Schools across the country celebrate National Music in Our Schools Month every March. To celebrate, we’ve decided to highlight the mariachi at Travis Middle School, led by Ms. Nadia Eimandoust.
Eimandoust, a graduate of the University of North Texas, began her musical journey in fifth grade as a member of the orchestra. Once in college, she joined the mariachi. Eimandoust thinks it’s important that students across the country get the same musical opportunities she did as a student.
“Offering music in schools allows students to be a part of a team and learn a skill that can transfer into the real world,” she says. “Students become passionate about their creative outlet and form a family.”
Mariachi is a Mexican folk music, and Ms. Eimandoust says that many of her students get a chance to connect with their culture by being a part of the mariachi at Travis Middle School. Students like eighth grader Alexandra Ronco have been greatly impacted by being a part of the band.
“Being a part of the band has been great for my confidence,” says Ronco. “Music can help other students gain confidence and it gives them an activity to be a part of in school. Learning music is very fun.”
For Alexandra, mariachi is also a family bonding experience. Her older brother, Alfredo Ronco, is a ninth-grade student at MacArthur High School and has been a part of the band since he was in middle school. “My brother is the main violinist, and it makes me proud seeing him perform”, she says.
Mariachi is offered to students at Travis Middle School and MacArthur High School, and occasionally students from Nimitz High School are able to join if they attended Travis. Qualifications include reading music, being enrolled in a music class and being willing to meet two to three times a week after school.
“This is a skill that I’ve worked very hard at, and I feel it’s important for me to spread the joy and knowledge of my skill,” says Eimandoust. “Music has offered me opportunities that I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere else.”