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Do, Re, Mi Gente Latino

By Valeria Ortega

Recently, the Rialto High School guitar class has started a new chapter in their curriculum to connect with Latino students, corridos.

Before this the students were doing other genres of music such as rock and pop. They were learning power chords and playing songs such as “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” It is still important to cover all sorts of music. 

However, Mr. Garcia, the music teacher at Rialto High School, decided it was time to tap into the culture of some of the students at Rialto High School and his own. Corridos as defined by Mr. Garcia as a ballad. A story of an important person or event. 

To begin, the students are learning what each chord is named in Mexico. In Mexico, fixed solfege is used. Many know Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, Ti, and Do. In the USA movable solfege is used where each solfege is changeable depending on its key. In the C scale Do is C but it will change depending on the scale. In Mexico, it is La, Si, Do^#, Re, Mi, Fa#, Sol#, and La, and every solfege is always the same note no matter what. 

The students then learned what a bajo note is which in English means lower note. A bajo note is a note that adds contrast to each chord. They were also taught sharp in Mexico is sostenido and flat is bemal. 

Abimbola Abioro, a sophomore in the guitar class shares,  “I think it shows that Mr. Garcia truly cares about his Latino students and is trying to connect with them.” Learning a diverse curriculum is important. Using content already popular amongst students is an amazing way to grab their attention and make them interested in learning. 

Alison Solise, a sophomore, said, “I think it is pretty cool we are learning about corridos because I have always wanted to play them. I just did not know how to start. It makes me feel more in touch with my culture.” 

Being able to learn important parts of a culture in school is truly an astounding experience and allows students to explore their sense of self. 

Anthony Vasquez, a senior who is in guitar class and is in Mariachi, explained, “It is important to teach corridos because not only will this reach the Latino community in the school but also other ethnicities. It feels as though we are sharing our culture and that is a good feeling.”

Teaching corridos will reach a vast amount of demographics within the school. This will let every person of all ethnicities take a piece of Latino culture with them.”

At the start of the second semester, Mr. Garcia also started a Mariachi band at Rialto High School. He was able to use the band's funds to buy new instruments for the Mariachi including a guitarrón mexicano which is a really big bass guitar. Mariachi is a big part of Latino culture and it is now a part of Rialto High School and will hopefully continue in the coming years. 

Students can take part in a culture that makes up a big part of Rialto High School because of music programs like these.


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