Name: Marielisa Alvarez
Organization: Boston String Academy
Music Genre: Classical
Years in the Field: 15
What do you do at Boston String Academy?
I am Co-Director and Co-Founder of the organization along with my twin sister, Mariesther, and my friend and colleague Taide Prieto. I teach violin and viola in individual and group settings, and lead string ensembles for about 110 children ages 6 – 15 in three different sites around the city – Chinatown, Allston, and Roxbury. Aside from my teaching duties, I also spend part of the day doing administrative work, class and event planning, fund-raising, marketing, etc.
Why do you do what you do?
I had the life changing experience of growing up in El Sistema in my home country of Venezuela and I would like many children to have similar experiences of growing and learning through music. I want to help them open their eyes to a world of possibilities and opportunities.
What comes easiest to you in this work?
I love what I am doing, and it comes very easy and natural to teach my students. I feel I can easily communicate and transmit my passion and excitement to them and they respond very well.
What challenges you in this work?
Not having enough time to do everything I would like to do. Finding resources to support our vision and being able to offer this opportunity to many more children.
What does it mean to your community that you do this work?
Many children are having access to top quality classical music training that they otherwise would not be able to. The children are being exposed to sublime artistic impressions, they will become more sensitive, they will appreciate art, they will be able to interact and work well with others, they will be more confident and have the courage to reach higher in life, they will become well rounded human beings, and the best ambassadors and advocates for their families and communities.
How do you blow off steam?
Outdoor activities and dancing!
What do you create in your free time?
Seen any good movies lately?
Europe! Will be going to Finland this summer to the second phase of the amazing Colourstrings pedagogy workshop, and will visit some El Sistema-inspired programs in Europe as well.