Professor Montserrat Fuentes Romero

Prof. Montserrat Fuentes Romero

PMZ Special Advisor

Director of Culture, Xacara and Professor of Piano and Music, Anahuac University, New Mexico



What do you do for PMZ?
I have the great opportunity to be one of the Special Advisers on the Trustee Board, supporting and giving advice in areas of development to the PMZ Leadership Team. I am a musician and cultural project manager. I founded my own organisation based in Mexico supporting artists and their projects through capacity building and tools which will strengthen their professional abilities. Also, I am a Professor of the Music Contemporary Degree, at Anáhuac University in Mexico City. I teach Piano and theoretical subjects such as Wellness and Creative Projection for the musician and developed a Body Percussion online subject. I studied my MA at the Arts University in Havana, Cuba, where I started researching about Latin American teaching music methods. I also have 15 years of teaching experience that gives me the knowledge to support and develop the Special Adviser role for PMZ.

Do you play any instruments?
My degree is in Classic Piano in the Music Conservatory (INBA) in Mexico City. Then I studied the MA in formative processes in the teaching of the arts, in Havana, Cuba. A short film was made by the cultural channel in Mexico which was broadcast by television about me and my life as a piano student.
I started my music studies when I was 7 years old and never stopped. My main instrument has always been piano, but when I was 9 years old I practised the violin for a year, I am not an expert as in piano, not even close. When I was in college I also played clavecin with the University Orchestra as part of a subject. I took singing lessons and took part of the University Choir.

What musical instrument would best describe you as a person?
Difficult question! I would say that my own instrument, the piano. The piano has a variety of sound and registers, as the variety of emotions I can feel and experience, and each one is contrasting and unique to the other. The piano has the opportunity to explore a lot of music genres, with different rhythms, and this can talk about my ability of adaptation and resilience, due to the fact I have been travelling and living in different and contrasting places, with different cultures, languages and traditions. This experience developed my capacity of resilience: ‘the art to get back’. This instrument has the possibility to be elegant and friendly. Because it is a harmonic and melodic instrument it can be played as soloist and be the only one sounding, but also has the ability to play in ensemble with other instruments; it can be part of a team and work as group; it has the gorgeous opportunity to be alone in some moments but has the fortune to be as a group.

What has music done for you in your life?
Music is life. I can’t describe a moment in my life without being involved in music. All the memories in my mind are connected to some genre of music. This means they are connected to my heart and my emotions. I used to have music since I was in my mother’s womb, she used to sing to me and, also, to sound beautiful music. I live with music every single day of my life: when I cook, when I drive, when I dance. Because of this, all the moments in my life are attached to some kind of music. Also, after college, I have the lovely opportunity to learn how important is music for all human beings. The powerful tools music can give in the learning process. I have worked with children in areas of disadvantage, teaching them music as another option for their life. Their realities are very delicate because of the few opportunities they can have in their futures. My experience with them is how strong can be music through its impact. Music is a gift that should be for everybody.

What’s the best bit about supporting PMZ?
In the past 10 years I have worked through music with different ages of people from 1 to 80 years old; in different contexts, as schools, university, vulnerable communities, vulnerable children, etc. I have seen the power of the music for changing lives and realities; the strong impact that art and culture can create in children futures and adults present. Because of that I have a particular passion for working towards creating inclusion, something shared by Plymouth Music Zone. Art, culture, and specific music, should be a right for every human being. I am very pleased to be supporting PMZ as a Special Adviser for sharing my knowledge, experience, ideas, and support in this great area of work: changing lives through art.

What’s the first record/CD you ever bought?
I think I was 6 years old, and I finished watching, on tv, a serial about the life of the great violin maker Antonio Stradivari. The theme of the tv serial was the very famous Canon of Pachelbel. I had a big crush on that piece. Immediately I asked my dad to buy me the cassette. This was my first record, even when I asked someone else to buy it for me. The first record I bought (with my savings), when I was 10 years old and I was listening the revolutionary latin american trova gender. I bought a CD (not cassette) of Silvio Rodríguez, a cuban composer and singer.