California State University, Dominguez Hills music major Daniel Terrazas, who plans to become a music educator, worked with Mexican singer and gold- and platinum-record winner Graciela Beltrán during a recent three-day tour in Oklahoma.
Terrazas works part time around the Los Angeles area playing the tuba for Mexican Folk groups in music styles including banda sinaloence, sirreno, and norteños. One of the promoters for these groups offered Terrazas the opportunity to play for the widely popular Latina singer Beltrán, who has performed corridos, romanticas, and baladas for at least a decade. Terrazas took the job to get a higher level of professional experience under his belt.
“The experience of working with such a well-known singer was good because it helped my reputation for being a competent musician,” said the Los Angeles resident. “I used the experience to promote myself and get exposure.”
Although Terrazas plans to continue performing music, he primarily wants to teach music.
“I want to become a music educator because music impacted my life in a positive way. The passion I have for music influenced me to stay away from trouble when I was surrounded by it. It influenced me to graduate high school, to attend college, and more importantly, it made me a stronger individual in all aspects,” said the 20-year-old college junior.
Terrazas began studying music in middle school playing the baritone horn. He wanted to play the tuba, but another student was already using the one tuba his school could afford. When he got to high school he switched to the tuba.
Terrazas credits music educators for inspiring him not only to study music, but also to do well in school.
“I wasn’t doing so well in school, but Mr. Fernández, my band director, and my music teacher, Mr. Mendez, got on me to attend school and to graduate,” said Terrazas.
Once at CSU Dominguez Hills, Dr. Richard Kravchak, chair and professor of the music department, persuaded Terrazas, who was previously a sociology major, to become a music major. And Terrazas hasn’t regretted it. He plans to get his master’s degree in music.
“I’ll need to know music theory and have a good grasp of various instruments, so I can teach students,” said Terrazas. “But before I go on to get my master’s, I’d like to work in the real work for three years in order to get experience that I can apply to teaching.”
Terrazas is already honing his teaching skills. In addition to working toward his bachelor’s degree and performing music, he tutors a few people in playing the tuba.
For more information about Graciela Beltrán, click here.
For information about the music department at CSU Dominguez Hills, click here.