Aidan Mendoza - Texas Interview by Larissa Chelius. Nomination and Photography by April Mendoza Photography. Cover/Scholarship Winner for Issue 17 of Inspiring Teens Magazine.
The Nomination: Aidan has an amazing work ethic and is very self-motivated. He has been interested in playing the guitar since he was a toddler, and the interest stuck with him. He started on guitar, but he switched over to bass. That has been his love. Then last year he started playing drums, and like the bass he has really excelled due to his desire to practice many hours a day. He is in house band at School of Rock Clear Lake which is their main performing band that he had to audition for. The kids at School of Rock are such a tight group. Even when they are not playing a gig somewhere, they are usually together hanging out on the weekends. One of the things I really love is how supportive they all are to each other.
How did you become interested in music and what made you decide that this is something you want to pursue in life? Ever since I was five, music is something that I've always had a strong passion for. I was always so interested in how music came together and worked along with the stuff going on deeper inside of it. It was watching music videos and people performing that made me want to pick up an instrument, and ever since I immediately knew what I wanted to do.
What kind of community has the school of rock been for you? School of Rock is a really great place to start out for anyone who wants to pursue music. With many excellent and supportive instructors, it has helped me a lot in many ways. I have gained a lot of experience in the past two years attending School of Rock. From being able to join the house band and getting to play countless shows at many places around Texas, it has brought me great experiences to becoming a professional musician. Playing live is one of the most thrilling and addictive experiences ever, and I can't thank the people at School of Rock enough for giving me these opportunities.
Tell us a little bit about the relationships made at School of Rock. School of Rock is a really great place to meet people who have the same passion and love for music as you do. I have made many great friends and opportunities because of it. It's also a really great way to network with other musicians, who've since I've and many others started bands and musical projects with.
Who has inspired you the most as a musician? For me, it would have to be John Mayer. He has changed me a lot as a person and a musician, a lot for the better. He taught me that it's okay to go outside of the lines and to be able to express yourself musically however you feel is right to you. You don't have to line up behind what's popular, it's okay to share what you truly love even if people aren't into it at the moment. Cross musical borders, do not be afraid to do something that you can't compare with something that is already heard.
What do you plan on doing after high school? I would really like to see where music takes me in life. It's honestly what I love doing the most. I would even love to attend a school such as Berklee College of Music one day too!
Has homeschooling affected your career in music? In good ways yes, it certainly has given me a lot more time to fulfill being a musician while being able to maintain schoolwork and good grades.
Aidan will be on the cover and featured in Issue 17 of Inspiring Teens Magazine!
Hannah Herrera - 15 - Texas Interviewed by Larissa Chelius Nominated by Susan Bowen Photography by April Mendoza Photography Issue 18 | Musician
The Nomination: Hannah Herrera is an aspiring musician, and keyboardist. She loves to sing all day, every day. She is in her school choir and will be going to state competition as a soloist, soprano 1 this summer. She also sings in a band that does charity performances raising funds for the cause at the time. She is a songwriter for which she will be recording this summer.
Hannah is a wonderful drawing artist and has won awards for some of her artwork. She is an actress and model. She is an animal lover. She is the person who makes everyone feel welcomed in a crowd. She is loyal to a fault and always has a smile on her face.
How did you become interested in being a musician and how did you get started?
I became interested in becoming a musician just by listening to songs with my family and singing along. Even as a baby I loved music when we were driving in the car. I seriously started out in third grade when I got a lead role for a musical and then pursued my interest. It has been my dream ever since. It is a hard industry to pursue and there will be a lot of tough walls to climb, but I won't give up.
What kind of charity events have you performed at?
I have performed at charity events such as Cerebral Palsy. The Houston Food Bank, and The Santa Fe High School Shooting, which was very close to my heart. Also, I am involved in raising money for kids who can’t afford to go to events that they are interested in. We continue to add events as we grow.
Tell us about how you got the opportunity to go to the state competition as a soloist.
I will get the opportunity to go to state as a soloist through my school choir. I have to practice my solo piece for many hours, which happens to be in a foreign language. This takes a lot of my time to get the right pitch, correct wording and annunciation. My solo is also sang as a soprano 1. My usual style has been county and rock, so this is a new adventure for me. What helps with the foreign language songs is I had been enrolled in a duel language program at my school for 9 years.
Where do you find your inspiration when you are writing music?
I find my inspiration from my past and present situations, life experiences mostly. I also look at the world around me and ask myself what current events are happening and is it affecting it for the good or bad. I realize everything could potentially be a song for someone. You just need the right words to express how you feel.
With all your musical activities how do you keep up with your drawing, acting, and modeling?
I keep up by practicing. I draw all the time and even doodle on my classwork! I sing every day and if modeling or acting gigs come up, I make time for that too. I have developed multitasking skills and have learned to not put all my eggs in one basket. I weigh each one to see which I should grow and improve on the most, then focus on them each individually. There have been times where I have had three gigs in one day. It's not easy but I love every moment of it.
Hannah will be featured in Issue 18 of Inspiring Teens Magazine!