When Fatima Salcido was a little girl growing up in Long Beach, Calif., she fell in love with the violin. When she came to Tulane University, she knew she wanted to give children in the city the same opportunity she had to make music an integral part of their life. She found that opportunity working with the Youth Orchestra of the Lower Ninth Ward.
“Anyone can understand music regardless of where they’re from or where they live. I really think it connects us all,” says first-year student Fatima Salcido of her work with the Youth Orchestra of the Lower Ninth Ward. (Photo by Ryan Rivet)
Salcido became involved with the youth orchestra through the service-learning component of an orchestra class she took in the fall. But she says she was made aware of the program even before she arrived in New Orleans through the Harmony Project, a similar program in the Los Angeles area where her love of music was fostered.
“I was just like these students when I was younger,” Salcido says. “After finding the Harmony Project it encouraged me to play the violin. Meeting other students who had the same passion and interest in music as I had was a wonderful experience.”
Grateful for the experience, Salcido eventually began teaching violin for the Harmony Project, a skill she was happy to put to use when she found the Youth Orchestra of the Lower Ninth Ward, which provides free music instruction to children in the area.
Salcido is now a service-learning assistant at the Center for Public Service
, where she is managing Tulane’s involvement with the youth orchestra. She plans to return to teaching the violin this summer. She says that even though the music in New Orleans is more geared toward jazz as opposed to the classical music she learned, the passion it inspires bridges that gap.
“Music is like a different language, but it’s a universal language,” Salcido says. “Anyone can understand music regardless of where they’re from or where they live. I really think it connects us all.”