Samuel Alvarado, 24, is a passionate mariachi vocalist and violinist. He is currently minoring in Music Performance at Texas State University. A vocalist since he was six years old, Samuel specializes in the mariachi style of singing.
Mariachi refers to a specific style of music that is traditional in Mexico, but Samuel says it's more of a way of life to him.
"It is a completely different style than classical music," he said.
Alvarado also talked about the reason why he chose to pursue the mariachi style of singing in the first place.
"In no other type of music can you express so much," he said. "It's a very personal way of directing a song to someone. Especially in the mariachi style."
In addition, Samuel talks about the close relationship he has developed with music from very little as a way to cope with different things, such as his ADHD.
"Mariachi music has been my greatest escape," Alvarado said. "I have ADHD. I've struggled with it all my life. Music brought me out and allowed me to find myself."
According to an article from The Telegraph, and as Samuel references, there is research that suggests that music enhances your cognitive capabilities.
"Music makes different connections in your brain and it basically makes you smarter," Alvarado said.
Samuel also talked about his satisfaction with the evolution of music therapy in this day and age and the importance of normalizing it and giving it the credit it deserves.
"When I started off, the only form of therapy I had was game therapy," Alvarado said. "And now, I believe there are more music therapists that recommend that the child pick up an instrument or singing."
Samuel also plays the violin, true to the mariachi genre. According to Sam, he has played since he attended the sixth grade.
"It'll be a bit over eight years now," he said.
According to Samuel, he was part of one of the best mariachi in the country "at the top of his game."
"For me, I wish for mariachi to be in every single school," Alvarado said.
Samuel also talked about a big issue in the educational system concerning music programs, as well as his hopes for the future of music education.
"I know that music in particular is something that right now is facing some budget shortages," he said. "I wish the government would fund the arts way more than what they are now."
Alvarado plans to work in music education once he has graduated and become a music teacher at a college level. He hopes to spread the gift of music that helped him so much to others so that they may also have an outlet of expression as well as a coping mechanism for life.
Watch the video interview above as he joins me in a talk about music as an important resource and tool of self-enhancement, and stick around for an excerpt of his performace of the popular song "El Triste" by Jose Jose in true mariachi style of song.