Melissa Herrera: The Dedicated Musician

Playing any instrument is hard, especially when you want it to be your profession. Melissa Herrera is a very dedicated and technical musician, and a first year student at New Mexico State University; she is majoring in Instrumental Performance (Viola Performance).

“I started playing violin when I was in 4th grade, after begging my parents for nearly 2 years. After a lot of ups and downs, I finally decided I wanted to dedicate my life to the instrument. I'm pretty proficient in guitar and ukulele, but singing and piano skills could use some more technical training,” says Herrera.

Aside from her studies, Herrera had played in 3 local bands over the course of 4 years. The most recent band she was in was “Sleep Ctrl”, where she played her viola and also guitar as the front woman. Herrera stated she is taking a break from the band to focus on herself as a musician.

“I’m currently taking a break from playing in bands in order to get better at my instruments, focus on school, and in turn write better music.” I plan to record the music I created with Sleep Ctrl some time this year just so that the music doesn't go to waste. I plan on going my own way once I'm ready” says Herrera. Even though Herrera is not in a band anymore, she is still showing her knowledge and skill about music. She is now teaching violin lessons to two young students of her own.

“It's an extremely beautiful feeling to know that you're empowering other people with the most important discipline in your life. Especially when they are ambitious and curious, like my students.”

“I'm mixing a classical approach due to the history and nature of the instrument, with my own style of mixing it with the more liberal fields of songwriting and playing along with others by ear. Both things are very important to the development of creativity and technique.”

Her long-time best friend and former band mate, Isabella Ulloa had mentioned a few kind words about Herrera and her passion: “I think she is extremely motivated and hardworking, especially when she's passionate about something.” Another friend, Julio Campos also had some nice words to say about Herrera.

“Melissa is an incredibly passionate about her music, and puts much of her artistic effort in contributing to the exposure of various social issues. Her adamant personality is her greatest vehicle in creating her art and music, continuously striving for her artistic efforts to bring people together in a sense of community”

Music is everything to Herrera. And she's doing all that she needs to do to make her dreams and hard work a reality.

“You can't dream of becoming a professional musician if you don't do the amount of practicing and work to make up for it. Eventually practicing become a part of your day, like brushing your teeth, eating or, showering. I think the most important thing is that you absolutely love the field, because then it doesn't really feel like a drag to work so many hours a week, it's just beautiful feeling to know that you will one day get paid for doing something that you love.”