NASHVILLE, Tenn.- A program in Metro Schools is giving new depth to
Nashville's reputation for being "Music City." About 100 students are
enrolled inMariachiclass. The Mexican folk music not only
exposes students to new instruments, it's also teaching them about the history
"When I first came in this class I didn't know anything, or how to play
anything or anything," 8th grade student Payton Crain said.
It's been just three weeks since Wright Middle School 8th graders
first tuned-up their instruments, not for orchestra or band, but Mariachi
"It has the language. It has the culture. It has the history. It has
the connection to family," Mariachi Director Alan Lambert said.
"It's cool to have somebody in my family have the same experience we're
having right now," said 8th grader Leslie Perez.
Perez says she signed up to learn more about her Mexican culture.
"My grandma tells me all these stories about how they used to sit down,
sing, and play instruments," she said.
Lambert is Metro Schools' first Mariachi Director. He comes to Nashville
from Texas where he was successful in implementing similar programs.
"People relate to it for all different reasons and because of that I
get kids doing better in school," Lambert explained. "I get parents
involvement that's improving."
Most of his students have never experienced the Mexican folk music. Even though
they may struggle understanding Spanish, the melodies still speaks to
"Like if you're having troubles at home," Crain said, "you
can just play it and all your troubles will go away."
The music is allowing students to try something new and it's giving them a
new place to belong.
"It's just beautiful music to give to other people."
The Mariachi Program is part of Metro Schools' "Music Makes Us"
initiative. For now, the classes are only offered to students at Wright
Middle and Glencliff High Schools.
Wednesday, June 19 2013 2:24 PM EDT2013-06-19 18:24:42 GMT
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