We had the good fortune of connecting with Alma Batista and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alma, what habits do you feel helped you succeed?
To be successful and self-sufficient as a self-employed musician, the most important habit that has helped me has been to adapt quickly to my environment. When the pandemic first hit, I had to close my music studio and stop in-person lessons. To this day, all of my teachers and I have continued teaching virtual voice and piano lessons online. We lost many of our students. However, some chose to join us in the virtual adventure. Those students have been able to adapt to this new normal, that although not perfect, has allowed us to continue teaching them to become better musicians. Video conferencing technology has been in place for some time, but we had never considered it until we had to do so. We adapted quickly, and now we teach students that are hundred of miles away from us.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Throughout my life, I have had the blessing of encountering mentors along the way. First, both my parents supported and encouraged my dream of becoming a professional musician. Along the way, many teachers mentored me and pointed me in the right direction, opening my mind to new possibilities. The classical music world can be very judgemental of who is allowed in. As a pianist, I learned not to be deterred by the preconceived notions of what a classical pianist should be. I have always composed music, but for many years I focused on my work as a classical piano recitalist. When performing opportunities dried up due to the economic collapse of 2008, I started to concentrate on music composition that has continued to this day. As a composer, I compose music that emanates from my soul. My piano compositions are a pure means to express myself. As an educator, I hope to mentor and encourage students whose lives I touch and pay forward all the great advice, encouragement, and support I had from my teachers.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Since I live in Riverside, the Mission Inn is a beautiful historic building with a great history. Being from Puerto Rico, the beaches would be my next pick. Laguna Beach is one of my favorites because of the art community in the area.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My father is Puerto Rican sculptor Tomás Batista, so I grew up submerged in art, sculpture, and culture. Creativity was very present at home as I was able to see my father create and work on his art. As a child, my parents enrolled me in piano lessons to keep me busy. As I grew older, my passion for music continued to grow. When the time to choose a path toward my future came, my father supported my decision to study music and become a musician. He did let me know that an artist’s life would not be easy, that there would be many sacrifices, but that the rewards would be worth it. Therefore, I want to dedicate this Shoutout to my father, whose work, work ethic, and artistry have always been a source of inspiration for me.
Other: My father’s website: https://www.tomasbatistaescultor.com/inicio My father’s FaceBook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Tom%C3%A1s-Batista-Escultor-P%C3%A1gina-Oficial-421908614528247