GREENSBORO, N.C. — Dixie Ortiz still remembers hearing the violin for the first time in the fifth grade.
“I was just so, so captivated and amazed by the sound. I thought it was just the coolest thing,” she said.
The more she learned through her school orchestra program in Florida, the more she wanted to improve her technique.
However, learning outside of school presented its own set of challenges.
“We rented a violin from a local music store and I remember that I wanted to do things like go to music camps, and take lessons, and all these extra things, but I asked my mom and we couldn't afford those things,” she said.
Ortiz says she continued to practice and watched different techniques on YouTube.
Her hard work would earn her a spot in a top music program.
“I asked my high school orchestra director where he thought some of the best music education programs for string teachers were in the United States and he told me that UNCG was one of those places,” she said.
Ortiz is currently a senior studying music education at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
She’s also a student teacher at Penn Griffin School for the Arts.
She wants to see more children have access to the arts to discover their gifts as she did.
“I just want to help and be someone who's there and someone who's available and accessible to give instruction,” Ortiz said.
Some of Ortiz’ academic research has included studying the impact of mentorship between elementary and high school students.
Ortiz aspires to play the violin professionally and become a teacher.