ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT:

CRISTAL MARTINEZ

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What instrument do you play and how long have you been playing?

I’ve been playing the violin for about 8 years. My parents wanted me to start playing. My first program was a mariachi program at Texas State University - I chose violin over guitar because my sister played guitar and I didn’t want to play the same thing. My dad actually tried to learn with me, but he gave up after a year.

   

Why do you think programs like Austin Soundwaves and DMFP are important?

I would say that it's a way to express yourself in ways you can't otherwise do. Its indescribable. People get so focused on grades, numbers, college - but this is a class you can go to because you actually enjoy it and are also learning. 


 

  

What advice do you have for current students?

Don't feel uncomfortable sharing your opinions even if they are different - because I think that's part of the program. Our different backgrounds and opinions made it interesting. I know that in America today, people often feel like they will get attacked if they express their different opinions, but this program is such a safe place. Also - enjoy it! The first few meetings I was too nervous to enjoy it and I regret that. Relax and enjoy it.

  

How do you feel when you play music?

When I play music, I don’t think theres one specific word I can associate with it. That's what I like about the violin, it's always different. I’m not gonna lie, I don't always like it. But I like the variety of emotions I experience with it.

 

What was your favorite part about being in DMFP?

Our final concert. Everything went by so quickly. I remember feeling so nervous! Seeing the audience made me feel so much pride and accomplishment. It was bittersweet because it was ending, but I know the people I met are going to be in my life for awhile. 

I loved that this program did not only help me grow a musician, it helped me grow as a person. We didn't only talk about music, but about the world.

What are your plans after high school?

I want to either become a music educator or I want to be an athletic trainer. I know, completely different!


 
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