We had the good fortune of connecting with Nico Barberan and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Nico, can you talk to us a bit about the social impact of your business?
Since I was 15 years old, I took my guitar to school, waiting for breaks between classes to play and learn more about the guitar with my classmates. Since then, I haven’t stopped making music, which is one of the things I’ve always loved to do.

For me, music is a great company. Music can cheer you up, help you relax, unwind, and pass the time. Also, listening to music is a good port were to arrive in sad moments.

Playing an instrument has opened doors for me in many ways. I have met people from different parts of the world and lived incredible experiences. I have traveled to several countries. I have played on beautiful stages in Chicago, in rural areas of Chile, Colombia, and Mexico, and even on the streets of Rome, Italy.

Today understood that music is a universal language and that it is also a cure that heals the soul. With the simple act of playing music and without saying a word, people can smile, dance, or have peace. Those are the beautiful moments that life gives us. My commitment as an artist and musician is to use the art for the good of society.

It has been shown that playing a musical instrument helps improve attention, reduces stress and anxiety, and lowers depression, among many other benefits. Understanding the benefits of music, I decided to start giving private music lessons. It is in this way that he founded 101 MUSIC STUDIO in Chicago. When I teach music to children, youth, and adults, I see the opportunity to share the values and encourage students not to give up.

Values such as gratitude, kindness, and respect must be present when teaching classes. Also, studying an instrument helps with discipline, self-esteem, teamwork, and overcoming frustration.

Why not expand this project of teaching music classes and founding music schools in places of economic need?

Since then, I have believed that music and the arts, in general, are a tool for peace and social development.

I did this project in Chile, my native country, under the name of Nota Raíz (the root note), which was a project that lasted three years. We gave musical workshops in several cities in the country, and we also presented concerts in hospitals, schools, care centers for children with cancer, and nursing homes. It was also a part-time job for the music students.

I desire to use music with a sense of community as a social tool for human development. And this is why in mid-August, we will release “The 9th Beat” in Tucson, Az. T9B is an organization that uses music and the arts as a tool for peace and human development. The objectives are to start with workshops and music classes for all interested people. Our goal is for children and young people who have economic difficulties to pay a monthly fee for classes. And on the other hand, it is to have music performances in hospitals, shelters, schools, and nursing homes.

The financing to achieve this beautiful project is through donations from people, foundations, and private and fund competitions.

We believe and want The 9th Beat to be a contribution to society by using music to grow in values ​​and move forward as a society. We want to make music with meaning, love, and peace.

A child who wields a musical instrument will not wield a weapon.
Music is power.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I couldn’t say if the process of making music has been easy or difficult. What if I’m sure I love to create and play music. All my heart and soul are on stage when I play. Every time I write a song, a piece of my heart stays with that song. I have spent a lot of time studying music, practicing guitar, practicing my singing voice, many hours of rehearsal, many hours of recording, and many trips out of town and out of the country. But I love it. I am pleased and grateful because I am dedicated to music, or music is dedicated to me. I have a bachelor’s degree in music and electric guitar from a university in Chile. In 2021 I completed a master’s degree in pedagogy in classical guitar in Chicago. And I intend to continue studying to continue expanding my musical knowledge. I want to go for more!

I must say that the best music school has been the church. Every week was playing two or three times, every week, rehearsing. Practicing various styles of music and always playing with other musicians of different levels. That has been an excellent base to grow spiritually and musically. I am eternally grateful for having lived that beautiful experience. It is there where I took my first guitar class (learn the notes of the strings and the first two chords, D and E major). Because of that person who dedicated a Saturday morning to giving classes, I am where I am, and I do what I do. That kind gesture of teaching for free changed my life. That is why my commitment is to teaching music to children and young people. I believe that arts can change and transform lives because that happened with mine. Small acts of kindness bring huge changes that transform the world.

How did my path through music start? At first, when I was 13 years old, I wanted to play drums, but the budget and the space in the house did not allow it. So I figured out what I could play.
Then I saw my older brother play bass in his room, and I tried to play bass, but I did not like much.

After a while, a failed attempt to learn guitar in a summer camp, I got an acoustic guitar with nylon strings. It was the guitar of an uncle who now lives in Spain. That guitar accompanied me for more than six years. Wherever I went, the guitar accompanied me. I got myself some acoustic guitar picks and put them on my acoustic guitar. Now I had an electric guitar!! (a little transformation). Back then, I listened to a lot of punk rock music and Elvis Presley! One of my dreams at 14 years old was to have a punk rock band; I still haven’t achieved it. After a few months, someone gave me a cd by John Lee Hooker, a good blues player! I didn’t understand how Hooker played the guitar that way. I spent hours and days discovering how those riffs and melodies were played. After that, I figured out how to play it, and my head exploded! I started playing blues!

But I did not have a real electric guitar. I sold my Nintendo 64 (since then, I haven’t had any consoles, it was a good decision), and with my family’s help, we raised the necessary money to buy my first electric guitar. It was beautiful!

I did not stop anymore to play music, and I will not stop! With dedication, I have earned academic diplomas. I have traveled a lot, played on many stages, and played in several countries, streets, and the subway. I am delighted and proud of what I have achieved. And I have not done this alone; I have always been accompanied. I thank all of them who have helped me, even with a smile in difficult times. Music is power.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?

1 – spend three days camping in the Grand Canyon.
2- two days in a hotel in Sedona.
3- take a dinner, before the down, at AZ Hope Winery, the evening is beautiful
4- Sunday early breakfast at Baja Caravan coffee
5- Watch the down at Pass Gate.
6- Spend at least one hour on the dessert during the night o watch the stars; it is beautiful!
7- take a nice talking and Coffee at Luce Coffee and EXO Coffee
8-Go to any open mic in the town
9- Visit a few murals in town (Tucson)
10- take a beer at Hotel Congress
11- Picnic at Turtle Lake.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I once heard: if you want to get there fast, walk alone. If you’re going to go far, go together. I believe that this is the essence of achieving success. I have learned to surround myself with people and work alongside them. The fortune I have is that there is always someone who gives me a hand to get me up when I fall. I believe that any success is based on the community and networks of people. It is vital to spend time with people, and people with more experience and intelligence than one. This is why I want to thank my girlfriend, family, and friends infinitely. They are the kind souls who also encourage me to keep going.

Website: www.nicobarberan.com

Instagram: Nico.barberan

Facebook: Nico Barberan

Youtube: Nico Barberan

Other: Spotify: Nico Barberan

Image Credits
Estuardo Photo Gloria Ines Isa Bellido Eric Lawrence Todd Crawford Eric Sandoval

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutArizona is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.