Mariachi music is always popular with the tourists who visit Mexico City’s Plaza Garibaldi, even though many musicians have little or no formal training.
UNESCO awarded official recognition to mariachi music as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2011.
Long an element of Mexican culture, the musical style is now finding its way into school.
Twelve music teachers are busy passing on their skills to their pupils, they’re learning how to play the violin, trumpet, harp, guitar and other traditional instruments.
Student Luz Adriana Hernandez said: “There are mariachi schools all around the world and they are recognised, but here in Mexico unfortunately they took a long time for this recognition. The fact the school is giving us this certificate, well it opens up to doors to us as mariachi musicians, to even go abroad in order to give technique classes of the any instrument in the same (music) genre.”
Professional violin player, Aaron Jimenez hopes the school will breathe new life into an old tradition and raise the standard of mariachi music.
He said: “It’s not the same thing to play at a party than it is to play at a concert in a concert hall which has taken Mexican music to another level. That’s the idea of this group, of our school.”
As well as training musicians, the academy also hopes to serve as a documentation centre for the rescue and preservation of antique mariachi music records and recordings.