Duarte Speaks A Third Language: MUSIC


Jesus Regalado Santos, Staff Writer

Samuel Duarte knows many different languages.

Growing up, Duarte spoke Spanish in his home country of Columbia. Later in the United States, he started to pick up on English. Now Duarte is mastering a more universal language: music.

Duarte is a junior at Elkhart High who moved to the United States from Columbia around three-and-a-half years ago. He and his family first landed to Florida and later migrated to Indiana. Throughout his journey, he kept his love for playing the guitar.
Duarte’s parents got him his first guitar when he was around three years old. “All of my family members are artists. I really felt inspired to also become an artist like them,” he confides. In fact, Duarte taught himself how to play the guitar and looked up to metal bands and players– such as Metallica and Steve Vai–as inspiration. In Columbia, Duarte had a metal band where his love for performing began.

Last month, Duarte performed in front of his speech class during his Ted Talk presentation. In his Ted Talk, Duarte shared his journey with guitar playing and even gave his classmates tips on learning to play the guitar.

“I’ve always loved to perform in front of people,” Duarte admits. “I thought that playing for my class was a good way to show people what I can do.” He demonstrated to his classmates the importance of practicing in order to create muscle memory when playing an instrument.

Duarte notes that learning how to play an instrument and learning a new language is not too different from each other. They both require hard work and dedication to be able to improve. He adds, “When learning a new language and learning to play the guitar, you will need to have a lot of  persistence and patience.” Duarte also points out that it is important to start off at one’s own pace to then increase the speed–whether it’s playing a song slowly or even listening to a new language slowly to then gradually understand it faster. 

“If you can play it slow, you can play it fast.” And, boy, can Duarte play it fast! Just listen…