Highline Public Schools
15675 Ambaum Blvd. SW Burien, WA 98166

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Highline Public Schools
15675 Ambaum Blvd. SW Burien, WA 98166

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New Mariachi Classes Strike a Chord

New Mariachi Classes Strike a Chord

It starts with the methodic strumming of the guitar and guitarrón. The harmonious violins join next, followed by passionate singing and the trumpets. This year, Cascade Middle School, Evergreen High School, and Highline High School are ringing with these sounds thanks to new Mariachi classes. 

Mariachi classes bring the heart of traditional Mexican music into the classroom. It’s more than music—it’s a bridge to cultural pride and academic engagement.

A common theme among Mariachi students is that they feel connected and excited about the class. That boosts their enthusiasm and sense of belonging at school.

While Mariachi music primarily features Spanish lyrics, the program is inclusive and welcomes all students, languages and skill levels. Spanish words are taught phonetically, making the music accessible to everyone.

"They are learning where to place their tongue and how to adjust their mouth for the correct pronunciation," explains Gabriela Olivarez, teacher and cultural arts specialist. "It’s a different way to learn language, which I think is pretty cool."

The program is not just about learning music; it’s about real-world experience. The students are gigging musicians and performing at events. This year, students in the three programs have performed dozens of gigs, giving them firsthand experience in what it's like to be a performer.

Mariachi music has a way of bringing people together, and that's exactly what's happening in our schools. 

Feel the rhythm and see the impact of our Mariachi classes.

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