Musician of the week: Violist, Mariana Villasenor


Jamie Villasenor

Kimberly Jarrell, Mariana Villasenor, Annie Jacobo, and Tyler Rouch pose for a photo at Elkhart Central High School for their ISSMA District concert, on Saturday, Feb. 1.

Lyn Jarrell, Staff Writer

GENESIS: What instrument(s) do you play?

MARIANA VILLASENOR: I’ve been playing the viola for six years and the piano for three years.

G: When did you decide that you wanted to play an instrument? Why?

MV: I decided to play an instrument in the fifth grade. I do not remember why. It just seemed like a fun thing to do.

G: Did you always want to play the instrument(s) you currently do?

MV: At first, I wanted to play the trumpet or the violin. I didn’t even know what a viola was! But at the instrument try out night, someone let me try the viola and I loved the rich sound it has.

G: When did you actually begin playing an instrument?

MV: When I was about six years old, I took piano lessons for a little bit. I don’t remember what happened.

G: Do you have any future plans, regarding your play of instrument(s)? If so, why?

MV: I did want to continue playing for college, but IUPUI does not have an orchestra. I am definitely going to keep playing the viola and piano for fun. I also want to start playing the violin to learn mariachi music.

G: How did you know that you wanted to be in an orchestra, rather than a band?

MV: I remember when I tried out the trumpet, it just didn’t feel right (even though I still love the trumpet), but when I tried out the viola, I knew it was meant for me.

G: What does a normal day of orchestra look like? 

MV: You walk in, unpack, tune, and rehearse with the orchestra. Ms. Yoder is our main teacher, but  Mr. K and Mr. Diller help out a lot as well.

G: What requirements are there in orchestra? Is it easy? Is it worth it? Why or why not?

MV: All you need to join an orchestra is a string instrument. It is worth it because our orchestra has such a light hearted environment. We have fun while we play and Ms. Yoder cares a lot about learning and playing music together, rather than pressuring everyone to be a perfect musician.

G: What have you overcome throughout the years of your experience?

MV: I’ve gained more confidence from playing the viola in orchestra.

G: Is there anything you’d like to improve the most?

MV: I would definitely like to improve on counting notes and rest in the music. Sometimes I’m that one person in an orchestra who plays on the rest (sorry Ms. Yoder hehe).  I also want to improve my piano skills.

G: What is your proudest moment, regarding your playing of instruments?

MV: Getting gold with distinction on my solo for the first time at State sophomore year.

G: If you could go back in time to when you were just starting out with music, what advice would you give to yourself? Why?

MV: I would tell myself to learn to tune by ear because it’s just cool and convenient.

G: If you were to give advice to those who are considering playing an instrument, and in your case, considering joining orchestra, what advice would you give? Why?

MV: I would tell them not to  overthink it and go for it. Just try something new. I never knew what a viola was until the instrument tryout night in fifth grade, and now I have been playing it for six years and I enjoy it a lot. I have made so many good friends through orchestra and I laugh every day in that class.

G: If you could say anything to your directors, what would you say?

MV: Thank you so much for being patient with all of us and being such good music teachers.