Alfredo “Freddy” Medina, 23, is a self-taught musician born and raised in Laredo, TX. He is a recent graduate of Texas State University and currently has an accounting job, but his passions lie elsewhere. His weapon of choice is the elegant piano, and his trigger, the ivory keys.
A relative newcomer, Freddy said he started to play the piano just two years ago, but he feels proud to say he has come a long way all on his own in this relatively short time.
“It comes naturally to me, and I have a really good memory, so I don’t sight-read too much but I can pick up a new song as long as I practice it,” Medina said.
Unlike many musicians, Freddy doesn’t worry too much about reading traditional sheet music. Instead, he said, he prefers learning songs through video format by watching others or looking at MIDI diagrams created in a program called Synthesia, which is popular among the YouTube piano community.
In these videos, notes fall into a piano keyboard at the time they need to be played so it’s easy to visualize how to play the song they’re describing.
When asked why he plays the piano, he explained that he didn’t so much choose to play the keys, but rather, the instrument itself chose him in a way.
“I was throwing out my garbage one day and I saw it leaning against the dumpster. I picked it up and took it home and it worked!” The rest, as Medina said, is history.
He has been playing the piano ever since then. He said he is determined to keep learning and to always get better at playing, despite not having as much time to practice as he would like.
Medina believes that it’s important for the average person to become familiar with an instrument even if they don’t play any yet.
“I believe that it’s important for everybody to create as much as they can,” Medina said. “Music is an outlet for me to be creative, to be artistic… and it’s just another way to express myself.”
One of the most rewarding aspects of playing, according to Freddy, is looking at the reactions that people have to his playing when he successfully establishes an emotional connection with his audience.
“I really love being able to play music and see the expressions in people’s faces as they dance or smile along,” Medina said.
As for the piece he performed, Yiruma’s “A River Flows In You”, he explained he has wokred on learning it for a friend throughout the span of three months, practicing when he can.
To better understand music, one has to first understand what exactly drives musicians like Freddy to so passionately play music and create their own sound.
Listen as he joins me in this episode of Bound By Sound’s audio podcast for an interview, as well as a beautiful performance of “A River Flows In You” by Yiruma, played by our great guest artist, Freddy Medina.