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Merriam Interview

I spoke to my cousin Armando Nunez who has been a self-trained musician for the past

22 years. For him music is everything. Even though he is not a full-time musician he

strongly believes that music is really important for everyone at every stage of our lives.

His father is a pastor and a long-time guitar player, also self-trained, but that is his

earliest memory of music, an image of his dad singing church songs to him when he

was 2 or 3 years old. He believes that a lot of school-related problems would be solved

if music would form part of the educational program; that it is beneficial for students to

explore their musical nature and nurture it by focusing all the energy and innate musical

abilities for the sake of music. He does not consider himself a musician because of the

respect he has for that word and musicians in general, but he plays bass guitar and

acoustic guitar and he is really good at what he does.

The second person I spoke to was my sister Alicia Luna. She used to play oboe back in

Mexico and was the first oboe at our city orchestra and has a well-developed ear. For

her, music is a daily dose she takes, sometimes to relax, to get pumped, to work out,

sometimes to cook, to accompany her loneliness, to dance, you name it, but music is

part of her life and has always been. Similar to her (our) cousin, her dad is a self-trained

guitar player and has been playing for over 35 years meaning that by the time she was

born her dad would sing to her. But the earliest memory she has of music is my dad

leading worship at church, she does not remember much but says that she remembers

him singing with his guitar from the altar. She strongly believes that music should be

taught a school, and it might sound drastic but she says that a kid who plays the guitar
will never put hands to a gun, that is what she thinks. As a psychologist, she knows the

benefits and the impact music has on small children and on humans in general. She

does consider herself a musician since she is an active singer in our church band and is

always participating in music-related activities at church.

Both persons I got to interview present a similar background and a similar exposure to

music since our families are really closed and have always been involved in church our

exposure to music has been quite similar.

I think that both, Armando Nunez and Alicia Luna's experiences fall into the first and

eight points of the Merriam's 10 functions.

They were both exposed to religious music since they were little and that has been part

of their musical life because church forms an important aspect of their lives, one as a

pastor's son and the other one as a child of a church musician. Meaning that "Validation

of social and religious rituals would be one of the characteristics I found in both persons.

Also, I think that they both fall into the first category because that music is the music

they have used their entire life to entertain themselves, there is a wide variety of

Christian music covering most of the popular genres and that is what they listen to part

of their time. Since they have been listening to it since they were little it is now an

important part of their life and what helped to develop their musical abilities. And as

Christians we used music as a way to express God everything he is for us, meaning

that both of the persons I spoke to can relate to the first function, where emotional

expression takes place and music is used to release joy, sadness and feelings and

emotions in general.