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Class Notes with Samuel Gracida
The world may be an ever-changing environment separated by numerous cultural differences, but there is one thing that can bring us all together — music. Music is a language that can be understood in any country.
Samuel Gracida is a Capital University senior with a Music Industry major and minor in Religion. He also is a guitarist in the Conservatory.
Samuel, who is also the current president of the Catholic Student Organization and a member of Alpha Sigma Phi Fraternity where he was the past Philanthropy chair, recently shared his worldly experiences and his passion for music.
Samuel: Living in three countries and traveling extensively in the last five years of my life have influenced me in ways that I can’t fully describe; I lived in China for two and a half years, and I’ve lived in Columbus since I started college three years ago, but I also spent five months in Germany studying abroad. I’ve been to 27 countries total. It has really defined who I am today: somebody who is highly adaptable, fearless, and willing to jump into new challenges and adventures knowing I’ll come out a stronger and different person. I think and act in a way that reflects my global perspective, whether that is being conscious about the environment, knowing there are people who live in dumpsters, or learning a new language knowing I’ll be able to have a deeper connection with more people.
Samuel: I lived in Mexico until I was 16 years old. Describing the culture in Mexico would take me way too long for the space I have here! But all I can say is that in Mexico I will always feel like I’m part of a big family. You can really see it in the reconstruction that is happening over there after the two big earthquakes that hit Mexico. Even though the government might give us their back, we are a united people and care for each other. Columbus has been a place in which I have learned a lot and met great teachers and people, but unfortunately, I haven’t been able to really become part of Columbus in the same way I’m part of Mexico.
Samuel: I really listen to a wide variety of music, and so I get my inspiration from musicians like John Coltrane, Pat Metheny, Toninho Horta, Animals as Leaders, Debussy… The list goes on and on! One thing I’ve had here over everywhere else is musical progress. The faculty, and especially my guitar teacher, have really pushed me and given me the tools to get to where I am today!
- Samuel Gracida
Samuel: I don’t think it has in an obvious way. I don’t play any mariachi music for example! But I do think that what has influenced my music has been the fact that I look at so many perspectives in life and that I’m quite a multifaceted individual. In the same way, I think my music doesn’t constrict to one “style,” but is always fluctuating between a variety of influences.
Samuel: Yes, I have! For a long time I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do, but recently I decided to pursue music therapy, and I’m really happy about that decision. I wish to use music therapy to help people in a more personal way. I would personally like to work with children, and I know that music has a huge impact on those who have endured traumatic experiences. That would be something I would like to focus on, but I do think that I would like to help anybody who would benefit from music therapy: people with disabilities, elderly people, and people with memory problems, just to name a few! I’m already getting really familiar with the field and I’m even doing my Capstone Project on it, which I have titled “A Pastoral Approach to Music Therapy.” In it I explore the ways in which music therapists can benefit from a holistic view of the human being, meaning they wouldn’t only treat the mind and the body, but also the soul. I also explore the ways in which pastoral musicians can benefit from the knowledge coming from the music therapy world in order to enhance their world. That is something I would definitely like to get more involved in! The plan is to go to Germany to pursue a master’s degree on it and keep working on my German. I’m really excited about the new opportunities that await me!
Major: Music Industry, Minor: Religion
Anticipated Graduation: May 2018
Hometown: Queretaro, Mexico