Kyle Rivera is studying viola and composition at the Moores School of Music at the University of Houston.
How did you discover your passion for viola and composition?
I love to compose because the ability to create and capture my view of the world is the most emotionally liberating thing for me. I played the viola casually through high school but my entire outlook on it changed after I heard Wayne Brooks play. I was amazed by his incredibly dark and expressive sound. It was my first time being exposed to a “viola sound” and it completely changed the way I listen to music.
What’s your favorite part about performing and/or creating music?
My favorite thing about being a musician is that it’s the most challenging thing I have ever done. Trying to focus my imagination on composing just a single note takes hours. Every time I pick up my viola, I feel about as awkward as a newborn giraffe. I love that feeling, though. The hardships make being a musician unbelievably rewarding in the end.
What’s the most difficult part about performing and/or creating music?
Above all else, the most difficult aspect of being a musician is having patience. Having the patience to practice scales every single day or sit at a piano for hours to compose just one measure is difficult. It is difficult to have the patience to trust that the grueling work in this moment and every other moment will eventually pay off.
Why did you decide to attend the Moores School of Music at the University of Houston Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts?
I can’t say there was any one thing in particular that sold me on the Moores School of Music. The professors were outstanding, the artistry was exceptional and the campus community is enriching, but honestly, it was just a gut feeling. I knew that the University of Houston was the right place to be.
What has been your favorite part of attending the Moores School of Music?
As both a musician and a person, I have grown more than I ever expected. The school has no limit to the opportunities to grow and achieve new heights.
How do you think this program will help you achieve what you want to do next?
The program at Moores has given me an unwavering work ethic, amazing friendships, a myriad of skillsets, a strong network of connections and a spirit to go out and create my own opportunities. Whether I continue to pursue music alone or other endeavors, I feel ready to conquer my future.
Where do you imagine yourself in 10 years?
I plan to be a certified athletic trainer and physical therapist working with musicians. I plan to work primarily with pre-professionals in college and high school by providing programs with specialized training and rehabilitation for musicians. Programs will be designed to strengthen postural integrity, optimize joint mobility, recover from/prevent injury, improve nutrition, target muscle tension/imbalances, and optimize body health and longevity.