LFHS Top 10 Senior Spotlight: Edric Salazar

180503-top-10-salazar,-edricParents: Veronica Gaytan and Robert Salazar
Siblings: Ethan Salazar (12), Esiah Salazar (9), Eliana Salazar (8)

Previous Schools Attended: Fred Booth Elementary School (San Benito), Resaca Middle School (Grade 6), Liberty Memorial Middle School (Grades 7 and 8)

College: The University of Texas at Austin Butler School of Music

Major: Music Education with a certificate in Orchestral Percussion Performance

Inspiration for academic success: Many people have contributed to my success as a student. My pre-kinder teacher, Claudia Larrasquitu, now a principal at Lopez-Riggins Elementary, holds a very special place in my heart. From day one, she always pushed me to do the very best I could do and has always expected the very best out of me. She knows that I am capable of great things, and for that, I am forever grateful. My parents have also had the same impact on my life. They refuse to settle for anything less than the best, which has instilled in me a competitive and driven state of mind. My private percussion instructors have profoundly shaped my life. They have all taught me that nothing in life comes easy. If I want something, I have to work my hardest to ensure that I am in a good position to fulfill my dreams. Not only has this become a detailed, disciplined classical musician, but I have become a more attentive and focused student.

Study habits: I always put my practice first. I usually get home after 7 p.m. and practice for 2-3 extra hours to catch up on whatever repertoire I am preparing (after already having practiced for six hours). At night, I will only do what is absolutely necessary and MUST be done. For example, if I have a quiz over a section of reading in my textbook in one of my classes the next day, I will skim through it and quickly jot down the information I feel I will need. When I wake up, usually around 4 a.m., I will revisit work I did the previous night for about 30-45 minutes. I then begin my practice for the day until 7 a.m. when I leave my home. On the road, I continue studying or completing assignments that still need to be done. As crazy as this may seem, it works for me. I must always be working to be successful in music and academics.

Untitled-1Plans after college: I plan to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education and a certificate in Orchestral Percussion Performance. Meanwhile, I will continue my personal practice, improving my playing, practicing orchestral excerpts for professional auditions, taking lessons, etc. When I am able to support myself, I will pursue my master’s degree and, eventually, my doctoral degree in Orchestral Percussion Performance.

Career plans:  I will be able to dedicate myself to taking professional orchestral auditions around the world. It often takes musicians decades to win a job, and some may never even get to play in an orchestra. Because of these slim chances, I will continue teaching while practicing and preparing for auditions to sustain myself.

Advice to younger students to succeed academically: Push yourself out of your comfort zone. If you do not feel like what you are being told to do is possible, do it anyway. You will only be made better because of it. Ask questions and network! Reality is, there is a world outside of the Rio Grande Valley, and meeting the right people and feeding off of them can help push you to success.

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