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6025 Fundamentals of Mariachi


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Recital Highlights

If you direct a mariachi ensemble, are considering starting a mariachi program, or want to learn more about mariachi, then this class is for YOU! Learn about the folkloric instrumentation of the mariachi ensemble – the vihuela Mexicana, the guitarrón, the guitarra de golpe, and the guitar – which comprise the rhythm section of the mariachi ensemble. This course will apply the following objectives: learn and demonstrate specific techniques for both right and left hands that are common to performing the mariachi repertoire; learn and properly execute common mariachi strumming rhythmical patterns; learn the name, origin and the individual characteristics of these unique folkloric musical instruments; and learn and explain the role of each instrument as it pertains to the mariachi ensemble.
Each class session will also introduce and/or review the mariachi ensemble instrumentation, the nuances in instrumentation technique and performance style, the role of instrumentation in the mariachi ensemble, the relevance of level specific musical arrangements, the mariachi wardrobe, history of the mariachi, and the mariachi ensemble in the classroom.
Required materials: Students should plan to bring a vihuela Mexicana, guitarrón, and/or guitar to class, if possible. Bringing a notebook or composition book for taking notes is encouraged. Textbook provided by VanderCook: Mariachi Music in America by Daniel Sheehy, ISBN: 9780195141467


Instructor: Roberto J. Martinez

Martinez,_Roberto_J_headshotRoberto J. Martínez is currently a Cast Member at the Walt Disney World's Epcot Theme Park in Orlando, Florida. His position and role as a front-line musician with the worldwide renowned mariachi ensemble, Mariachi Cobre, has given him the opportunity to share Mexico's folkloric mariachi music to millions of guests from around the world. Since 1982, Roberto has provided the Walt Disney World's iconic "Guests' Magical Experiences" while performing at Epcot's México Pavilion and other Walt Disney World venues.
Roberto received a Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education, B.A.E. degree from the University of Arizona in 1981. His Education Degree has allowed him to be actively involved in Mariachi Music Curriculum Development for Mariachi Conferences and Music Education Workshops throughout the United States. He has acted as an instructor, clinician, facilitator, administrator and consultant for these nationally acclaimed events. Roberto has had the opportunity to participate, as well as develop curriculum and specific music education workshops for individual private and public schools throughout Texas and the Southwest.
Roberto has been a member of Mariachi Cobre since 1978. Mariachi Cobre has had the opportunity to perform with orchestras and symphonies throughout the United States and Mexico as well as many Mariachi Festivals and Conferences for over 30 years. His mariachi roots date back to 1970 as a member of the Tucson, Arizona Community Youth Mariachi Group "Los Changuitos Feos de Tucson". While participating in this group, Roberto had the opportunity to build and nurture his relationship with his parents and immediate family by sharing Mexico's folkloric music, language, customs and culture. This youth mariachi organization had established a college scholarship fund, which was aimed at financially supporting a student's future college education. This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity allowed him to enroll at the University of Arizona to pursue and complete his Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education degree. Roberto has become an advocate of music education, student musicians and their pursuit of higher education.


Saturday classes are generally held from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Two 15-minute breaks and one 30-minute lunch break are scheduled.
Sunday classes are generally held from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., with one 15-minute break scheduled. Individual schedules and break times may vary per individual instructor.
MECA participants may park in Visitor Lot B5 on IIT's Main Campus. 
Click here for a parking map.

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Course Information

6025 Fundamentals of Mariachi

3 graduate credits
Dates: February 21, March 7 & 21, April 18, & May 9  from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Tuition: $930

A $75 deposit is required at time of registration. Tuition balance is due in full by the first day of class.

Location: VanderCook, Room M116

Click HERE for a campus map.



VanderCook College of Music

3140 South Federal Street
Chicago, IL 60616-3731
(312) 225-6288

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