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CCAH hosts bilingual holiday piano recital

If you go

What: Bilingual Piano Recital

When: 6:30 p.m. on Thursday

Where: Calaway Room at the Third Street Center

How Much: Free

Two years ago, the Carbondale Council on Arts and Humanities (CCAH) launched a program to serve the Latino community: piano lessons for bilingual children.

The weekly lessons, taught by Sonia Roldan, who has been teaching private piano lessons in Colorado for about a decade, will culminate in a free holiday recital at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Third Street Center’s Calaway Room.

“We knew we wanted to be able to provide some arts to our Latino community,” said Amy Kimberly, executive director of the CCAH. “Any time we can give access to the arts in any way to our underserved community, we want to do it.”



Roldan said she has 11 bilingual Latino students who will perform in this recital alongside another 15 of her private students. The performers — who range from 3 years old to high school age — will each play two pieces.

For Roldan, sharing music with Carbondale’s Latino community, which makes up about 30 percent of the town’s total population, means she’s able to help shape her students into better, more well-rounded people.

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“My favorite part is trying to motivate students to do different things in life,” she said. “I think music is the best part of life. Also, they get smarter, and they learn how to be disciplined.”

While Roldan does not solely teach Latino students, she said having a program aimed at that community in particular is important.

“Our community, Hispanic people, sometimes don’t give importance to this part, this talent,” she said. “The majority of people who came here, they never studied. Hispanic people need to understand that we not only need to come to this country to work and work. It’s my calling to show them that they can do, they can learn, they can grow.”

Various studies have asserted that playing an instrument or being involved in music makes learning easier for children. The experience of working toward something, practicing and taking direction also plays a role in a child’s future ability to work independently and take direction from teachers or bosses.

“If they learn piano now, they will grow and be smarter, and they’ll go to the university,” Roldan said. “They’ll have more options in their lives.

“For me, it’s a joy. I’m so happy. I’m glad to give my talent to these kids in the Hispanic population.”


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