What is your practice routine?
I give myself an hour minimum each day to practice. I usually start with scales to warm up, and then I take the time to go over any pieces I am playing in my orchestra. If I am working on a piece for an audition, then I accommodate my schedule to allow for more time to practice and work on any solo pieces.
What are the qualities of a successful musician?
A successful musician is one who demonstrates dedication, the eagerness to practice and improve on skills, but most importantly, patience. A quality musician is not created overnight, it takes time. In the end, all pays off.
What are your musical strengths?
I am a violinist, and have been playing for over 10 years. I took an interest to it when I was 7, and began to take it more seriously around the age of 13.
What is your favorite part of being a musician?
Being introduced to various forms of music I’d have to say is the best part. I studied composers from the Baroque time period to composers of today, particularly film score composers, and have seen and heard the vast range of classical music. It fascinates me how much classical music has evolved and continues to evolve. That’s the thing about music, there’s always bound to be something new eventually, because music is diverse in that sense.
Why go to Berklee?
I wish to pursue a career in music, specifically as a film score composer. Upon searching for potential colleges in the search to find one that can provide the best means to obtain my aspirations, Berklee proved itself to be the most prominent, with its vast variety of majors that allow its students to explore other parts of the music world rather than just focus on one particular aspect.
What career opportunities would you like to take advantage of in the music industry?
I really aspire to be a film score composer. Howard Shore has been my biggest inspiration for the longest time, and I absolutely love his soundtrack for the Lord of the Rings. His music is so memorable that each track can easily be identified to certain scenes in the books/movies. I find that to be a difficult achievement to have music that rememorable. Most soundtracks can be identified to a specific movie, but not all soundtracks can be dissected and each part recognizable to a specific scene or scenes. I want to be able to compose music as he has been able to do. Not to mention Shore is a graduate of Berklee, which I believe reflects greatly upon the college to be able to produce such a mastermind.
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What benefits do music theory and instrumental training have in your chosen field of interest?
As a film score composer, it is not uncommon to make alterations in the score from time to time to accommodate the motion picture. Some instances may include for example, transposition. It is in situations like this where training and knowledge in music theory come in handy to be able to hear the part in one’s mind and be able to re-write it on paper on the spot.
What inspired you to pursue a career in music?
I first came into contact with a violin when my sister and mother began taking lessons at a local community college. At the time I simply sat in the back of the classroom and listened to the students play. I picked up on a few of the things the teacher would teach her students, and when my family got home, while my mother and sister were trying to figure out the notes and music, I would take up my sister’s violin and do it myself. I found the violin rather engaging and challenging, which I liked. I ended up teaching myself the basics, mostly the A and D strings, their locations on the staff, where where to place the fingers on the fingerboard.
My sister later dropped the lessons and so I enrolled for the classes provided at my elementary. I think what prompted me to continue was the fact that my mother always wanted to learn the violin, but my grandfather would never let her (women usually were put down in her days in Mexico). When my sister quit her lessons, so did the lessons for my mother (since it was a duo lesson thing). For me, I know that playing the violin makes my mother happy to see her daughter doing the one thing she always wanted to do, and I personally enjoy playing it and seeing that it makes her happy.
It was not until junior high that I took the possibility of music as a potential career seriously. My music instructor saw potential in me where I did not see it and pushed me to test my limits and improve my skills. I owe much of my accomplishments today to her, because without her I would have been lost as a musician.
What has been your most significant achievement so far? What motivates you?
Concertmaster (see parts of 8)
One of the biggest challenges for entering students is time management. How do you currently balance school, music, and other activities?
Most people say that schoolwork is a priority over other things, and for that reason it makes other activities such as music, hard to come by. For me, school is a priority, but I also make it a habit to ensure that music a priority as well. Before I can do anything else at home or outside of home, I ensure that all my schoolwork is done and that I have taken time to work with my violin before other activities can come to light. The best way to incorporate something into your life is to make it a priority. That is what I do for music.
What has been the biggest challenge in your musical learning and growth? How have you overcome it?
The biggest and most daunting challenge I ever had to face during my musical career was the fact that I never took any private lessons with an instructor. This was mostly for financial reasons, but I always look back to my previous years and wonder how much more improved as a musician I could be now had I been privileged with the opportunity to take one on one lessons. I can only learn so much on my own.
I overcame this obstacle by taking initiative for my own teachings, and I taught myself what I could, though my junior high instructor helped me greatly. But I learned the most from my peers, the students around me young and old with the experience and guidance that I needed to be successful. I took advice where I could get it.
What would you like a press release to say about you as a person? About you as a musician?
As a person I am rather quiet and conservative, and I am not the most social person. But as a musician a different side of me emerges, the bright, curious, energetic and eager side. I want a press release to say something about how one of the quietest and least expected person suddenly comes out on top as one of the best female film score composers of our time.
In what ways do you feel your talents will enhance the quality of life and music in the Berklee community?
I want to bring our female musicians and composers more into the limelight, because we are talented too and can make a huge impact on music in society. I want my talents as a violinist and an aspiring composer to inspire others to test the waters and go for something bigger and better.
How have your life experiences influenced your musical development?