Even at the earliest of ages, it was clear to those around him that Pat Hicks was destined for something great. In his memoir “Trading Fours: The Golden Years of Musicians Institute” (ISBN 1452898049), the Los Angeles based music man explains how he achieved the American dream and started the famed Musicians Institute in Hollywood, California.
Hicks shares how he made his dream possible with no more than an idea and a few dollars in his pocket. He opened the Musicians Institute to the first class of 35 students in the March of 1977. Within three years, hundreds of students were flooding through the doors of the building on Hollywood Boulevard, hopeful about making it in the music industry.
Seen as the father figure to a generation of developing talent, Hicks explains what it was like to watch these young individuals work to achieve their dreams. He shares stories of triumph and others of tragedy, but he believes that overall, his work explains how thousands of individuals came together to create the culture, character and success of the Musicians Institute.
“It was my dream, but none of it was possible without my students, the faculty and staff and everyone else involved with the Musicians Institute,” Hicks said.
Today, the Musician’s Institute is 1500 students strong. It continues the tradition of a unique curriculum as originally brought to light by the author and Capitol Records recording artist and music educator, Howard Roberts. Expanding on his original vision, the school has stretched into a variety of vocational pursuits for today’s most talented musicians. As for Hicks, he retired after selling the school to someone who will continue its tradition.