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Mariachi is making its way into Caldwell classrooms

Posted at 2:34 PM, Feb 12, 2024

CALDWELL, Idaho — A new mariachi program in the Caldwell School District will begin in the 2024-2025 school year.

  • Students in the program will learn how to play mariachi with the hope of competing with other schools around the nation.
  • Programs will start at Jefferson Middle School and Caldwell High School in the following school year.

(Below is the transcript from the broadcast story)

"Music is...a song for everybody," said Madame Chair of the Caldwell School Board Trustees, Marisela Pesina. "Music is listened and loved by all races, all people."

A new mariachi program in the Caldwell School District is allowing students to learn how to play mariachi, with the ultimate goal of competing with other high schools around the nation.

Madame Chair Marisela Pesina of the Caldwell School Board of Trustees says the program brings many benefits.

"What we need is to get the parents into the schools a lot more than we have in the past," said Pesina. "And I feel this is a gateway to getting them here and enjoying the music that they've listened to all their lives. And even more so now because their children are part of the mariachi program."

There is currently a class at Jefferson Middle School already teaching students the principles of mariachi.

"To help the program be successful I'm kind of just doing the foundations of okay, we got rhythm with the guitar and then also vocals because everyone sings in it," said Marco Nicol, the Mariachi Music teacher at Jefferson Middle School.

The mariachi program at the middle school will feed into the high school equivalent allowing interested students to fine-tune their skills.

"We have kids who are mostly Spanish-speaking with some English or we have kids who speak both," said Nicol. "They're both really great at helping me. If I don't know a certain word they tell me what it is and I'm like 'Oh yeah okay, I knew that.'"

Rudy Rodriguez is the Director of Mariachi Sol de Acapulco and a professional mariachi player from Caldwell with 40 years of musical experience.

"It's not being Mexican, it's not being whatever you are. It's about music and education," said Rodriguez.

His group first started in 1986 and since then he has seen many members pursue higher education and other opportunities.

"If a program can be used to keep people in school and keep people involved in education, I'm for it," said Rodriguez.