Mariachi Music Is Taking a Role in the Classroom
Mexico's violin-driven folk music takes a starring role in American string-music education
The young man had a shaved head, a surly attitude, and a brother in a gang. Even keeping him from dropping out of school seemed like a daunting task to Mark Fogelquist, a violinist teaching mariachi at Chula Vista High School in Southern California. "When I saw him walk into the class, I thought, 'This kid is bad news,'" Fogelquist recalls. "He won't finish high school." Today, that student is playing five nights a week with a professional mariachi group in Los Angeles and has been accepted into one of California's best universities. "He turned out to have tremendous musical talent, and he graduated from high school with good grades," Fogelquist says. "I know the program helped to turn him around."
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