DB musicians in tune with teaching


Photo courtesy of Daryl Hernandez

DBHS students visit Chaparral Middle School to help students in music.

After putting a three-year hiatus on a program that links Diamond Bar High School’s commercial music program and district middle schools, commercial music director Daryl Hernandez revived the musical connection this year.

“It was a matter of timing—my time after school—and being full time now, having 5 commercial music classes, allowed me to be able to go to the middle schools and offer this program,” Hernandez said.

The program allows middle school students interested in commercial music to work with more experienced students from DBHS. When Hernandez first offered this program six years ago, it was only available to Chaparral Middle School’s Rock Music Band students. However, this year the program is now offered at South Pointe Middle School as well. Currently Hernandez visits the middle schools with three of his DBHS students, seniors Jackson Otero, Samantha Hersh and Ryan Shah.

“Knowing how much it helps students being able to teach the things they were learning in the class—I had a teacher who said that if you can teach it then you know it—I tried to extend that to my students,” Hernandez said.

The program started in the first week of October with a lesson once a week. After school, students from commercial music visit South Pointe on Tuesdays and  Chaparral on Thursdays, providing all of the necessary instruments. In the one hour sessions, Otero oversees the guitarists and bases, Hersh instructs the vocalists and Shaw works with the drummers.

“‘It’s easier to relate to somebody that is closer to your age than maybe an adult, so I thought it would be cool for me to help other kids like that,” Otero said. “[The students] are pretty outgoing and it is pretty easy to get along with them.”

During practices, the DBHS students help  students go over the rock music composed by Hernandez, then play together at the end of every session. The program has about 25 students at CMS and seven students from South Pointe.

“The focus is to introduce students to popular commercial rock, pop and R&B music in this academic setting to get them to play some songs and have some fun,” Hernandez said. “Hopefully we can show them what we do here at Diamond Bar.”