Community Interview: Inside the Mind of a Boyle Heights Music Education Advocate, Susan Romero

WELA YMCA Youth Institute, is part of the Building Healthy Communities (BHC) initiative funded by The California Endowment.Youth are exploring and investigating how the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) can empower and improve their local school communities.


Our community cause is the lack of music programs in local schools. This is important because music helps achieve academic and social success.

We interviewed Susan Romero, local artist and musician. She is a part of the neighborhood arts and music community. She is also the mother of fellow Cyberpunk Chloé Garcia, so this interview is very personal for us.

Susan has lived in Boyle Heights all 37 years of her life. Susan was in a high school where they lacked a lot of programs including music, and she thought that she would've had so many more opportunities to go to college and pursue something that wasn't sports.

Susan told us that music is very important because it taps into a part of the brain that allows creative expression. She says music is a language that today's youth is supposed to be able to know and speak.

The Cyberpunks (TCP): When did you become interested in music and art?

Susan: In terms of art, it came naturally to me during my childhood [years]. Music came along during my childhood as well, because my parents were heavily into music and my grandparents were musicians.

TCP: Do you think music programs are important to schools?

Susan: I think music is extremely important because music taps into a part of the brain that nothing else can affect. Music allows creative expression. Music is a language that every student should have the opportunity to learn. Youth that play an instrument tend to do better academically. Music is a fun, safe hobby and a skill that students should be able to learn.

SusanRomero

TCP: How do you feel about the lack of music in schools?

Susan: I think it's an absolute travesty. The fact that there was no music program in my daughter's school was part of the reason that I was debating whether or not to send her there. As a parent, I feel like music is something I'm responsible to support at home.

TCP: What do you think of the lack of music programs in the neighborhood overall?

Susan: I think it's doing the community a huge injustice. It will lead to the damage of today's youth because they will not be able to experience the musical aspect of life in school. Music compensates for the students who are not athletic. It builds drive and ambition to accomplish. Whatever a team can build in athletics, a band can build in music.

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