Lucas Alvarado: Music is the one thing that connects us all


Credit: Courtesy of Lucas Alvarado

Junior Lucas Alvarado plays the piano at a gig. Alvarado has been playing and performing music for most of his life. “It’s basically been my entire life,” Alvarado said. “That’s basically my first memory. I remember waiting for my piano teacher to come over for the first time, and that is my most vivid memory from when I was three.”

Meredith Prince

Usually, if you saw a three-year-old sitting in front of a piano, you’d want to cover your ears and hope for the best as they bang their hands across the keys. One particular three-year-old, however, might have surprised you as he ran his fingers lightly across the keys, playing a familiar tune.

From only the mere age of two, junior Lucas Alvarado was sitting in front of a piano, carefully learning and practicing any song he could think of. Today, he continues to excel at the instrument and fondly remembers his first time picking up the art.

“I started playing because my parents thought it was a good year, so at the time when I was even two-ish, I was able to pick up songs from TVs and things like that,” Alvarado said. “Piece by piece, [I could] play it on the piano. We had an old piano from my great-grandma in our house.”

Alvarado’s childhood recollections include his music and piano lessons, including the countless times of waiting for his piano teacher.

“[Playing the piano is] basically my first memory,” Alvarado said. “I remember waiting for my piano teacher to come over for the first time, and that is my most vivid memory from when I was three. It’s [always] been a big part of my childhood.”

Even though his parents initially encouraged him to begin playing the piano, it was Alvarado’s love for the instrument that spurred him to keep playing.

“I continued to play because I love music,” Alvarado said. “If there was a reason why I didn’t want to play music, I probably would have gotten out by now. But [my parents] didn’t force me to play anything, and I just had fun with it.”

In addition to playing the piano, Alvarado also picked up the trombone in fourth grade and has continued to play in the school bands throughout middle school and high school. He has also had some significant achievements regarding the instrument.

“I’m part of jazz band [at WHS],” Alvarado said. “In junior districts, I won first chair for trombone, and I also got an award at Massachusetts Ensemble Jazz.”

Although Alvarado has excelled with the trombone, he sees the piano as his main instrument and has participated in several projects and groups regarding the instrument. Piano has allowed him to connect with new groups and people.

“For piano, we’ve been setting up little things for fundraisers, such as the one coming up on Nov. 2, which is a music fundraiser, and I’ll be playing in that,” Alvarado said. “Also, I did a variety of things at Berklee College of Music with piano this past July and August and created many connections.”

While Alvarado more frequently plays songs that are already put together, he has begun to produce his own music through a software called Studio One, a type of digital audio workstation (DAW). DAWs allow users to record audio and MIDI files into their computer in order to create their own beats and music. He also writes a lot of his own songs, and he’s hoping to produce his own music.

“For music production, I’m just mostly learning the software that I have,” Alvarado said. “I’m just getting used to it, and I’m going to start producing soon. I’m writing songs a lot too, so when I get the chance [to produce a song], I know what to use for it.”

Playing, listening to or performing music brings Alvarado out of his shell to express new and intense emotions within the songs.

“Music [has] definitely changed my life, but it [especially] changed my personality I’d say,” Alvarado said. “I don’t know exactly how right now, but I’m definitely more of an extrovert when music is around, I feel a lot better whenever there is music.”

Alvarado believes that anyone who is interested in music or an instrument should put themselves out there and try it and make sure to push themself. From his experience, pushing yourself may turn what is just a hobby into something more serious.

“I’d say, if you want to do music, go for it,” Alvarado said. “The thing is that, many people do music because they’re forced to. And I see that a lot, especially in young children. But, that’s not the point of music. The point of music is that you should be the one that’s pushing yourself.”

In Alvarado’s opinion, pushing yourself in music can change the way you view music and how it impacts your life. He values the importance of being your own cheerleader when it comes to your musical success.

“It shouldn’t be anyone else. I remember the first time that I really pushed myself a couple years ago,” Alvarado said. “That’s when I started really enjoying music, not just as a hobby but more lifestyle type of stuff.”

Although he is only a junior in high school, Alvarado knows that music will stay in his future and hopes that his success will grow with time. He wants to continue playing in college and maybe even longer through gigs and shows in the future.

“I want to be able to keep playing,” Alvarado said. “I want to eventually get gigs and get some other stuff going on. First, I’m looking for colleges, and right now Berklee is a great choice for me. I just went there for the summer, as I said, and it was amazing. I think I will continue trombone and piano, but trombone will be more of a side thing, and piano is primary.”