Camarillo, Calif., Dec. 1, 2011 – CSU Channel Islands (CI) has partnered with The GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles to offer a one-of-a-kind course called The Music Museum.  The upper-level general education class gives students the opportunity to learn first-hand how a music museum is run and curated. 

Developed and led by economics professor Dennis Muraoka and music professor Ted Lucas, The Music Museum is one of several classes, such as The Zoo, The National Park, The Library and The University, where CI has partnered with a social institution to offer students a unique, hands-on learning experience.

“It not only exposes the students to different types of careers in music and the museum, but also completely alters the way they experience any type of museum,” Muraoka said.  “They previously knew these organizations only as visitors. Now they’re critics and they see them in a different light.”

Students meet weekly at The GRAMMY Museum to learn from museum experts about subjects ranging from management, operations and exhibit design to membership, public relations and marketing. Papers and projects for the course focus on analyzing and developing exhibits and events. The students also have attended performances and interviews of music industry luminaries during evening programs at the museum.

“This course provided us with an amazing experience that isn’t offered anywhere else,” said Dinora Lopez, a senior business major. “Because we got to talk to every department first-hand, we learned how everything comes together to run a successful business.  I can see what we have learned to be applicable to any of our future business experiences.”

The partnership has yielded more than learning opportunities. In October, The GRAMMY Museum installed an exhibit on the Latin GRAMMYs in CI’s John Spoor Broome Library. Muraoka and William P. Cordeiro, Associate Vice President and Director of the Martin V. Smith School of Business & Economics, also are assisting the museum in its strategic planning.

“We are committed to our educational mission and The Music Museum course embodies that mission to the highest degree,” said Rita George, Director of Facilities and Operations at The GRAMMY Museum.  “Working with CSU Channel Islands has been a great experience for our staff, and we hope that the students are able to put what they’ve learned to use in their future careers.”
The students’ final project focuses on jazz legend and GRAMMY Award winner Charlie Parker, who was once a resident at Camarillo State Hospital.  Parker’s six months at the mental institution inspired the song “Relaxin’ At Camarillo” in 1947.  On Wednesday, Dec. 7, the students will present proposals for a Parker exhibit at The GRAMMY Museum or the Broome Library to museum staff and professors.

For additional information, contact Professor Dennis Muraoka at 805-437-8861 or

For additional information on The GRAMMY Museum, visit or contact Andie Cox at 213-763-2133 or

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About California State University Channel Islands
CSU Channel Islands 
(CI) is the only four-year, public university in Ventura County and is known for its interdisciplinary, multicultural and international perspectives, and its emphasis on experiential and service learning. CI’s strong academic programs focus on business, sciences, liberal studies, teaching credentials, and innovative master’s degrees. Students benefit from individual attention, up-to-date technology, and classroom instruction augmented by outstanding faculty research. CI has been designated by the U.S. Department of Education as a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is committed to serving students of all backgrounds from the region and beyond. Connect with and learn more by visiting CI's Social Media.