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Spotlight on Sadoc Garcia, Music Teacher

"Teaching music allows me to serve society and communities in a positive, fulfilling, and enjoyable way."


Why do you teach music?

The reason I teach music is because I enjoy sharing the beauty of music with people. Teaching music allows me to serve society and communities in a positive, fulfilling, and enjoyable way. 


Can you share a story on how you’ve seen music impact a student(s)?

There was a student that I had about 6 years ago in one of my elementary schools. While I was his teacher, that student was very interested in music. He always participated and tried his best in music class. Throughout the course of that school year he continuously shared with me his liking for music and for my class. About a year ago I found out from his father that he really took music seriously and was part of his high school marching band. The father thanked me for encouraging and guiding his son into music; my class was the first music class he ever took.


How has your family’s heritage and culture influenced you musically?

My family’s heritage and culture have influenced me tremendously. I was born in Mexico City and arrived in the United States at age 9. Growing up in Mexico City was very beneficial to me. Mexico City is one of those places where you can listen to pretty much everything. I remember listening to music on the streets and in my house. My parents used to listen to Boleros, Baladas (ballads), and music from other parts of Latin America. Thankfully, in the community where I lived I was exposed to the traditional music of Mexico: Cumbia, Boleros, Ballads, and all the other popular music that came from Latin America. Once in the U.S., my heritage and culture continued to enrich me musically, thanks to the rich music culture of Los Angeles. In Los Angeles, my heritage remained Mexican but my culture also became Latino. The influence of South America, Central America, and the Caribbean has enriched me musically – from the Caribbean rhythms of Son, Merengue, and Salsa to the sounds of Ballenato, Samba, Bossa Nova, and Pasillos from South America. Latin American culture is very rich, musically speaking, because it is influenced by many countries, even an entire continent.


How has your heritage played a role in connecting with and teaching your students?

Heritage has played a role in connecting with and teaching my students because I am part of the Hispanic community; most of the schools I teach have Hispanic and Afro-Latino American students. I believe I relate to them because I can say I know what it means to be Mexican, Hispanic, and Latino, and a [person of color].


Are there any Spanish songs from your culture that you recommend as part of the curriculum for music educators, and/or that you have enjoyed teaching to students?

There is a Mexican composer called Francisco Gabilondo Soler, also known as Cri Cri. He composed and sung songs for kids between the 1930s and 1960s. Many of his songs are known in Mexican culture, especially in Mexico City. One of the songs that I have taught is la Marcha de las Letras (The March of the Vowels).

“Music can improve many facets of a child’s development and stimulate their minds, also fostering memorization skills and social development. My child enjoys expressing herself through music, and embraces the teachings at school.”

Parent of Sadoc's Student