Son Semillas: Students Speak Up About Their Love of Music

Community building, Afro-Mexican culture and the art of making music are three components of the celebrated traditional music originally from Vera Cruz, Mexico known in the United States as Son Jarocho. Members of SonAnto SonAndo have taken the initiative to bring this collective movement to youth in the West side of San Antonio, Texas at San Anto Cultural Arts. Arabella Daniels, Francisco Cortes and Daniel Pekarsky lead a bilingual youth program called Son Semillas where a group of 11 students aged between 6 and 10 years old engage with each other as they learn about how to play the jarana, maintain the beat with zapateado on the wooden tarima and learn versos to popular songs such as “El Colas” and “La Bamba”.  Eventually, the students and their families will come together to celebrate what they have learned in a community fandango. A fandango is a celebration that usually lasts through the night as folks from the community sing, dance and play instruments together.  In an effort to capture the incredible interaction between the facilitators, students and family members, I proposed a writing assignment to the young musicians. Their assignment was to write or draw about their experience as a student in the music program:

Tell me about a time you played music and how did it make you feel?

Platicame de una vez cuando tocaron un instrumento y como se sienteron. ¿Que les sienteron cuando tocaron su instrumento?

Their responses are priceless.


“Me siento muy feliz cuando toco la jarana, aunque a veces estoy nerviosa. Pero cada dia mejoro en las clases.” -Fatima


“I love to sing. It was to play the guitar and made my proud”. –Avaleena


“Cuando yo toque la primera vez mi jarana me senti nervioso pero con toda la gente me dio mas energia y haci es como la estoy tocando con emocion.” -Sergio


“Me siento muy emocinto cada ves que toco la jarana y solo espero aprender a tocar cada dia mejor.” –Javier


“The Adventure to Music:

I’m learning! It was 5:36 and I was in Son Jarocho. It is a Vera Cruz thing. I when every day expect on the first lesson. The first son Jarocho practice was fun every time I went I keeped on getting better. I felt as happy as a bunny hiding eggs. My teacher Mr. Cortes was teaching me most of steps. My Favorite song is Colas, Colas, Colas y Nicolas lo mucho que te quiero y el pago que me das. You’ll probably recognize it if your Veracruzen. The next practice is on Tuesday. I keep on doing some of it right. This is my music experience. What is your experience and feeling?” –Salvador Jr

​Published with permission by Son Semillas
Photos taken by Maribel Hermosillo ​
Written by Maribel Hermosillo
Originally published on Las Frijoleras Blog

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