused on its Music-Versity digital series with the Compton Unified School district to help empower students through this challenging climate.

Additionally, I founded The XX Project over eight years ago and made it part of my everyday life to inspire and empower women in business through this network and platform by providing leading women in business with resources and tools to enhance their lives to propel business forward. The XX Project has curated over 100 events across NY, Los Angeles and San Francisco featuring industry leaders including Soledad O’Brien, Pat Mitchell, Tina Knowles, Suzanne DePasse, Lavinia Errico, Ty Stiklorius, Sylvia Rhone and Arlan Hamilton.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I love Los Angeles and am here to stay. You can’t beat the weather and the ocean, mountains and desert – you can get it all! When I’m not working, you can find me super active from running to hiking in nature. Malibu is my happy place – it’s where I find my inspiration and reenergize.

I will always be a New Yorker at heart and have that grit as a city girl. The biggest adjustment was driving and the traffic out here can be a killer.

Contact Info:

  • Website: www.musicunites.org
  • Phone: 18473342753
  • Email: info@musicunites.org //  msedgar@musicunites.org

  Image Credit:
ALL GOOD.

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