Ian founded My Voice Music in 2008 to provide a creative outlet for youth living in foster care and residential treatment settings to express themselves and find their own voice. Prior to founding MVM, Mouser worked as a Program Director at Wilderness Trails (a free wilderness camp for youth in foster care), and as a Treatment Counselor and Music Teacher at Albertina Kerr Centers, serving youth experiencing mental health challenges. Music and songwriting was a way to build real relationships with youth and it became a transformative tool in his work. The stories Ian shared about his work soon inspired others to get involved…and the rest is history!
Since founding MVM Ian has received a Skidmore Prize, presented by the Willamette Week to excellent emerging non-profit leaders (2011); he was one of 32 recipients nationally to receive a “Top of the Class” recognition by the National Afterschool Alliance, “celebrating passion, creativity and commitment to youth” in after-school settings (2014); and was a “runner up” for the Portland Business Journal’s “Forty under 40” awards recognizing leading executives under the age of 40 (2012). As a musician, Mouser has performed with NW bands whose songs have been played at the MTV Video Music Awards and other interesting spots. He continues to write and perform original music in his spare time.
Programs Outreach Coordinator
Monica is in charge of all things program related. Contact her to learn how to sign up a young musician, or have MVM come to your school or program. She also runs many of our groups with a specific for using music as a therapeutic tool. Monica, aka Moniker, is a musician, performer, singer-songwriter, and recording engineer with years of experience working with youth in the community. She has worked as an Educational Instructor, Program Coordinator, Music teacher, and Music therapist with various schools and non-profits in the Portland area, including Rock n’ Roll Camp for Girls, Ethos Music, and Youth Music Project. Her creative passions include songwriting, poetry, creative collaborations, recording, and playing live shows.
Studio Manager & Communications Coordinator
Luke is My Voice Music’s Studio Engineer and Producer. If you are looking for studio time and information, he is the guy to speak to. Luke runs weekly programs out of our studio space as well as our therapeutic program at Albertina Kerr and various rock camps. He is a Portland, Oregon based singer/songwriter, producer and artist manager. Born in Nebraska and the son of an opera singer, he lived all over the world as a military brat before calling southern Oregon home in 1999. In 2009 he received a B.S. in Music Industry from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and worked in music publishing until 2013 when he returned to Oregon. While in LA, he worked for Chrysalis, Bug and BMG in Film/TV and A&R as a scout and creative point person for various artists.
Karen Mouser Darr
Development & Operations Coordinator
Karen is the logistical master of event operations and individual donor communication. Karen is from San Francisco and has sung in choirs throughout her life. She has a B.A. in psychology from Lewis & Clark College and has worked with children and families in various settings from residential treatment, to foster care, to early intervention. Karen has lead My Voice Music’s fundraising initiatives since its founding in 2008 and has a passion for people and connection.
Program Leader & Individual Lessons Instructor
Tim X Sweeney is a Musician and Educator originally hailing from Washington DC, currently living in Portland OR. He is a graduate of Berklee College of Music with a Bachelor’s in Music Education. While self identifying as an Upright and Electric Bassist, Tim is fluent in many instruments including Guitar, Piano, Drum set, Ukulele, Classical strings, Brass and Woodwinds. Upon graduating, He taught at the high school level for 2 years in Massachusetts ultimately leaving to pursue his touring and private lessons goals. A move to Portland afforded him the opportunity to exclusively teach private lessons for 3 years averaging 1,200 lessons a year.
Tim was lucky enough to have a teacher early on that taught him the rudiments of music through the current popular music at the time. This combined with constantly playing with other musicians, has led him to his educational philosophy. To teach music as if it were a language. Humans have always learned to speak and form ideas before they could write them or understand the grammar of their ideas. He teaches music in the same ideology. Allowing students to explore their instruments before being bogged down by “how” to execute a thought. This leads to unique voices from all individuals despite experience or understanding. His ultimate goal is to pass the gift of music to his students just as it was passed to him.
Trent is a multi-talented musician who works with our Artist Mentorship Youth. Trent began volunteering for My Voice Music in 2010 and has been integral part of the MVM team since. His passion for serving Portland nonprofits is profound. Many local charities can point to Trent as a vital resource who assisted them at a critical time including, PHAME Academy, p:ear, Live Wire Radio, The Pongo Fund, and others. He’s a founding member of northwest bands Sweet Lou & the Trent Foundation and Wester Daywick, and co-hosts a podcast with his friends that will probably never be published (or named, for that matter).