Students learn mariachi music and instruments at after-school program in Anaheim

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Saturday, January 7, 2023
Students learn mariachi music and instruments at after-school program
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Students are learning about mariachi music and how to play instruments as part of Anaheim Elementary School District's Expanded Learning Opportunities Program.

ANAHEIM, Calif. (KABC) -- Once a week after school at Ponderosa Elementary the sound of music fills classroom 47.

Students are learning about mariachi music and how to play instruments as part of Anaheim Elementary School District's Expanded Learning Opportunities Program.

Andres Hernandez is a 5th grader at Ponderosa and is taking part in the after school program.

He said, "My favorite part about mariachi music is that it has the trumpets, it has music, it has something we barely never heard only until Mexico came."

Latino students make up 85 percent of the district so most kids in the mariachi 'El Sol' program like Andres grew up listening to this style of music at home.

"My mom is from Mexico and I love the music in Mexico," Andres said.

Mark Anderson, Anaheim Elementary School District's curriculum specialist for music said, "Families are really moved that their students and their children are being able to learn this music that is so meaningful to their culture, and their background and their lives."

mariachi is one of several after school activities offered by the district.

Anderson said more than 60 percent of the district's 15,000 elementary students take part in the Expanded Learning Opportunities Program.

He said it gives student a chance to discover a new passion.

"Whether it's in science, or STEM, or dance, or theatre, or art; it just gives them more opportunities to explore something that they might eventually fall in love with," Anderson said.

mariachi will only take place at Ponderosa for nine weeks before moving to a new school.

However, students like Andres appreciate getting to try something new.

"The after school program I really recommend to join because you could actually join many programs and have fun inside of those programs," Andres said.