Roberto Blanco, Mexico Fellow
Since I started teaching, no matter if it was at an institution or as a freelancer, it has become a very important part of my life and a powerful tool for self improvement. I have witnessed positive character and personality changes operating in those human beings I have been lucky to guide for a short period, and I consider them teachers as well, due to the fact that they encouraged and inspired me to develop cognitive and learning processes that sooner or later I have been able to apply to myself too.
I’ve played music since my childhood. I was born into a musician’s family and my mother was my first piano teacher, she passed her music knowledge to me. After I studied briefly with a Russian teacher, who left to go to Texas. Before leaving he introduced me to a Serbian Teacher. One of his friends and I became her piano students for several years. All of this happened between 10 and 18 years old, and I just learned what is called classical music - Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, Chopin, etc… When I was about 20, I became interested in other genres as well and that later led me to jazz and I discovered that I can express myself better in other kinds of music, especially when you are not supposed to play exactly what is written.
Music for me has been a way to achieve freedom. Freedom of thinking, freedom to act, as well as a powerful tool of self-transformation. It gives me joy and drives me ahead in difficult times, unfolding many different possibilities. One of my favorite things to do is improvise. It could be learning a tune and then trying to play it in a certain style, or it may be in my way to do it. At a certain point I became very interested in Jazz because it was a field where I can deal directly with improvisation and certain abilities that I wanted, but I like any kind of music that has a depth of meaning and honest purpose. Maybe I should mention that most of the time I’m a self-taught musician. Of course I had some amazing teachers and I see a teacher in every person and every situation that happens to me in life. As I said before even in the ones I’m supposed to teach, and most of the time I have this feeling of being the one who is learning.
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