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Meet a STUdent-musician: Adriel Eliseo Santiago

Meet a STUdent-musician: St. Thomas University psychology major, Adriel Eliseo Santiago, was born during the height of techno and hip-hop music in the 1990’s, realized his interest in music by listening to his dad’s favorite 1980’s songs and, in 2021, is already planning on ways to incorporate different genres of music in future child psychology programs.

In His Own Words:

“Songs from the past…”

I realized my love of music while spending time with my dad. He has always been big on music. Every weekend morning, he would crank up the stereo. Whether it was salsa, bachata, or music from when he was back home in Puerto Rico. He would listen to every kind of genre–including music from when he was growing up in the 1970’s and 1980’s.

I distinctly remember my dad totally jamming to a particular song we were listening to on the radio. I asked him, “Hey dad, do you know who this is?” He looked at me with a funny grin and said, “That’s Queen!” He then played all of the songs from Queen he could. And that is exactly the point of time in my life where my interest in music began. I started playing the piano at 10 years old, and formally started singing and playing the clarinet when I started high school.

“Led to musical passions of the present…”

My musical influences are Freddie Mercury from Queen, Coldplay, and The Beatles. But, typically, the genre of music I listen to depends on what kind of mood I am in. Sometimes, I listen to classical or rock, psychedelic rock, Japanese jazz, classic jazz, indie, and pop music. I always go to a random playlist just to see what other tastes of music exist. You can say I really branch out!

This is a major reason why I really like being a part of STU’s choir and playing the clarinet in band. I get to meet people from different backgrounds who love music as a hobby or career, and am happy when sharing it with others. Music is a universal language anybody can speak!

From time to time, I play on my keyboard and practice my clarinet as much as possible. Singing in masses on campus, as well as playing my clarinet for special masses such as the St. Valentine’s Day mass at STU, is truly important to me.

“And a desire to incorporate music in psychology programs to help children….”

I always considered music as part of my life and I want to use it to help children as a child psychologist one day. To help children express their emotions and feelings, whether it be singing or playing an instrument, as a form of therapy, relaxation, or meditation, is vital to their recovery. I believe music is an ideal way to express yourself when you do not know how to express your feelings in words. I feel very blessed to be able to actively keep my love for music alive by being in choir and band as I pursue my degree in psychology at STU.

St. Thomas University Adriel Eliseo Santiago is a native of Miami, FL. He will graduate with a B.S. in Psychology in 2022.

Michelle Tulande

Author Michelle Tulande

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